Featured Artist: AikBeng Chia (ABC)

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Photographer & Cinemagraph-er 

Also known as ABC, AikBeng Chia started photographing in 2008 using an iPhone 2G.  In 2009, he began taking photography more seriously and has been actively shooting since; mainly on a mobile phone, but more recently with his digital or occasionally film cameras. ABC is a key contributor to EverydayAsia on Instagram, where he has a growing fan base that includes photography fanatics. His images have been exhibited and published internationally, and ABC currently works at a digital-centric global advertising agency in the Southern hemisphere, or as he likes to call it, “a little red dot on the map called Singapore.”

Photography

With a passion for street, portrait and urbanscape photography, ABC’s style is distinct and carries across all genres. “Some of my favorite photos explore the relationship based on the concept of, The Space Between Us.”

Diptic ABC
The Space Between Us is a musing on the bond between the living and urban spaces. One part loud, rash, unpredictable. The other, subtle, calm, emcompassing. Both always a part of each other but in one moment, this space forms a connected whole.”

Cinemagraphs

Describing himself as an extrovert, ABC has mastered the art of photographing people on the streets of Singapore. He has an affinity for capturing the essence of people; their emotions and beauty expressed in a single shot. This unique style comes through in his newest passion, cinemagraphs.

ABC discovered Cinemagraphs in 2011 when he first saw the work of NYC fashion photographers, Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck. He describes how, “Back then, to create a cinemagraph was not easy. It was a lot of work and time consuming. Only recently, about a year ago, I learned about Flixel.” ABC began creating cinemagraphs in mid-March of this year, and since, has become one of the most dynamic creators in the Flixel community.

When asked what interests him about living photos, ABC says, “Cinemagraphs are very hypnotic. In many ways they are calm, but they can be creepy too depending on how it’s made.” Check out one of ABC’s creepy cinemagraphs below!

Heap Seng Leong Coffeeshop

Located at Block 10, North Bridge Road, Heap Seng Leong Coffeeshop is one of the oldest remaining coffeeshops in Singapore.

“As the country progress, more and more hipster cafes are popping up all over Singapore. Having a coffee there is like going back in time; nothing has changed. It’s filled with characters from all walks of life.”

 

ABC created a series of living photos shot at Heap Seng Leong Coffeeshop (HSLC), capturing the intricateness and unique vibe of the restaurant. “The idea came about one day when I was documenting the Coffeeshop. I saw an old man and his son preparing coffee and toast. Little details of the coffeeshop caught my eyes, like the condensed milk can lid that they use it to scrape off the burnt surface on charcoal grilled bread. The lind was spinning by itself, hung from a string. The scene was perfect and captivating.”

In ABC’s cinemagraphs, patrons are found hunched over tables and leaning against tiled walls, reading the newspaper and drinking coffee out of plain white mugs. Orange and red chairs add pops of colour to a rather grey scene. Each cinemagraph tells it’s own story, and when woven together, they create a beautiful masterpiece. Each person is a unique character; their personalities exposed through the camera lens and highlighted through subtle motion.

Heap Seng Leong Coffeeshop from AikBengChia on Vimeo.

One word to describe ABC’s style, would be raw. He captures real emotion and real moments. He shows the beauty of humans in their everyday lives. With a distinct photojournalistic style, it’s almost shocking to see these images come to life.

DBS Marine Regatta

HSLC isn’t AikBeng’s only cinemagraph project. The DBS Marine Regatta is Singapore’s biggest water sports festival. In partnership with the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA), the event is over two weekends long, in conjunction with the South East Asian Games 2015’s dragon boat races.

 

ABC has been commissioned by DBS BANK for the past years to cover the event annually. This year the committee loved his most recent cinemagraph work, more specifically, his cinemagraph short film, which he produced using Flixel Cinemagraph Pro. So, this year, ABC covered the event using cinemagraphs. He created a collection of sea inspired cinemagraphs just for DBS, highlighting the best in a video compilation, including images of t-shirts and flags billowing in the wind, flowing water and busy paddlers.

DBS Marina Regatta 2015 from AikBengChia on Vimeo.

Inspiration

What inspires ABC? Everyday life. The little details in our surroundings that we normally miss or take for granted. His creative process is highly based off of observation. He spends most of his time observing details, subjects and objects that he can connect with. Though he has been commissioned by corporate companies, models and couples to create cinemagraphs, he loves to use Flixel for personal projects and short films as well.

ABC’s tips to other cinemagraph creators: Frame your cinemagraph like a photo. An old friend of mine, Sion Fullana from NYC, once said.. “Look around you and fall in love with little details.”  Lastly, a tripod is very important. Don’t leave home without it. With his iPhone 6, Leica Dlux (Typ 109) and tripod, anything is possible.

 

5 Myths about Cinemagraphs and Facebook

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1. It takes hours or even days to make a cinemagraph

Not anymore. Maybe if you’re rotoscoping each and every frame, but, who has the time for that? More labour time does not always equate to better quality.

Our Flixel founders fell in love with cinemagraphs back in 2011 when they first saw the work of NYC fashion-photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck. But, as Beck and Berg recently said  in an interview with AdWeek. “It could take weeks in production to create a cinemagraph.”

Thus, there was one problem encountered: creating cinemagraphs was time consuming. Unless you’re a Photoshop and After Effects expert, they also require a large learning curve. From this gap in the market, they had an idea, and soon, a team of passionate individuals to push this concept from ideation to creation. Cinemagraph Pro was born, morphing into a easy-to-use professional software dedicated to fast and effective cinemagraph creation.

Try it for free. Create stunning cinemagraphs in minutes.

By Daria Khoroshavina

2. So they’re GIFs, right?

Please, please, please… Can we stop calling them GIFs? Cinemagraphs are a type of artistic medium, like photography or film. We rant about this often, but it is important to differentiate the term cinemagraph from GIF. It’s like calling a photograph a .jpeg or .png. “Wow Frank, that’s a stunning .jpeg.” Or how about, “Stanley Kubrick makes incredible .mov’s!” Sounds ridiculous, right?

For clarification, we are in no way discrediting GIFs as a great format for displaying looping videos; you know, like Harry Potter memes and celebrity fails. Cinemagraphs DESERVE to be displayed in HD with more than 10fps. For more on this rant, check out our GIF vs HD Video article.

Read more.

Not into Video? You Can Still Make Great Cinemagraphs

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Video: A Photographer’s Nightmare

We meet lots of photographers. Most are interested in learning how to make cinemagraphs. They see how the photography business is changing — growing increasingly competitive and that cinemagraphs are the future. But for some strange reason, when they hear that a cinemagraph involves shooting some video, they recoil in terror. “I’m not Spielberg – I don’t do video!”  What is it with some photographers? Are they allergic to video?  They already have everything they need in their kit bag — a camera that shoots video, a tripod and a record button. That’s pretty much all you need to get started with cinemagraphs.

By Hendra Aditya Kurniawan

In many ways, photographers are better suited to make cinemagraphs then even videographers AND filmmakers. Sometimes referred to as hybrid photography, cinemagraphs, (or living photos), find a place in the middle of this spectrum. Cinemagraphs teeter on a balance between both worlds. Yes, they require a short video clip and constant lighting, but they also require the artistic framing of a photograph, and the ability to freeze and capture a moment in time. Photographers are just as naturally equipped for creating cinemagraphs as videographers are. If you’re looking to branch out of your mainstream genre, cinemagraphs are the answer.

Read more.

Masking in Cinemagraph Pro for iPhone and iPad

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Quick Tutorial

With the swipe of a finger, bring your image to life. With our live masking technology, masking your cinemagraph has never been easier. Learn how to mask in Flixel Cinemagraph Pro for iPhone & iPad.

  1. Import into Cinemagraph Pro, or shoot directly in the app
  2. Adjust the timeline and still frame
  3. Click on the paintbrush tool and use your finger or stylus to reveal the motion
  4. If you’ve made a mistake, or want to touch anything up, use the eraser tool

TIP: Pinch to zoom in on your cinemagraph to make a more fine tuned mask.

Effects in Cinemagraph Pro for iPhone and iPad

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Quick Tutorial

Make your cinemagraph stand out with effects in Cinemagraph Pro for iPhone and iPad. Using preset filters, make your colours pop or create a moody scene with tap of a finger.

  1. Import, mask and loop your cinemagraph
  2. Click on the magic wand icon, and choose from 27 different filters
  3. Pick from categories like Photo Effect, B&W, Instant, Faded and Pop

We hope that this tutorial helped you. If you have any questions or comments regarding the effects in Cinemagraph Pro for iPhone and iPad, please let us know.