6 Cinemagraph Examples for Different Photography Styles

Living through the advent of an entirely new medium is a tremendously unique experience. You know, when the possibilities are endless, the metaphorical canvas, blank, and the boundaries are not yet established, thereby creating an environment where the imagination reigns supreme. This is where we are today with cinemagraphs, as the journey’s only just begun for hybrid photo/video medium, and there is still plenty of room for creative expression. In any event, through 6 cinemagraph examples, we wanted to showcase how certain photography styles have been successfully adapted to the new media landscape.

Check Out These 6 Cinemagraph Examples

1. Portraiture

There’s a certain magnetism to a well-crafted portrait. The subject is typically represented in such a manner and style that can elicit a legion of responses. In its purest form, a portrait aims to capture the person’s soul, spirit, and mood, which is then translated into meaning and feelings by the viewer. One individual might see something that another does not. A story lies therein, and we try our best to figure it out with little to no evidence. Who is this person we’re looking at?

Cinemagraph by apricotberlin

It’s these inherent qualities that allow portraits to truly flourish via a cinemagraph. Adding even just a fragment of life to the otherwise stagnant picture affords the viewer with a much greater sense of understanding. The subject’s personality shines through as though they’re living and breathing right before our eyes.

2. Street

As many of you already know, a recent edition of #TheFlixelProject tackled this ever-relevant form of the image arts. Like the underlying characteristics of history painting, the arena of street photography is primarily concerned with depicting one, fleeting moment in time. Or, alternatively stated, the ebb and flow of an urban civilization, as its many citizens go about their day, maneuvering through the gallows of the concrete jungle.

Cinemagraph by JTeale

The final product is like a mishmash of different happenings, opening up a great many avenues to explore. This is precisely why this format is practically tailor-made for the cinemagraph treatment. Compositionally, the author is bestowed with the power to choose what, exactly, shall be enlivened, and what will forever remain static.

3. Landscape

Think of a cinemagraph you recently came across that piqued your interest. I’ll bet anything it included either a.) the ocean b.) clouds c.) a gust of wind or d.) all of the above. That’s because, just like the natural world, cinemagraphs are ingrained with a certain joie de vivre. So, marrying the two elements seems like a foregone conclusion—the end result is bound to inspire some awes, drop a few jaws, and, perhaps, take several breaths away. Mother Nature may be unpredictable, but that’s just a part of her swagger; you never know what you’re going to get.

Hailing from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, my appetite for landscape photography will always skew toward the ocean. As a Pacific Northwesterner, nothing provides me with more comfort than the sight, sound and general ambiance of the sea, and that’s why I was particularly drawn to this cinemagraph.

Cinemagraph by ixhumni

4. Sports

It’s the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, two outs and you’re down by three. Batter. Up.

Regardless of who you cheer for, the excitement and energy of any sporting event presents a grand opportunity for crafting an extraordinary cinemagraph. With the never-ending supply of action, whatever moment you aim to seize will likely reflect the intensity and grit of the competitive affair. And honestly, this idea applies to all levels of professionalism. Your nephew’s little league tee-ball game. Courtside seats to the Lakers. A ragtag group of ne’er-do-wells playing football at the local junkyard—wherever. Though, unlike some aspects of life, with sports, one cannot fake it till they make it. Athletes are blessed with this unique brand of pedigree that allows them to go above and beyond what’s expected. I mean, you can see the passion literally oozing out of them (sweat is an incarnation of passion, ok?).

Cinemagraph by Seth_Nicolas

For an art form billed as a “living photograph,” sports might just be the most compatible with cinemagraphs. So, the next time you’re wielding a camera at a sporting event, don’t be afraid to bust out the tripod, find a steady surface and put together an action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled cinemagraph.

5. Food

The twenty-first century, man. What a swell time to live, breathe and, well, eat.

Before patronizing a new restaurant or casual eatery, nine million times out of ten, we’ll hop online and check out a handful of peer-driven reviews. What’s more, we’ll even go as far as opening up the restaurant’s Instagram page to digest the meals, visually. Call me daft, delusional or just plain dumb, but in this author’s estimation, Instagram wouldn’t be what it is today without food. Or rather, the confluence of photo sharing and food. Because each and every one of us have been guilty of this before. Yup, even your cool friend Daryl who claims to not use social media.

Eating is an important aspect of the human experience. It brings people together, even when we’re apart. Thanks to the interconnectivity of social networking platforms, we’re able to share our meals with friends, family and general acquaintances.

Just look at the cinemagraph below. If you weren’t already hungry, you most certainly are now.

Cinemagraph by brandonvoges

6. Commercial

For many, photography is a passion. A hobby. A mode of expression. However, for some, it’s also considered as means to an end. Or, put more bluntly, an income.

Just like the styles of photography mentioned above, marketing and advertising is another domain where talented people are creating spectacular cinemagraphs. We’ve discussed this on numerous occasions via the Flixel blog; with respect to user engagement, time and time again, cinemagraphs outperform still images. Need some definitive proof? Check out the latest case study we published with our dear friends over at The Ride, a Toronto startup. Through a standard A/B test, in this particular study, we found that cinemagraphs increased The Ride’s conversion rate by a whopping 290%. What’s more, the app’s cost per install dropped by 65%, freeing up additional resources to be allocated elsewhere.

Cinemagraph by JonathanH

If you’re a photographer working with brands of all size and nature, make use of the cinemagraph’s ultramodern appeal and leave your clients utterly speechless. Soon enough, they’ll become ubiquitous, and a place like Times Square won’t look anything like it does today. This is the future. Are you going to take a seat or pilot the ship?

Visit our gallery to see what other styles of photography are being applied to the cinemagraph medium!


Know of any other photography styles where cinemagraphs also flourish? Feel free to leave a comment below. Of course, we’re always interested in hearing what you think!

(Content Intern)

Peter flexes his fingers/writes copy at Flixel. His enthusiasm for content creation is only surpassed by the Oregon Dunes, as well as a lifelong goal to soar through the clouds on a blimp.

  • Awesome! Some great examples here of what you can do with some imagination and your great product! Thanks for the addition too!