The flow of inspiration in the Flixel community is multidirectional. As much as community members look to us for guidance, we love to see what drives your cinemagraph storytelling, and what we can do to help evoke those creative processes. We created the #MySummerThrowback contest with that very idea in mind, and were amazed by the amount of inspiration participants found by thinking deeply about something that is common to most of us around the world: summer.
For first place winner (as selected by Flixel Wizard Jon Kane), Doğuş Bozkurt, the #MySummerThrowback contest gave him the opportunity to execute an idea that he first imagined when he identified the depth of cinemagraph storytelling. “The sea possesses an eternal energy that is impossible to contain,” Doğuş explained. “From the first moment I started thinking on the potentialities of cinemagraphs, I had an idea of making a cinemagraph on the sea. This cinemagraph is an experiment where I tried to realize those ideas.”
A graphic designer by profession, Bozkurt first gained exposure to photography as a part of his curriculum at Hacettepe University in Turkey. Although he truly developed his interest in the subject just three years ago, he was always drawn to motion graphics and movement; currently, he works for the National TV Station in North Cyprus as a motion graphics designer and runs his own production company, Gayit Guyit with colleague Suphi Değer that focuses on wedding videos and documentaries.
It’s no wonder that Doğuş’ passion for motion in dynamic visual content eventually led him to cinemagraphs. But before he experienced living photos, he found himself playing with time. “After trying different time-lapse techniques such as tilt-shift, night sky and hyper-lapse, I came across the cinemagraph technique that can blend moving and still images in a beautiful way,” he explained.
Doğuş was first struck by cinemagraphs when he came across the technique on social media sites as content. Mesmerized by the inherent moving photo concept to cinemagraphs, he researched cinemagraphs and came across Flixel Cinemagraph Pro.
Using the software in conjunction with Adobe Lightroom and Adobe After Effects, Doğuş was able to bring an old idea to life with fresh inspiration, and a little assistance as well. Model Fatma Bender, a stylist and fellow sea lover, visualized the sand flowing from the palm of her hand in the cinemagraph. With extensive preproduction focusing on camera angles, costumes and accessories, the shoot itself ended up being surprisingly simple.
“In recording, I used 50 mm Rokinon Cine Lens and Canon Mark 3 updated with Magic Lantern,” he described. “Usually I shoot three or four times for other cinemagraphs but for this one it sufficed to shoot only once.”
A clear vision really can lead to such a straightforward and successful cinemagraph shoot. With one single take, Doğuş was able to build an entire experience that combined his value for the sea and fascination with time within a cinemagraph that concisely captures what infinity looks and feels like under the warmth of the sun. It’s an all-too familiar concept for many who spend their summers at cottages, tanning or outdoors, without a care in the world. There are even a few parallels for Doğuş, who recalls thinking about summer in a way that evokes happiness and perhaps, to an extent, justice.
“Summer for me is the right to be lazy – a right I could not have for a long time.”