Every other week, Flixel hosts an Instagram challenge, dubbed #TheFlixelProject, which is open to any and all who wish to partake. Upon announcing the theme, we give contestants one, full week to submit their cinemagraphs using a particular hashtag. The goal: to fuel creativity, and inspire one another to make beautiful visual stories using cinemagraphs. Interested in getting involved? Head over to Flixel’s Instagram page and keep an eye out for announcements.
Just last week, we appealed to the Flixel community with the following challenge: to delve into the darkness and uncover the often-overlooked beauty found lurking in the shadows. Yes, I’m referring to the latest edition of #TheFlixelProject, where we called upon visual storytellers to create a cinemagraph that obeys the theme Shadow Play. Well, 50 submissions, much deliberation and a few cups of the black magic (read: coffee) later, we’ve come to a decision. The winner of Flixel’s #TFPShadowPlay is none other than Munich-based photographer, Falk Lehmann.
Perhaps better known by his Instagram handle @klaftravel, I recently connected with the cinemagraph newcomer to discuss his winning entry, “Shadow Walking” (below).
With roots in Munich, Germany, Falk Lehmann is never too far from an adventure. Upon scrolling through his Instagram page, one might be overcome with a certain degree of jealousy: every other post finds Falk in a vastly different setting. From Austria’s mountaintops through the crystal-blue waters of Sumilon Island (Philippines), to as far as the Golden Gate bridge—all within a year, mind you—Falk’s appetite for travel is unequivocal. And it’s this desire to see the world that shapes his brand of photography. When navigating a new and foreign land, Falk tends to focus his art on the nature and landscapes that form a given space, as well as the people who inhabit it.
Speaking on his penchant for the image arts, Falk remarked “Since I am deaf, I have a strong visual perceptiveness, as I have to use my eyes, first, to explore the world.” Though his work suggests otherwise, Falk maintains that he’s still a hobbyist (a hobby he’s pursued for as long as he can remember). As for his experience working with cinemagraphs, well, he’s something of a neophyte. “I first learned of cinemagraphs through a friend, who introduced me to the #TFPShadowPlay contest.” The friend in question, Dominik Nimar, also assisted Falk with the winning shot, having inspired him to experiment with the novel medium.
A New Medium
Falk may be a newcomer, but the ingenuity of cinemagraphs is not lost on him. “I was very impressed with the magical power of cinemagraphs,” he said. “There are going to be so many cool new combinations in the form of picture and video.” In regard to his winning entry, Falk shed some light on his creative process. While out and about with Dominik, there was only so much juice left in Falk’s camera, which, in turn, created a sense of urgency. But then, something magical happened. “The sunshine came through at an optimal angle, casting a rich shadow along the bushes. Then we got the idea: as the people are frozen, their shadows could be awakened.”
While gathering the footage, both Falk and Dominik walked ahead, producing a pair of shadows just as they intended. However, and unexpectedly, another person trailed behind, casting their own silhouette along the bushes. To Falk’s surprise, though, everything lined up quite nicely. He was able to loop the cinemagraph at the perfect time, allowing for a seamless transition between the different sets of shadows.
Undoubtedly, this won’t be the last time Falk plays around with cinemagraphs. Just the other day, he posted a sophomore effort on his Instagram page. And considering Falk’s globetrotting ways, the world is truly his oyster. So, before bidding farewell, we needed to ask: what are 3 things he cannot travel without?
“My camera, a tripod and of course my passport!”
Bon voyage, Falk!
Check out more awesome cinemagraphs in the Flixel gallery, and keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram for the next round of #TheFlixelProject contest!