2017 Was A Great Year for Cinemagraphs
We mean it. Every year we see the Flixel community grow; not just in size, but also in the way they conjure their cinemagraph stories. We are absolutely amazed by the work that we’ve seen from cinemagraph artists all over the world, who continue to push the boundaries when it comes to this kind of visual storytelling. Their work helps write new chapters in the cinemagraph story, and this year is one of the richest, most detailed ones yet. Thousands of photographers are changing the way we see the world through their mind-bending timelapse cinemagraphs, stunning portraits, #travelgoals-worthy landscapes, and amazing commercial work for top brands and agencies. It’s because of this incredibly talented community that we can show why cinemagraphs are truly the next great medium in visual storytelling.
Our team looks at hundreds of cinemagraphs every single day, so it’s safe to say that we know what makes a great cinemagraph. As we wrap up 2017, and take a look back at the cinemagraphs that inspired us, made us think, and made us feel, we face a great burden of deciding which cinemagraphs are our favourite ones from 2017. A burden, because there are just so many to cinemagraphs to select, and calling simply one cinemagraph the favourite isn’t an easy task when we are wowed by hundreds of them on a daily basis. But, we persevered, and collected a small bucket from a well of beautiful cinemagraphs created in 2017 to share with you. Before we dive in, we want to say this: Thank you to the entire Flixel community. We deeply appreciate all that you’ve done, and cannot wait work with all of you in 2018 on the next cinemagraph chapter.
With that: here are (some) of our favourite cinemagraphs of 2017:
To me, this cinemagraph couldn’t be more perfect. The colour tones and composition, paired up with the contrast of still vs motion and that seamless loop, make this my favourite cinemagraph of 2017. Virgo’s not only created an ideal cinemagraph scene, but a story, too. I can picture a big group of friends goofing off around a bonfire, enjoying the last days of summer. So kudos to you, Virgo! We’re all super excited to see what else you create in 2018.”
—Cassandra King, Content Marketing Manager
“The best cinemagraphs start with a compelling photograph.They have great lighting, framing, form, texture, and color. If you paused the loop and looked at it as a still photo, you would still enjoy it. And unlike photo animations, the moving elements are natural, authentic and beautiful. Once a gifted photographer discovers the world of cinemagraphs, they begin to see things differently. Like Philipp, they find amazing scenes to capture on every street and around every corner.”
—Robert Lendvai, Chief Marketing Officer
“Sebastien Matthias Crazy Phoenix 16/9 goes against the grain of your typical cinemagraph, that favors subtle motion, and cranks it up, full on, with high energy motion that takes up most of the image. Great artists understand when to break rules, and this is a perfect example of how to do it well. If a portrait aims to capture the essence of a person, this cinemagraph manages to tell a deeper narrative than a still ever could, while not needing to dive into full video. It’s intimate, beautiful, artistic, fun, clever and ultimately humanizes its subject.”
—Phil LeBlanc, CEO
“There is beauty in spontaneity and there is beauty in subtlety. This cinemagraph is a beautiful blend between the two. Being a street photographer at heart, there are nuances of raw and real emotion in all of Jimmy’s cinemagraphs, and this one captures it oh so well.”
—Aaron Paul, Marketing Specialist
“This is a great example of one of my favourite cinemagraph techniques — using a still frame outside of the video that you record which contains the motion in a cinemagraph. Karanagaev created a mask that expresses a story through different panes in the photograph, resulting in a unique take on the concept of blending photo and video together in one medium. This is the kind of cinemagraph that makes people stop, and get lost in what the artist is communicating.”
—Karl Moskowsi, Developer
“My favourite cinemagraph was uploaded to Flixel at the very beginning of 2017. I love the symmetry! It exemplifies what makes a great cinemagraph: a beautifully framed and lit still image, with a subtle but captivating motion aspect. I think its an example of slowing down, and really taking the time necessary to get an incredibly beautiful piece of cinematography.”
—Julia Grandfield, Marketing and Product Designer
“Alexandre Miguel has been a part of the Flixel community from the beginning. Across his 4,000 cinemagraphs, you can escape to the beautiful beaches, mountains, and cities in his home of Portugal. Every year, he captures even more beautiful landscape living photos, and it becomes hard to decide what escape I want to have. This cinemagraph struck me because of the contrast in the people moving; those in the boat totally still, while a sudden rush of traffic on the bridge above moves by. The colouring and composition, with the rising mist, creates a really serene mood while viewing this cinemagraph.”
—Fred Atangan, Quality Assurance Manager
“One of my favourite new cinemagraph artists this year. A really amazing use of the loop feature. #perfectloop. I thought it was very well composed with the beautiful flowers and nature complementing the model quite well. A mesmerizing piece of work indeed, kudos to the artist.”
—Ali Moeng, Growth Marketing
“A dilapidated colonial bungalow sits amidst a grove of mango trees. A scrawny kid is on the verandah by his books, mesmerized by the eddies – relics left behind by a passing monsoon. His grandmother, watches over him from her faithful rocking chair, nuzzling her cup of tea as long shadows cast by the kerosene lamp dances across her wizened features. The air smells of petrichor and mangoes. And hope.
I get goosebumps when I see this cinemagraph. The good kind. You’ll notice that every one of Ashraful’s cinemagraphs are painstakingly colour graded, giving you a peek into his surreal otherworldly perspective. In this particular one, the erratic fluttering of the pages caught in the wind and the splash of liquid frozen in time are completely at dissonance with each other, and yet in harmony, making for a picture perfect moment.”
—Arun Krishna, Digital Marketing Manager
“Art should go beyond a pretty image, something appealing to look at, and evoke something in you. This cinemagraph by Fred Chalub, using my favourite technique perfectly, double exposure, does that for me. The imagery here is haunting and mysterious, I want to know more about this scene, who are these women with wisps of light floating through them? Where are we? What are we doing here? Should I feel afraid? Why do I feel afraid? Cinemagraphs are more than just moving images, they’re about telling stories, and this is the best story I’ve seen all year.”
—Brody Currie, Video Producer
“Great cinemagraphs transport you to a particular moment in time. Sometimes, you travel to beautiful places around the world. Other times, you can almost feel the gentle breeze making your hair flow beautifully. And then, there are cinemagraphs like this one by Brandon Voges, which are so deliciously indulgent. It’s a warm, inviting scene that instantly draws yours eyes in to the endless drip of the egg yolk, making you anticipate that first ooey, gooey bite. This is a great example of how cinemagraphs translate for any photography style. In the case of food photography, the motion of cinemagraphs remind you that food truly is an experience. Maybe it’s time I reinstate the breakfast experience every morning.”
—Mehek Seyid, Marketing Specialist
“A decrepit mannequin ushers us into a confined and unkempt room, drawing our eyes towards a primitive shrine laid out along the far wall where a lone figure shrouded in mystery awaits. The only semblance of life appears in the flicker of candles illuminating tokens strewn above the alter; crude representations of humans, casting eerie shadows across the wall as they writhe helplessly. The other mannequins look on with lifeless eyes. Dishevelled drawers hint toward a frantic departure from the previous guest. How we got here is not important, what matters is getting out..
Creating a visceral experience is a skill, giving birth to a nightmare is something else entirely. This haunting halloween cinemagraph by Benny Migs works in a myriad of ways to create a truly unnerving memory. Mig’s has a confident and considered approach to lighting and composition, and a masterful understanding of what makes our skin crawl.”
—Nick York, Customer Success Rep
“Mario Sahe-Lacheante is one of the early adopters of Cinemagraph Pro and has been delighting us with inclusive content, community involvement, and valuable insights since. He created a lot of thumb-stopping content in 2017 and choosing my favourite between his hypnotic London Eye Magnified cinemagraph and my final selection was tough. In the end, I chose Shoe Hand Warming for its understated qualities. I’ve always favoured art that conveys feelings of humor, whimsy, and the uncanny which is why I’m drawn to this cinemagraph in particular. My favourite aspect of this cinemagraph is the blurring effect surrounding the flame because it simulates reality in an otherwise impossible scenario. This subtle motion invites viewers to experience feelings of comfort and warmth in a very compelling way. Whether intentional or coincidental, finer details such as the mud on the boot and misplaced greenery are curious compositional features which represent earthly conditions in a supernatural setting. Overall, I think this is a strangely wonderful cinemagraph and I’m looking forward to seeing what Mario has in store for 2018.”
—Vikki Dziuma, Customer Success Leader
“The dream. A bottle of beer that keeps on flowing. It’s cinemagraphs like these that illustrate the thumb-stopping potential of using cinemagraphs for your advertisements.”
—Miguel Ocampo-Gooding, Web Developer
We cannot wait to see what the Flixel community has in store for 2018. Let us know in the comments below what some of your favourite cinemagraphs are from 2017!”
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