Our community is at the heart of everything we do here at Flixel. The immensely talented creators who champion cinemagraphs, our company and one another help us build stronger relationships, create better products and change the way we see the world. Without their openness to collaboration, passion for cinemagraphs and willingness to share their work with us, we wouldn’t be able to show why we do what we do. Now, we want to celebrate these individuals who do the same for us every single day.
We would like to introduce you to The Creator Series, a brand new program that will take you into the minds of our brilliant community members behind the camera lens. Each month we will profile one of these incredible individuals to learn more about their journeys, inspiration and passion for visual storytelling. We are thrilled to launch our series today with New Zealand-based artist and Flixel Wizard, Jonathan Kane Houldsworth.
Jon Kane Houldsworth: Father, Visual Artist, Flixel Wizard
A single look at Jon Kane’s gallery will tell you that he has a keen eye for subtle details. Whether at home with his newborn baby and wife, or scoping out some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, Jon captures intimate delicacies in both grander instances and the everyday throughout his portfolio. “That’s the beauty of cinemagraphs,” he shared with us. “Like photography, they can still be captured in the moment.” He even keeps a lightweight tripod handy to seize those opportunities when they appear, and regularly shares his daily cinemagraphs on social media.
A spur-of-the-moment shot in Taipei during rush hour traffic that captured a stream of cars on a slow shutter while a man waited to cross the road. “It sort of brings in a subtle element of humor which I love, too,” explained Jon Kane.
While the early years of Jon’s visual career were marked with inspiration throughout the 80s (his grandfather’s polaroid camera), the 90s (his home video camera) and at the end of the 20th century (a Pentax 35mm), he truly found his calling when he learned the foundations of photography from a Scottish cinematographer. “He bestowed me his old Nikon FM2 and inspired my love of using both the still and motion image as a way to tell a story or spark the imagination,” he told us. That camera accompanied him across Central America and back to New Zealand, where he went on to working in film, television and at one point, deviated from exposures, shutter speeds and directing to become an entrepreneur.
Live Lokai, Instagram and Cannes: Jon’s Cinemagraph Story
Jon Kane Houldsworth’s winning cinemagraph from the 2016 Instagram Cannes Competition on ‘Water In Motion’
Although Jon has now found a balance in his current role as a Brand Communications Manager, he is always looking for ways to evolve his storytelling skills. Cinemagraphs are an answer to his calling. “Once you start creating cinemagraphs, you almost see the world through a new lens,” he described. “You’re always spotting those small repeating motions around you which, as a motion artist, opens up so many creative opportunities. I’m constantly discovering new ways to use them and just about every one I do is a new favourite!”
That’s how we feel, and we know we’re not the only ones. Jon has received significant recognition for his stunningly intricate cinemagraphs, some of which use mid-air subjects and timelapses to realize the imaginative. Between campaigns for companies like Live Lokai, features on Instagram and most recently, winning the Instagram Cannes Competition with a beachy nature cinemagraph that spoke to the theme of ‘Water In Motion’, Jon’s work screams visual mastermind.
But we’re more than happy to say it, too.