Portuguese multimedia artist and Flixel Wizard Alexandre Miguel is the most prolific cinemagraph creator in the Flixel community. A champion of living photos for years, Alexandre’s stunning portfolio of landscape and cityscape cinemagraphs now inspire new enthusiasts to explore the medium and their own creative potential. In this episode of The Creator Series, we take a look at what draws Alexandre to cinemagraphs and what sparks the imagination behind his collection of over 4,000 living photos.
Let There Be Light
The golden hours of the day occur at both sunrise and sunset, when natural lighting is at its best and creators find their “Ah-ha!” moments. It’s this particular time that ignited Alexandre’s deep fascination with the way light moves as a child, something that he still encounters in his work today.
“It connects me to an inner silence where everything ceases to exist and only the moment and the feeling that you are living, it’s a kind of peace,” he shared. “It’s something that burns inside, burning in the creative way because you feel alive, you are feeling the amazingness of the creation.”
As a multimedia artist, being enabled to capture those brief but powerful moments instantaneously is critical to Alexandre’s commitment to the field. While receiving his first camera at the age of 6 and learning about the principles of cameras and photography at his grandmother’s, Alexandre was not fully immersed in the experience because of how long it would take to see the results with film cameras. As the industry shifted towards digital, he found himself delving into still photography and videography more and more. When he identified the quick turnover and boundless storytelling of cinemagraphs that could be created using Flixel’s products, he knew he wanted to completely jump into what is a highly competitive field.
Alexandre Miguel Captures Moments with Cinemagraphs
With camera technologies evolving to include better video capabilities and the endless imagination behind cinemagraphs, Alexandre noted a direct relationship between the two. “It’s a harmony between the technical side that you need to have and the learning on how to explore it and achieve the loop or the feeling that you want to express in a cinemagraph.”
Cinemagraphs became more appealing to Alexandre as he realized the way they live in the digital realm. “I think it’s the next standard,” he said. “I really love that they are related to silence at the same time. They connect you to a moment or a view, but they don’t enter the audio or the sound of the computers and the television. Cinemagraphs are the art of this moment.” Alexandre has honed his craft with a similar sentiment.
Comparing it to the spontaneity of street photography, his work in cityscape and landscape cinemagraphs leans towards capturing views as naturally as possible rather than manipulating them. That brings a renewed sense of adventure into the mix, particularly in instances where Alexandre goes as far as chasing lightning strikes for the perfect cinemagraph (which, coincidentally, was his 1000th cinemagraph).
Focusing on the real-time elements at play brings audiences into the fold of those momentary silences, giving them the opportunity to develop their own appreciation of the vivid and vast world that surrounds us. Successfully bridging that gap between those on their devices and the sights that can define us through cinemagraphs is a marked sign of a true storyteller; that’s exactly who Alexandre is in every facet of his work.