Monthly Archive for September, 2011

Cinemagraphs: “Stills” that move

Have you ever seen a ‘still’ photo move? Artists develop amazing cinemagraphs that take ‘stills’ to the next level. It is, in their own words, ‘something more than a photo but less than a video’. This submission is courtesy of Farhad Khurshed, a professional copywriter.

Two artists have created a new way to to record your special moments – pictures with movement. The ‘cinemagraphs’ look like still photos but actually feature a subtle area of movement designed to grab your eye and keep you looking. The effect is slightly eerie – but utterly captivating.

Hair-raising: Cinemagraphs may look like stills, but they feature a subtle area of movement designed to grab your eye.
These animated photos are the work of Jamie Beck (pictured) and her fellow artist Kevin Burg.

The picture of photographer Jamie Beck, one of the two behind the project, leaps off the screen when her hair starts to blow in a breeze. Miss Beck has worked with motion graphics artist Kevin Burg to make the cinemagraphs by using GIFs, a type of picture format similar to a JPEG which has been around since the invention of home computers.
Only now with broadband Internet are they bringing it to life with a startling effect. ‘Our cinemagraphs are a way of adding motion to a still image,’ Miss Beck said.

Cinemagraphs, Photos That Move

Turning a page: The cinemagraphs work by using GIFs, a type of picture format similar to a JPEG which has been around since the invention of home computers but has come into its own with broadband Internet.

In one shot of a crowded square, bodies are frozen in time, but one man quietly turns the pages of his newspaper.
Another photo of a restaurant terrace is brought to life by the reflection of a taxi going past in the window.

Cinemagraphs, Photos That Move, Moving Stills

Not as simple as they look: The more complex animated photos take the artists an entire day to pull together. In most cases, she shoots the photos and Mr Burg adds on motion-graphics over several hours of painstaking editing. The more complex ones take an entire day to pull together.

New York-based Miss Beck told The Atlantic magazine: ‘There’s something magical about a still photograph – a captured moment in time – that can simultaneously exist outside the fraction of a second the shutter captures. ‘We feel there are many exciting applications for this type of moving image.

Cinemagraphs, Photos That Move, Stills That Move

‘There’s movement in everything and by capturing that plus the great things about a still photograph you get to experience what a video has to offer without the time commitment a video requires.’ She added that sharing websites such as Tumblr have been essential for helping them publish their work and getting them an audience.

Eerie effect: Cinemagraphs are calming to watch as only one area moves – and they are silent
Cinemagraphs, Photos That Move, Stills That Move

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Pebbles Part Two

Don’t read this blog post until you’ve read part one. This is the ANSWER to last week’s test. CLICK HERE to determine if you can think creatively, out of the box.

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Think you’re smart? Take this test…

Creativity testThink you can think out of the box, laterally, creatively? Hmm… Let’s test you!

Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant’s beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant’ debt if he could marry the merchant’s daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. The cunning money lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter.

The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender’s wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant’s garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine you were standing in the merchant’s garden. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

  1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
  2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
  3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking. The girl’s dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking.

Think of the consequences if she chooses the logical answers.

What would you recommend the girl do?

Continue reading ‘Think you’re smart? Take this test…’

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