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5 Ways to Make Your Cinemagraphs Pop

Not just another passing trend, cinemagraphs are here to stay. With apple’s recent release of it’s latest iPhone that includes “moving pictures” you know that cinemagraphs are on a lot of important people’s minds. Flixel has been working with a lot of major companies to create stunning ad campaigns and they are taking the advertising world by storm! So this gets us to the meat of this tutorial and that is “How do I make cinemagraphs that really pop and get people to notice them?”

A Cinemagraph Tour of Buddha’s Birthday in Korea

Lanterns Blowing in the Wind from Jason Teale on Vimeo.

If you haven’t noticed recently I have been putting a lot of time and effort into cinemagraphs, which are pictures that have a small area that moves. Many people think that these images remind them of the newspapers in Harry Potter. I personally think that they are a great wait to really draw a person into the frame. Cinemagraphs can be either in-your-face, where you can see right away what is moving or more subtle where just a tiny part is moving. I feel each has their place and I really try hard to find that point of interest.

Timelapse Cinemagraph Tutorial


One of the ways that you can make your cinemagraphs pop is by adding light trails to your cityscape cinemagraphs. However, the process isn’t exactly the same as making a basic cinemagraph. You have to use a bit of timelapse photography to get the look just right. When I started to get into cinemagraphs I immediately wanted to combine my love for cityscapes with the movement that I found in a cinemagraph. However, my first attempt didn’t turn out the way that I expected. It was because I used the same method for taking regular cinemagraphs which  does not allow you to keep the shutter open in order to create the light trails.

Flixel Cinemagraph Pro Tutorial


For this tutorial, I am going to take you through the steps to make a very basic cinemagraph using Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro for Mac. I am using the mac version because when you combine it with the power of a DSLR, it achieve a high quality cinemagraph. Of course, you can use their mobile apps but I find that this way produces a better result.

Choosing a subject

Cinemagraphs are all about movement and creating an illusion. You want to find subjects that have a consistent or repetitive movement. Water is always a great source to start with as it is relatively consistent and repetitive. Traffic and other subjects with a bit of flow can also be great subjects for cinemagraphs. The trick is to also find something that is stationary to anchor the frame.

Flixel Cinemagraph Pro


In the current world of photography people are always looking to do more with their photos. We are pushing resolutions so far that photos almost come to life. If you have ever wanted to take your photos just one step further and actually make them move than Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro is what you need.

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