My Blog

28 Apr


Feeling the surroundings in a photograph

For my second blog post I wanted to look into solely cinemagraphs as I like the simple look, where there is slight movement but it is mainly still.

I wanted to focus on surroundings so I explored that within cinemagraphs. I chose this because I liked the simple look within my self portrait. I didn’t want much going on so I focused on one particular part of each video I took. To get an idea of what I wanted to portray within my work I looked at different artists such as Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck.

‘A cinemagraph is a living moment in an otherwise still photograph. It exists in the world in
between a photograph and video to bring to life the image and make it last forever.’
(Burg and Beck, 2011)

They work with minimal movement within their cinemagraphs, creating a very simple look. In all their work there are little parts of the image moving to create an idea of the surroundings and the feel within that place.

Cinemagraph 2 ref
Burg and Beck 2

I like how you have a sense of feeling even from not being at the place by the way the little movement. Such as the record playing in the second image, even though you cannot hear what is playing you have a sense of what the atmosphere is like. I like how there isn’t much going on but you can have more of a sense of surrounding than when the photograph is still. Within a still photograph you are unable to picture it in the same way as a cinemagraph. This is what I want to portray in my own work and show off my feelings of the surroundings I am in within my self portrait for the viewers to feel what I was experiencing.

I like reflection and water, so I wanted to create a cinemagraph that included this aspect of my interests, however I was going to create reflection within puddles but there hasn’t been any rain recently. The sun recently helped out though for the lack of rain, I was interested in the shadows created by people walking about and movement of trees in the wind.

I found inspiration from Jens Nuehlen’s Cinemagraph images of shadow and reflection. This photograph focuses on the movement of the water but not by the actual movement of the subject but the reflection it gives off on the tree near by. I like the way the artist has created a different view on seeing movement and reflection.


Within my first cinemagraph edit I created movement through the shadows of the trees moving in the wind. To show my surroundings I picked out all of the movement of the shadows. I did this on photoshop, using a video. I wanted to create a cinemagraph that showed the shadows of my surroundings without showing what the actual surroundings were making the viewer wonder what is moving. Instead of reflection of water I concentrated on the shadows the sun had created of the nature and trees around moving in the wind. However because it was windy the tripod wasn’t as stable making the shot move. For next time I would need to think about how to stabilize the tripod so that the movement flows, maybe with sand bags or something heavy to hold it down.


I then explored the actual movement of the trees and a different angle, to portray myself in a different way.

Cinemagraph screenshot gif image

I created this cinemagraph by duplicating the video and creating a still within it. I then painted over all the areas I wanted to be moving. I then created a loop by using the first clip of the video on the end of the main clip, so that the movement didn’t jerk and so that it ran smoothly throughout.

moving trees

The movement of the trees creates a sense of what the environment is like and my own feeling in that area. By keeping myself still it makes the viewer imagine how I am feeling through the movement of the surroundings even without any expression on my face.