Ep 295: Bring your photos to life with cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs are the new black. Bring your photos to life with this clever technique to bring subtle movement into your shot. We break it down step by step so that you’ll be creating cinemagraphs like a pro before you know it.

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Show Notes


Julie Turley Photography

I needed some help today getting my Diet Coke open. Like Gina is to Nutella, I (Julie) am to Diet Coke. It was going to be a long day but it will be fine now. Thanks for the challenge #ginachallenge . What I found interesting is how hard it is to see the bright spots on something so little.


Brian Becnel

My husband had these “paparazzi” figures from several Christmas’ ago from a friend. Clearly, I’m borrowing Gina’s episode examples but with my Superhero spin.

The Superheroes are from the now defunct “Disney Infinity” video game and I thought perfect size/scale from my paparazzi pool.

I found corresponding wallpapers to use on my main Mac computer for each background.

This was fun!! (One BTS shot included for scale.)
Nikon d750, Nikkor 150mm f/2.8
SS 1/8th, ISO 200, f/11, small LED flashlights for lighting

Anthony Gibson

Some LEGO fun, oh and always get a permit to cut down trees in your local forest as LEGO Minecraft Steve found out.
A Canon 100mm USM macro 2.8 with natural light, processed in camera raw and photoshop

Chili Hilmer

Chili’s nose – taken with a macro adapter and a 21 mm vintage lens.


Cinemagraph Tools for Android and iOS and desktop


  • A camera/recording device that shoots high res video

Best Camera settings:

  • Record your footage in HD or higher
  • Shoot at 24 or 30 FPS to achieve a cinematic look.
  • A frame rate of 60-100 FPS is best for achieving slow-motion effects.
  • Set your shutter speed to roughly double your frame rate.
  • The frame rate refers to the number of still images or frames that are displayed per second.
  • The Shutter Speed refers to the amount of time the frame is exposed to light or how long the shutter remains open per frame
  • Eg if you are shooting at a shutter speed 1/60th it means that the camera shutter on a DSLR will remain open of 1/60th of a second.
  • Shooting at a higher frame rate and slowing this footage in post-production will give you a slow-motion, smoother look to your cinemagraphs

More info on shooting video with DSLR

  • Shoot multiple takes with consistent lighting, look for shade or shoot indoors with continuous lights
  • Final cinemagraph should be around 3 seconds
  • Shoot multiple 10-second clips and edit down to a 3-second loop
  • Ask your models to stay as still as possible
  • Cinemagraphs must be created with stable, static video so a tripod is essential

1. Planning

  1. Good cinematography should include a sense of surprise or unexpected.
  2. Ideally, you want to plan an image that contains two elements that should be moving.
  3. To create a more intriguing or classy looking cinemagraph one element in the scene is moving and one element is static.
  4. Subtle movement looks best
  5. For your first cinematograph pick a simple uncluttered background like a wall
  6. Shoot in even lighting like outside in open shade ( not dappled light) or indoors
  7. Find something to freeze that moves repetitively like a bike, skateboard or roller skate wheel, fan spinning

Traditional video version

  1. Shoot 5-10 second clip
  2. Open clip in photoshop
  3. Trim to best 3-5 seconds ensure in and out points are the same for a seamless loop
  4. Edit/grade clip
  5. Select a still frame
  6. Create a copy
  7. Mask still frame to reveal video underneath

For more complicated images such as fabric or hair duplicate video clip and reverse duplicate to create a boomerang clip.
Clips can be reversed in premiere pro or iMovie or android or IOS apps

Reverse Movie FX (Free)
FilmoraGo (free)

For best results file should be exported as a GIF

Merge a still image with a video

Animate a single image


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About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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