The Cinemagraph: A Haunting Photo/Video Hybrid

As gim­micks go, the mov­ing GIF is almost as old as the inter­net itself. But artists Jamie Beck and Kevin Berg have tak­en their ani­mat­ed pho­tographs, or “cin­ema­graphs,” as Beck calls them, far beyond the orig­i­nal gim­mick. While some of their images tend towards kitsch, fea­tur­ing clich­es like long hair rustling in the breeze, or wine pour­ing from a bot­tle, the duo (see a col­lec­tion of their pho­tos here) has also pro­duced sev­er­al shots of star­tling beau­ty: A sin­gle news­pa­per page rus­tles in a frozen park. The reflec­tion of a taxi­cab glides like a ghost across a win­dow. A beau­ti­ful woman sud­den­ly seems to catch you star­ing at her. The effect is pure para­noia, like ear­ly Polan­s­ki, or a morn­ing walk on no sleep.

So is the cin­ema­graph the future of pho­tog­ra­phy, or just a neat trick? You can join that debate over at flickr.

Thanks to Eric Strenger and @eugenephoto for the tip.

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.


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