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.
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.