Animated GIFs as a well respected art form?

Who DOESN’T love an animated GIF.

Michael Scott Dancing Spiderman

Whether it’s Michael Scott parkour-ing into The Office or a flamboyant dancing Spiderman, they have been brightening the days of those who receive the tiny, repeating images in emails from bored co-workers & friends since the internet began. Most of of the GIFs back then included alot of sparkle and flash, and usually resulted in making the internet something that hurt to look at.

That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I very recently came across a new version of the animated GIF (I use that term loosely), that brings a whole new life and dimension to the art of photography.

Cinemagraphs.

The cinemagraph, a photo/video hybrid that I feel is miles further from anywhere dancing Spidey could go, was created by visual artist Kevin Berg, and fashion photographer Jamie Beck, both out of NYC. Beginning with a traditional photograph, it plays out a real life moment within a still image. By marrying the same GIF style of isolated animation with the photograph, it creates a mesmerizing and almost haunting cinematic effect that is most definitely an up and coming respected art form.

Their idea of a true living portrait started taking shape earlier this year, launching virally through social media sites like Tumblr and Twitter, and was widely used throughout NY Fashion Week back in February. Some big names in the fashion world have already been “cinemagraphed”, including Christian Louboutin & Oscar de la Renta. Potential ad campaigns in the near future? In our digital world of tablets, computers, e-readers and smartphones, it can help bring articles and high end advertisements to life.

Some I found beautiful yet almost a tad eerie – a still image of Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha that suddenly shifts her eyes to yours,…. or watching a yellow cab reflection silently pass by a window outside a seemingly empty street cafe. Overall I  think they have an amazing effect that keeps me wanting to see more!

Below are 7 of my favorites that I found:

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