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Make a Unique Cinemagraph in Four Simple Steps

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A cinemagraph capture a moment of fluid motion in one aspect of an otherwise still image.

Do you fancy making your own? We’ve got four tips to get you started.

1) Plan what you’re going to capture and try to keep it simple. For example, a record spinning on a player works a treat, or for a first time attempt try a cup of water, or a coin spinning. We used a reliable cup of tea and some springy reindeer deely boppers.

2) After you’ve planned what you’re going to film, MAKE SURE YOU USE A TRIPOD! It’s so important to have a steady shot or else the cinemagraph won’t work. Well, it will work but it won’t look good. It will look very, very bad.

3) Film your subject and make sure it’s crystal clear. Try to film in anything above 24 frames(this isn’t vital but will make the quality a little better) then go ahead and import it into Photoshop.

4) The next steps are all brilliantly explained in this video tutorial by Phlearn,

Here are the final results!

Cool, eh?

“That’s all very well!” we hear you cry, “but you’re an agency with fancy cameras and a history of crafting beautiful films, gifs and images. You’re over simplifying this, surely?” It’s true, we love good camera at BrandContent, and we’re pretty savvy editors too, now you mention it. But cinemagraphs really do just need time, patience and willing.

Our creative social content and video producer, Adam Russell, used a DSLR camera with a standard lens. “All you need to ensure is that the lighting is nice and that the scene you are framing looks cool! No one wants a nice cup of tea in pitch black do they? Remember, when uploaded to the internet GIF files are compressed, because they need to loop and load quickly, the quality of your footage can be a bit grainy. With this in mind, you can even use your iphone or smartphone, and you can even stylise the clip to lessen the quality and make it look vintage!”

He said “If you have too many vivid colours in the original image, that can cause you problems, so that’s something to consider when shooting”.

If you’d like to include cinemagraphs in your brand’s social and content campaigns, we’re happy to help! Just drop an email to

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Sharon Flaherty

Hi, I’m Sharon the Managing Director of BrandContent. Day-to-day I oversee client satisfaction and carry out strategic client work. I work on both established financial services brands as well as challengers and love working on both. In a previous life, I was a journalist at the Financial Times and worked in-house for brands including the MoneySuperMarket Group and leading their Content, PR and Social divisions.

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