Create moving pictures with the Cinemagram iPhone app

Mar 26, 2012
Tech

When I say “moving pictures” you might think I’m just acting old-timey for the sake of referring to movies. Not when it comes to the Cinemagram app for iPhone and camera-equipped iPod Touch. This handy animator adds complexity to your images and the result is a really cool photo-video hybrid. Getting started with Cinemagram is […]

When I say “moving pictures” you might think I’m just acting old-timey for the sake of referring to movies. Not when it comes to the Cinemagram app for iPhone and camera-equipped iPod Touch. This handy animator adds complexity to your images and the result is a really cool photo-video hybrid.

Getting started with Cinemagram is easy, especially because you don’t immediately have to register for an account. The app definitely has a learning curve, so plan on spending some time with it. Don’t worry, though, it’s fun to mess around. With Cinemagram, you’ll shoot a brief video. The steadier you’re able to hold the camera, the easier the end process will be. After you’ve shot your clip—recording will turn off automatically—you’ll select a two to three second portion to use as your Cinemagram. Using your finger, you’ll then paint a section of the image that you want to animate. Slap on one of the filters to enhance your look and the result will be a static image with a moving section.

That doesn’t sound all that exciting in written form, but the impact of a Cinemagram image can be striking, depending on how you use the app. All Cinemagrams can be shared with the Cinemagram community, so you can browse through others’ recent creations for inspiration on what to photograph. I find the most interesting images to be the unexpected—a still person staring in the mirror at their moving reflection captures my interest, for example. Conversely, a close-up of streaming water from a fountain isn’t as exciting, simply because the effect isn’t anything that regular video wouldn’t provide without the perspective of nothing moving in the surrounding area.

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Cinemagram is free and seeing these images in action for yourself is worth the time it takes to install this app.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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