NYC Photographer Jamie Beck Discusses The Cinemagraph

Jamie Beck has taken the concept of animated photography to a whole new level with the Cinemagraph. Teaming up with visual graphics artist Kevin Burg, the duo have created some of the web's best animated photos. You may remember the craze back in the 90s when animated Gif images were used to make logos look that extra cool. Well let's take that concept to 2011 with a whole new level of artistic vision using the full scope of digital technology, from high quality DSLR cameras to prime lenses and photo editing software.

Jamie's pictures are now considered a go-to reference for animated Gifs on the web and her mini-films have started a cult following, as other photographers seek to adapt to the style. The Cinemagraph has huge potential from re-inventing advertising, to making website design more interactive. Imagine a film poster that's animated or a company logo that tells a story. Expect to see this format more widely used on the web in the future and its creative implementation into all things digital. Get some insight into Jamie's super-trendy pictures, and enjoy her picture portfolio below.

Interview with Jamie Beck

Iain: How did you come up with the concept of 'cinemagraphs' with Kevin Burg? Was there a particular need to create animated images for a particular project?

Jamie: Cinemagraphs capture a delicate part of life and capture the fleeting moments of time, the beat of a city or the breath of a human. It is alive and lives forever whereas a photo is frozen and a video is a linear description of time and can only be engaged through the act of pressing play. A picture says a thousand words but a Cinemagraph takes you there. Visual Graphics Artist Kevin Burg began experimenting with the .gif format in this style in 2009 but it wasn't until we partnered to cover New York Fashion Week in Feb 2011 that Cinemagraphs were born. Marrying original content photography with the desire to communicate more to the viewer birthed the cinemagraph process.

Iain: What kind of software did you use, and did it take a long time to create each image?

Jamie: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects / Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 1D Mark IV, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 24mm-105mm. We are also experimenting with the RED Epic and the Phantom line of cameras for future projects

Shooting a Cinemagraph is not unlike a traditional photo shoot. It can be a time consuming process or an brief moment captured on the street. The post-production process takes on average a day to complete per Cinemagraph.

Iain: Can you tell us about the cameras and lenses you prefer to use for your fashion and street photography?

Jamie: Day to day I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 1D Mark IV, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 24mm-105mm. I also like to mix it up with older technology sometimes shooting in film with either my Leica M3 or old pentax 35mm camera or even sx-70 Polaroid cameras loaded with Impossible film. I also like the fuji instax and carry that everywhere for "snapshots"

Iain: Are there any photographers that inspire your creativity? 

Jamie: Absolutely! I'll never forget the first fashion photography book by Norman Parkinson I looked through, it was a life changing moment for me, as if I had found where I belonged. A photography world existed that was real- not just in my head. I also admire the work of Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, Jakob Tuggener, Sally Mann, Arthur Elgort, Ellen Von Unwerth among many other visionaries.

Iain: If you could work with anyone in the industry, who would it be?

Jamie: I would love to shoot Marion Cotillard, she is a muse-

Jamie Beck : Cinemagraph Portfolio

Check out Jamie's Cinemagraphs
Jamie Beck Photographer Blog

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