"Flixel was created as a result of seeing the incredible work of Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck (via their cinemagraphs.com site). After seeing this mesmerizing new artform, we set out to create a tool and a platform to bring it to a wider audience - the 'Polaroid' of cinemagraphs, if you will.
We owe Flixel's existence to the pioneering efforts of Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck, but we've also found a lot of other professional-level cinemagraph artists out there."
(Flixel Photos Inc., 2012)
"A little over a year ago, Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck mashed up fine-art photography with animated GIFs, and the 'cinemagraph' was born. Since then, a cottage app-industry has sprung up around this ingenious digital art form, offering everyday folks easy tools for creating artsy animated GIFs of their own. Now a new iPad-only app called Echograph is targeting professional and 'prosumer' imagemakers who want to get into the cinemagraph-making game.
If apps like Flixel are trying to be the Instagram of animated GIFs, Echograph is more like Photoshop Elements. It's pitched as a creative tool, not a social network or a digital-hipster fad. That's why it's designed for the iPad, which can display higher-resolution imagery and offer users enough screen space to subtly finesse the details of their animated compositions. 'We saw an opportunity to harness Echograph as a more professional medium that takes full advantage of DSLR and higher resolution videography,' Echograph CEO Nick Alt tells Co.Design."
(John Pavlus, Co.Design)
"GIFs are one of the oldest image formats used on the web. Throughout their history, they have served a huge variety of purposes, from functional to entertainment. Now, 25 years after the first GIF was created, they are experiencing an explosion of interest and innovation that is pushing them into the terrain of art. In this episode of Off Book, we chart their history, explore the hotbed of GIF creativity on Tumblr, and talk to two teams of GIF artists who are evolving the form into powerful new visual experiences."
(PBS Arts: Off Book, 7th Mar 2012)
"This short clip for Kanye West's new song 'Power' is more than just a music video, he says: It's a moving painting. He enlisted artist Marco Brambilla to put together an off-the-chain Age of Enlightenment throwdown full of swords and ladies in togas. Renaissance-era rappers better step their game up; it's time to learn what YouTube is!
Besides being artistically innovative, the video is a perfect glimpse of how Kanye sees the world all the time. When he walks into Rite Aid or wherever, you can be sure that in his head he's surrounded by columns and getting air-fived by the very hand of God."
(Emmy Blotnic, 06 August 2010)
"Earlier this month flickr announced that short video clips could now be uploaded to the popular photo site. Some photo purists were skeptical, even spawning a huge 'No Video on Flickr' group. After all, the sanctity of the best still images, rich in implied meaning, could be diluted by zillions 90 second video clips of someone's keg party (and we already have other sites, like YouTube for that). Flickr said the ninety-second limit was to encourage 'long photos.' There are contemporary videographers and filmmakers who have used video or film to create sublime still images: the best long photos. And one of my favorites is Godfrey Reggio.
I will never forget the first time I saw Koyaanisqatsi, Reggio's 1983 film about contemporary 'life out of balance.' I was mesmerized by his long drawn out shots. It gave me time to study the scene and, in part, that was the point: to stop moving and consider the consequences of going through life at an increasing interstellar speed. Sometimes there was lots of activity in the frame. But there were times when he pointed his camera at a scene that, on first glance, appeared to be a photograph. It was a still image with all the implications connected with still photography: observations of a slice of frozen time and a consideration of the photographer's framing and associations within that frame.
Yet given the chance to observe closely there was movement. The characters in this 'still' were breathing and blicking and moving. When I saw his scene of Las Vegas waitresses standing still but not still, I was blown away (the vernacular I used in the early 80s when I first saw the film). To this day it is my most favorite scene of any movie I have ever watched. I literally held my breath for its entire duration wondering how long it would go on. The intensity of that shot was immense. It forced me to really look. And that has always been my goal as a photographer: to make people observe what's going on inside my images for as long as I can. That is the mark of a successful photograph. Not so easy in a culture heavy with daily sound and sight bites always vying for our attention and beckoning us to move quickly from one to another."
(Jeff Gates, 21April 2008, Life Outtacontext)