Cinemagraphs: A New (and Pretty) Take on GIF

One new idea for every day in 2011. We're talking big, small, local, international, in action and on the drawing board. Here's today's -- what's yours?

Technology has come a long way since the first zoetropes (China, 180 AD), films (late 19th Century), and even GIF file-types, which enabled Internet-based artists to upload compressed sequences of photos and drawings in single files, loosely imitating videos.

Photographer Jamie Beck and motion graphics artist Kevin Burg write that their work lands somewhere in the middle.

The two New York-based artists combined forces and are now the pioneers of what they call cinemagraphs. These files utilize sequences of hi-res photographs and GIF animation technology to " 'unfreeze' a photo in time."

By nature, cinemagraphs can only exist online, but they provide a rare combination of old-school cinematography and retro technology that yields a captivating result.

"There's something magical about a still photograph ... that can simultaneously exist outside the fraction of a second the shutter captures," writes Beck. 

To see more of the duo's cinemagraphs, check out Beck's Tumblr.

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