how to make cinemagraphs on your phone

As you might have spotted, I’ve become a bit obsessed with cinemagraphs over the last 12 months. Creating them is easier than it looks, & I’ve had lots of requests to share the process, so I’ve finally made a video to help you get started.

Because I’m time-poor and really like lying down, I make almost all of mine using my phone. You can also make them using your DSLR + Photoshop, but it’s a little more of a lengthy process, and not quite so easy to do in the middle of the moors.
So, here’s how to make cinemagraphs on your phone (I’m on iPhone 6S & a Google Pixel, fwiw).

A few things to note:

1. So far I’m just shooting and editing on my iPhone. You’ll get much better results using a DSLR & the desktop software, but as my time is so limited, I’ve been using the more forgiving iPhone to work my way through the learning curve.

2. You need to look for movement as well as a beautiful composition. A good cinemagraph is a beautiful photo in its own right; the movement just enhances it.

3. You must use a tripod or other steady mount. No matter how steady your hand is, you cannot film cinemagraphs whilst holding your camera. I swear by my dinky little guerrilla tripod, but you can also make your own or improvise. This is non-negotiable; to give you an idea of how steady you need to be, even filming in an idling car gives too much camera shake.

4. Your first efforts will suck. Isn’t this true with all things creative? Accept this now and commit to doing them anyway. It’s an essential part of learning the dynamic of them, and once you’ve nailed it you’ll be home free.

5. There’s only one ‘true’ cinemagraph app recommended here, simply because all the other apps I’ve found are either not available outside the US, are now defunct or have mysteriously disappeared – leaving one market leader who can therefore pretty much choose their own price point. Because this is pretty steep, I’ve shared a couple of other, cheaper, sneakier ways to go about creating moving photo style content to share on Instagram and beyond.

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Finally, one of my resolutions for 2017 is to post more videos and tutorials to YouTube, so if you’re not already following me, please come over and subscribe here!

You can see more of my cinemagraph posts here and here, and of course, over on Instagram.

Now, who’s for a drink? ??

Questions? Ideas? Leave me a comment here or on the video! 

 

  • This is awesome, loved your video explaining it!

    Arden | Missing Wanderer

  • Paula Solar

    Another master class by Sara Tasker… I love learning from you and adding all that knowledge to my photography notebook along with your previous little lessons (little but huge, if you get my meaning) and all the things I’m learning in my photography course. I can’t thank you enough…

    I shall try cinemagraph, at least for my stories, but first… I need a tripod πŸ˜‰

    Happy week! xxx

  • Thank you for sharing all your instagram tips! πŸ™‚ x

  • Sarah Pitt

    Thank you for that Sara. Really interesting. I’ve been having fun with the Lumyer app but can’t for the life of me work out how to not end up with Lumyer in the right hand corner! Not a huge problem for me but I’d love to know if you have a moment xxx thank you xx

  • Tiril

    Thank you so much for this turtorial! I’m trying it out now with the iMovie + Vidlab cheat (I’ve never used any of them before). But I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make a actual still clip in iMovie! It moves slightly (like it’s zooming or something), and I cannot figure out how to turn of the movement; do you know how to? (In your movie it seems like the movement has already been turned of, like a setting, but I just cannot find that setting).