Cinemagraphs and Plotagraphs are a still images with subtle isolated movement that run in an endless loop.
A cinemagraph is based on video footage where all but some movement has been ‘frozen’.
A plotagraph is based on a still image in which elements of the image are manipulated so they appear to move.
Cinemagraphs will normally appear more ‘natural’ as they are based on actual video footage.
Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio are often referred to as the inventors of cinemagraphs. Troy Plota is the creator of the plotagraph. Normally, I create my “moving photos” in Photoshop and not with an app so I can control all aspects of the image.
I create scenes that have visual interest even without the addition of movement.
I don't often create a cinemagraph just for the sake of the cinemagraph.
The ‘still’ image needs to be well-made, well-composed and interesting. I keep in mind composition, color, lighting and all of the other elements that are important in creating a good still photograph.
The photograph needs to be able to stand alone - even without the added movement.
You've got the viewer on your page, now you want them to stay
…even for just a few seconds more.
Initially, the image looks like an a nicely composed scene. But suddenly, there is movement that makes you look again.
Adding movement keeps viewer engaged on a page just a little longer. It can even make them curious as to what other surprises they might find around on your web site or page.