WINNER! Here’s my submission for the Cinemagraph Contest. I shot this at Patricia Beach, just outside of Winnipeg on Canada Day long weekend with my Panasonic GH2, and the 25mm Voigtlander f/0.95 lens, ISO100. Rather than take a bunch of stills, I’ve found it makes a lot more sense to take a bunch of video and piece together the cinemagraph from that. Doing it that way allows for some happy accidents like the bird flying overhead. That happened at a much later part of the shot, but I just comped in that one frame where I wanted it.
All of the tutorials I see online recommend you use Photoshop to make these Cinemagraphs, but that seems like the wrong tool for the job… I used Adobe After Effects, since it’s built for manipulating video. It’s much easier to make things loop properly since you can cross fade the layers over time, and make non-destructive adjustments to your masking which allows for a lot more experimentation and refinement. I did use Photoshop for the final export to an animated GIF, but other than that, it was totally assembled in After Effects.