Fickle Flame Flickers


For me, first impressions of this assignment included dread and fear. The 30-minute long tutorial seemed quite daunting, and, once again, I had to hone my seldom-used creativity and vision skills. Yet, by the end of this assignment, I found I truly enjoyed the process!

I thought that incorporating water into my cinemagraph would be a clever project with a fluid—haha—process. So I started with some original material of me water-falling water into my mouth. After many failed takes, and a soaked shirt, I thought I finally got some workable footage. When I put it through the photoshop mill, however, it failed horribly. Firstly, my facial expressions were just too embarrassing. Also, I moved my face around too much to get the water, and only the water, in the motive part of the gif.

I still wanted to use some original footage, so I scoured my photo library for a video that was as still as possible. Fortunately, I came across this sweet shot of a candle on a winter day back in Pennsylvania. It was stable enough that I didn’t have to deal with background motion, and had enough movement to still create an impactful gif. After dealing with a couple of failed water bottle takes, doing the photoshop logistics on the candle video was a breeze.

What I love about this cinemagraph is the stillness of the flame reflection in the window. Without that feature, this gif would just look like a normal video. Also, it is not quite clear that it was snowing outside during the video. Perhaps next time I’ll call mother nature to tell her to make it snow harder. That way, I could include the image of the mid-freefall snow in the background. Or, better yet, have snow falling in the background as the candle flame is still. Maybe I’ll call that one “Slick Snow Skydives”.

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