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Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking…

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“A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.” Oscar Wilde

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking…

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Newton’s Cradle via Wikipedia

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Computer Love

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Kettle Can Wait. Cinemagraph via AnnStreet Studio/From Me to You.

The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987[1] and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability… In 2012, the word “GIF” was officially recognized as a verb as well as a noun, meaning “to create a GIF file”… GIFs can be used for small animations and low-resolution film clips. The US wing of the Oxford University Press voted it their word of the year, saying that GIFs have evolved into “a tool with serious applications including research and journalism” Wikipedia

When I first read the Weekly Writing Challenge on Animated GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), which, in layman’s term, is a digital file with short, looping animated images/graphics, what came to mind were those garish, animated cartoon character images of the 1980s/90s. I used a few of them in PowerPoint presentations, saw them attached to good/bad jokes, and didn’t think further of the genre… Two decades later, the format has become quite popular.  It has moved from its early image of junior high school hijinks to political cartoons of the new millennium, and evolved into an art-form of sorts; becoming sophisticated, engaging, artistic and innovative. It recently gained additional muscle by being voted the Oxford University Press, Oxford American Dictionary, 2012 word of the year.  OUP chose Omnishambles as the 2012 word for the Oxford English Dictionary. The GIF has come into its own gaining kudos along the way.

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Waving Reef Cinemagraph

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Crushing Cigarette Cinemagraph via AnnStreet Studio/From Me to You.

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Always Time For the Paper Cinemagraph via AnnStreet Studio/From Me to You

Animated GIFs: The Birth of a Medium | Off Book | PBS

Katherine Martin, Head of the US Dictionaries Program, noted that “The GIF, a compressed file format for images that can be used to create simple, looping animations, turned 25 this year, but like so many other relics of the 80s, it has never been trendier…” Who knew that three letter abbreviation for a file format would one day gain such attention? As I investigated further, I found out that GIF now includes the truly hot  – Cinemagraph. Cinemagraph is a term coined by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg of (Read their Interview.) Cinemagraphs are still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs. For this post, I’ve included a few examples from Jamie and Kevin’s work, (collected on their Tumblr, From Me to You),  for your enjoyment.  Are GIFs ideal political cartoons for the millennium? Sure. About 51+% WP voters agreed with me. Is this art? Why not. More below.

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Rotating Earth gif

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… PCH Cinemagraph via AnnStreetStudio/From Me to You

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Hookah by Fire Cinemagraph via AnnStreetStudio/From Me to You

Even though a small percentage of WP voters (16.67%) claimed to not know what an Animated GIF was, and another 31.88% thought the idea was silly, the results showed that, as a community, we are willing to stop and consider the merits of a trending topic in the media and share what we think. If you are the hands on type, you can learn to how to make a Cinemagraph and/or even create your own GIFs. Go on. Try it! 🙂
What are your thoughts? Have you given much thought to GIFs?  Do you use them in your work?  Do share!  Thank you. 🙂

*Please bear with me as I catch up on your blogs and commenting… I’m back on track with reading and responding to your blogs; albeit at a slow pace. Thank you all for your patience! 🙂

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind The Gap – Animated GIF Are animated GIFs the stuff of junior high school hijinks or, are they the political cartoons of the new millennium? What do you think? Take the poll (below) and then explain your opinion by blogging about it on your site.

Positive Motivation Tip: Stay connected to your mind gaps… Explore the world and grow.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos GIF via Yahoo/The Atlantic Wire, Hot via Animation Library, Crushing cigarette, PCH, via AnnStreetStudio, Waving Reef Cinemagraph, Newton’s Cradle, Rotating Earth,  via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

53 Comments leave one →
  1. 27/11/2012 5:38 pm

    oooo , I love the waving reef ! It’s so subtle, like making a photo “come alive”.

    • 04/12/2012 12:48 am

      Yes… and that is the magic of Cinemagraph; subtle movements that stop you in your tracks. TY! 🙂

  2. 27/11/2012 6:39 pm

    Nice post Eliz! I too didn’t actually know what an animated gif was ..until now. Eye catching photography… But seems like a lot of work !

    • 04/12/2012 12:49 am

      It is a lot of work… and I added links to a tutorial but I’ll need a class to nail it down. TY! 🙂

  3. 27/11/2012 8:30 pm

    I think you did a fab job on this post!! I especially love the crushing cigarette…cuuuute shoes!!! This has been a fun challenge to follow…and yours has been simply delightful! Thanks!! 🙂

    • 04/12/2012 12:51 am

      TY Sunshine! I bet you did an awesome job too. 🙂 Yes, those Louboutin shoes are rockin’ 😉

  4. 27/11/2012 9:01 pm

    I like the newton’s cradle the best.

    • 04/12/2012 12:53 am

      Yes, I hear you! It is quite elegant and consistent too. 🙂

  5. 27/11/2012 10:33 pm

    Love this post! The first one is so subtle… love that. And really like the one crushing the cig and the guy reading the paper. Really good work!

    • 04/12/2012 1:09 am

      The cig and newspaper guy are quite amazing… The first shot with the kettle is awesome too. 🙂

  6. 27/11/2012 11:53 pm

    Fascinating Eliz! My fav is the balls going back and forth. This needs to be Freshly Pressed, how original

    • 04/12/2012 1:18 am

      TY Jackie! Quite a number of us wrote on the subject so who knows. 🙂

  7. 28/11/2012 1:40 am

    Enjoyed this post – very well made animations… 🙂

  8. 28/11/2012 1:46 am

    Very fun…I enjoyed looking for the animation–how much work goes into these?

    • 04/12/2012 1:22 am

      TY! I imagine a ton of work goes into creating them… especially the cinemagraphs. 🙂

  9. 28/11/2012 4:10 am

    I don’t know how you come up with this stuff but well done you. I looked at each one with a sense of wonder. Are’nt they amazing. as a man who cannot even post a picture on his blog, ( thats the end of my Freshly Pressed dream ), I am lost in admiration

    • 04/12/2012 2:03 am

      TY Peter ! We must get you to post a photo or two on your blog… It’s quite easy. Once you save a photo in your files, pick a blog post and open it in Edit mode. Above the text box are a number of choices: Click on Add Media. A new dialog box will open. Click Select Files/Upload Files. Your file folder will open. Choose Pictures/Your pictures file. Click Open and Scroll through and choose a picture. Click on it. Then click Open. It will immediately be transferred to the WP box. Look at the Attachment details. I usually add a Caption: My Blog title of the day. I leave the alignment at center and the size at large. Finally click Insert into Post. Then Save the post… Voila! Photo Uploaded. Try it. 😉

  10. 28/11/2012 4:55 am

    I love animated gifs and I’ve just downloaded a program on my laptop which creates them…I think. Not ahd time to practise yet. Well none on NaNO BTW!

    • 04/12/2012 2:10 am

      TY PiP and well done to you too!!! 🙂 Let me know if you find your program helpful. I’m thinking of learning it too; especially the Cinemagraph. 😉

  11. 28/11/2012 8:44 am

    Very enlightening Elizabeth. Not sure I have the patience to learn much more tech until next year. 😉

    • 04/12/2012 2:13 am

      I don’t blame you… Lots of time to do it in 2013. TY! 🙂

  12. 28/11/2012 9:22 am

    What a wonder-filled post, Elizabeth. I enjoyed all the animations, especially the boiling kettle one. 🙂

    • 04/12/2012 2:14 am

      I love that first one too… the romantic dance and kettle appealed to me. TY! 🙂

  13. Bree permalink
    28/11/2012 9:57 am

    What a revolutionary idea and good for you to make this techie topic interesting and easy for others to enjoy. It is kicking with those Cinemagraphs. They are amazing to look at!

    • 04/12/2012 2:16 am

      The Cinemagraphs won the day for me… The regular gifs are fun but that takes it to a whole new level. TY! 🙂

  14. 28/11/2012 11:09 am

    Fun to watch those animated gifs. My favourite is the one with the high heeled foot stamping out a cigarette but.

    • 04/12/2012 2:18 am

      TY Munchow and I believe it was a hit with many others… I’d love to see you create a few. 😉

  15. 28/11/2012 11:16 am

    Eliz, thank you for this well-researched and animated posting. The youtube video was so informative. Although I’m taking the opposite stance in my piece, I appreciate you showing the positives of this medium.

    • 04/12/2012 2:22 am

      TY Kozo and even though I’m still behind and catching up, I will check out yours soon. TY for your patience. 😉

  16. 28/11/2012 1:38 pm

    This is great, Liz. I saw the challenge and wasn’t sure what an animated GIF was – now I know a lot more about it. I love these! 😀

    • 04/12/2012 2:24 am

      TY Dianne! I’ve always been a fan of animation so this was a fun one to work on. 🙂

  17. 28/11/2012 3:03 pm

    I would love to learn how to make these! I didn’t know what they were called, but I always enjoy them when they appear. I’ll have to see if I can learn how to make one! 🙂

    • 04/12/2012 2:27 am

      Go for it and let me know when you’ve created one… I would love to see it. 🙂

  18. 29/11/2012 4:21 pm

    Amazing Animation! 😀

  19. 29/11/2012 9:49 pm

    totally cool. at first i didn’t see it. esp the boiling kettle 🙂

    • 04/12/2012 2:30 am

      Glad you looked again… All the photos have some movement… TY! 🙂

  20. 29/11/2012 11:37 pm

    I am speechless! These are all awesome animated GIF. I wish I am that computer talented. My favorite are the couple dancing. Love them all. Oh, yes, I would like to meet my blogger friend who inspired me a lot one day. Perhaps next year I get to visit NY again. God bless.

    • 04/12/2012 2:46 am

      Love the couple dancing too… and that boiling kettle in the frame… is awesome. TY! Yes, if you do visit, reach out and I’d treat you to lunch and a chat! TY! 🙂

  21. 01/12/2012 1:56 pm

    I never realized how beautiful a GIF can be! Like you I often think of the clumsy early animated photos but the high art shown in the video you shared are amazing. I wonder if they are difficult to make? Just a thought.

    • 04/12/2012 2:48 am

      Yes… particularly those fabulous Cinemagraphs! 😉 They require a steady and patient hand… I added a link to a tutorial. Check it out. 😉

  22. 02/12/2012 9:13 am

    Wow, you took that challenge to another level. I did not really understand it , but it works for you post. You did a fantastic job. 🙂

    • 04/12/2012 2:50 am

      TY so much for your feedback… It was lots of fun once I started delving into it and the real gift was the cinemagraphs. 🙂

  23. 06/12/2012 10:41 pm

    Wow I’d love to try a cinemagraph but I don’t have the right version of photoshop – or the skills! the cigarette crushing one is a bit spooky though

    • 16/12/2012 5:27 pm

      I think with a little effort you’d be able to create one… It’ll take time from what I read. There are smart phones that create them automatically with an app you download… is that cool or what! 🙂

  24. 21/12/2012 4:31 pm

    Fascinating! I love them all.

  25. Malorie permalink
    10/12/2014 10:40 pm

    Hello, everything is going well here and of course every
    one is sharing data, that’s in fact good, keep up writing.


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