So this is pretty much my first go at the latest fashion in digital/web-based photography - the moving GIF. GIF files are just image files that move, or rather, a serious of image files that run continuously. You'll most probably have seen them used to show humorous clips from films that repeat themselves over and over again.
Well, someone had the great idea of using this file format to produce moving pictures. What's great about them, and what differentiates them from video, is that you isolate an area of the image that you want to show as movement, whilst everything else remains as a still photo. This allows you to draw the viewer's eye to elements of the photo, something that you would normally do through composition, lighting or focus, for example.
The principle is quite simple but in practice it doesn't always come out as smoothly as you'd like. One of the most important factor is a steady camera, so make sure you use a tripod. The effect works best when you choose a movement that is, by nature, repetitive (e.g. swinging, flapping, dripping) because then the final result won't look unnatural. Some things simply don't work well, others do. It's all about trial and error.
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