So I've seen these high quality photographs on Instagram which look like they are Combination of motion & still photographs. I mean some parts of the image is still just like a normal snapshot while some other details are moving. What is the name of this technique? Does it need specific imaging equipments or is it done with a specific software? In what file format are they uploaded to Instagram? I presume, they are not JPEGs, PNGs or RAWs, are they? Here is one example of what I mean:

Hurricane Irma By Rizcky Soedarsono


3 Answers 3


Cinemagraphs are composite images using a variety of source material combined into a single image.

By the time they are uploaded to Instagram or similar sharing sites they are GIFs or in other common video file formats, but they are normally created from a set of still images or from manipulating elements within a single still image to make it look like some of the elements are moving.


These are known as Cinemagraphs. There are a number of tools out there for creating them. One I know of (but have never used) is Flixel. Searching for "cinemagraph" should turn up forums where people share them and software for creating them.


These are cinema graphs, taken as normal photo, but they are edited in way in such that focused object seems still and background is xposed through optical illusion

Some people use Lightroom or Snapseed(For phone )to create this kind of illusion.

  • 3
    There's no illusion involved -- a cinemagraph simply combines still and moving components.
    – Caleb
    Sep 12, 2017 at 12:28
  • 1
    Sometime there is plenty of 'illusion' involved as what appears to be moving is, in fact, material from a single still frame that is stretched and moved to simulate motion.
    – Michael C
    Sep 12, 2017 at 19:26

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