Our first week back at MAET (Year 3) met us with new and challenging activities. The iCinemagraph was the first project of the summer. We were to take what we have read so far in Sparks of Genius, apply it to an area of our classroom content, and using Photoshop, create a GIF that evoked some new way of experiencing something for our viewers, or students, in a cinemagraph–an image that shows some repetitive movement against a static backdrop.

I chose a common theme in elementary school lessons–transportation. Specifically, transportation in a city setting. Transportation often comes up in our readings, math lessons and in social studies. It’s a topic that students seems to be interested in, but as ELL students, don’t often have the English words to elaborate. However, they have the experience living in big cities, and have observed many details while traveling through them. I wanted to create a cinemagraph that prompted them into discussions and/or writing about these experiences throughout our curriculum. My goal was to create a feeling of something missing in the city. I froze different aspects of a chaotic city in each cinemagraph to prompt our senses into replacing what was missing. Click on each photo below to see my cinemagraphs in action!

Bosphorus at Night

Traffic at Night


Each cinemagraph was challenging in its own sense. The water traffic cinemagraph was a bit too shaky when I took it. What I had to do was delete many frames of the video, copy and repeat frames to give a sense of real water movement. I spent hours perfecting the motion of water. In this scene too, my refining tool in Photoshop was especially hard for me to manipulate. However, by the time I got to my second cinemagraph, I was much more versed in how to use the tools in Photoshop. My problem then though, was to get the effect I was hoping for (freezing an aspect of a busy city) in the video I had already shot. I had a hard time manipulating my video, so I decided to use a free stock video to allow me to hone in on exactly what I wanted to evoke.

Too listen to my iCinemaphraph commentary, a version of what I have written above, click here.


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