If you aren't familiar with cinemagraphs, they're best described as images that take animated .gifs to to the next level. Pioneered by visual artist Kevin Burg, a cinemagraph is composed of a series of images — like a movie or an animated .gif —but only one component of the image is left moving. Closer to a photo than a video, the visual effect ranges from visually stunning to comical.
The great thing about cinemagraphs is that really anyone can make them. You don't need anything beyond a camera and Adobe Photoshop, as illustrated by this Photojojo tutorial, but the easiest way, hands down, is to use an app called Cinemagr.am, which combines Instagram and cinemagraphs. While the sharing feature of the app is a little lagging, it makes cinemagraph creation fun and instant.
Simply take a video, mark the portion of it you'd like to animate, and you have a cinemagraph like this one, or the one above. You'll notice cats make especially good cinemagraph subjects.
Easy, isn't it? And don't fret, Android users — Cinemagr.am should be on its way to your devices soon.
(Images: Ambika Subramony)