A little more than a picture, its a GIF


Last week was the two year anniversary of Taylor Takes a Taste. Its a little late, but here is a cupcake to celebrate! Notice anything different about the cupcake?

No, you are not seeing things. The flame on the cupcake is moving! What you see above you is something called a GIF. Gif stands for Graphics Interchange Format. While this type of file has been around since the 1980’s, I recently came across this amazing work by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg called Cinemagraphs,  I was blown away at how they have pushed the limits of what GIFS can do and the creativity that they have used them in.

Until coming across Jamie and Kevin’s work, the most common uses I have seen for GIFs have been of sports hilights and memes traveling through reddit or on twitter. What Jamie and Kevin have done has inspired me to try some of my own! Now there are some limitations to what Gifs are capable of. I am looking at them more as parameters as opposed to limitations. The only real limitation is your creativity and ability to problem solve.

Lets look at a normal jpg that I would shoot of a cupcake

While this is a pretty shot, it could be more interesting. We all know that when a flame is lit on top of a candle it flickers around and doesn’t stay till. By turning the image into a GIF, I am able to show that movement. Here is a look at the GIF again.

Notice how the moving of the flickering candle adds movement and interest to the image. The animation is running on a loop, so it will continue to flicker back and forth without stopping. The possibilities of  this are truly endless! It is a great way to show movement with food that usually wouldn’t be there. Instead of having a motion frozen with a shutter speed, you can show that movement.

There are some limitations however.

1. to keep the filesize small and manageable for web viewing, the animation can’t be too long.

2. This is the biggest draw back. GIFs color memory can only support 256 colors. Notice how the colors between the normal jpg and the GIF are different. The GIF looks flatter and a little washed out. When making a GIFF, you need to keep in mind what color range you will have in the image.

With it being a new year, it is a great time to try new things! I have a lot more testing and playing around before I give you a guide of how to make your own GIF, but there will be one in the future.

Have you ever made a GIF before?

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  1. says

    I’d love a tutorial on GIFs as I’ve never known where to start with them. I must admit that I hadn’t thought of using them in a food blog either but you make it work and it definitely adds interest!

    • says

      Sarah, Shumaila, and AnnGlad you liked the GIF. I need to do a lot more testing before I write a tutorial, but I will probably do one in the next month or so. Thanks for the comments!

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