GIFs are fun, but they lack audio and quality video-resolution. Youtube is fun, but sometimes you wish you could linger on your favourite image a little, maybe loop it infinitely. Instagram is fun, but let’s face it – it’d be more fun if those pictures moved and had sound. Like this:
The Living Photos channel features coubs which often fulfill the desire that photography originally fulfilled (i.e. preserving a brief moment forever), except that these images are animated and contextualised with audio. These coubs often have an uncanny quality: they can warp the briefest of moments into infinite durations, leaving us with no sense of beginning, middle or end. In short, they move like video, but they invite the kind of contemplation more often associated with photographs or paintings.
Sometimes these coubs can be very subtle:
And sometimes they can be explosive:
With the right choice of audio, the briefest of clips can be transformed into living, breathing worlds:
So, how do you get recoubed by Living Photos and have your coub viewed by more than 6000 followers? It’s usually good if the camera is static, just like a photo-camera. It also helps if just one item in the frame is moving, while everything else is stationary. This creates an uncanny mix of stillness and movement, photography and video, snapshot brevity and infinite duration.
If the movement in your clip is slow but noticeable, try using coub’s reverse button to create seamless repetition, matching the start and end of your loop to the start and end of the movement:
Well, if none of that has inspired you, all I can do is leave you with Chris, his teacup, and that withering gaze of his.