Elyan Parker: Cinemagraph Teacher Extraordinaire

From self-taught pioneer to teacher: gallereplayer Elyan Parker has mastered the art of the cinemagraph and is now on a mission to share his learnings with other photographers.

Having created a number of iconic cinemagraphs and worked for large brands, Elyan Parker is widely recognized as a pioneer of the genre. Now the Frenchman has made it his goal to share his learnings with other photographers and help them on their path to becoming expert cinemagraphers. To get his students started, Elyan has created a Photoshop Cinemagraph Kit, which includes what he calls a “Photoshop hack” (consisting of tools and presets he uses), video tutorials and access to a private Facebook support group. We caught up with Elyan to discuss his new role as a teacher.

An example of how Elyan Parker has perfected the art of the loop.

gallereplay: Elyan, what first inspired you to start teaching others how to create cinemagraphs?

Elyan Parker: I’ve been creating cinemagraphs for years now. I’ve worked for international brands and I’ve had pretty good success with them. I had been struggling with making a living with photography and I’m not sure it would have been possible without cinemagraphs. I have seen so many great photographers struggling with their art, who were not even aware that cinemagraphs existed. That’s when I decided to share my story and success with them. I decided I would set out to help photographers create cinemagraphs for themselves or their clients!

gallereplay: What is the main motivation for photographers to get into cinemagraph creation?

Elyan Parker: I think that a lot of my students want to simply try something new! They can see the potential of this art and they want to be part of the community. Professional photographers are also interested in improving their skills and being able to offer these to their clients.

Elyan Parker at work, capturing a sunset.

gallereplay: From your experience teaching photographers, what is the biggest challenge for them to overcome?

Elyan Parker: In general, I think photographers need to understand the idea that there is more to learn. In such a quickly advancing field, you must continue to be a student as it’s the only way to be a professional. As for photographers who want to create cinemagraphs, it’s simply getting familiar with editing cinemagraphs in Photoshop! It’s not complicated but requires getting acclimated. I’ve also created what I call the “Cinemagraph Hack”. For basic cinemagraphs, all you have to do is drop your footage into Photoshop and the Cinemagraph Hack does most of the work for you! For more advanced cinemagraphs, they can use this hack alongside following a step by step tutorial.

Elyan Parker introduces his Photoshop Cinemagraph Kit.

gallereplay: If you could only give one piece advice to photographers who want to create cinemagraphs, what would it be?

Elyan Parker: I think that they shouldn’t see cinemagraphs as something that threatens photography but more as a skill to embrace as a photographer in the 21st century. They should just give it a try and have fun!

gallereplay: We here at gallereplay were recently asked to teach a class of students at Universität der Künste – one of the leading art academies in Germany. It seems the worlds of art and academia are beginning to catch wind of cinemagraphs. How do you see the medium growing or spreading in the coming years?

One of Elyan’s most iconic cinemagraphs.

Elyan Parker: I see cinemagraphs growing, spreading and becoming part of the norm of digital art. I also see it evolving. Photographers will have so many avenues to tell a story with their images. This could be with a cinemagraph, a parallax or even 3D photography. Digital photography will become much more technical but just as we’ve all learned things we never had imagined to as photographers, as always, it will open the door to a much bigger space for creativity.

For more of Elyan Parker’s cinemagraphs, check out his gallereplay profile!

Marco Woldt


Marco Woldt

I'm Marco, the co-founder of gallereplay. Before falling in love with cinemagraphs I worked as a journalist and producer for CNN International. I'm passionate about great stories, golden-era hiphop and a well-mixed Sazerac.

X-Mas Special: Send
free cinemagraph eCards!