Are cinemagraphs our best hope of slowing down the frantic pace of the media? Blair Lister, our latest addition to the gallereplay roster, shares his views on how cinemagraphs could help cut through the noise and reveals the intricacies of modelling in his own sports cinemagraphs.
gallereplay: Where did you discover your passion for photography and cinemagraphs?
Blair Lister: When I was travelling as a young adult, I was overwhelmed by the cultures, the sights, the smells and cacophony of a world so much more alive than I’d ever imagined; and it was all so strange and exciting to me, I wanted to capture it and share it with my friends and family. I bought a used SLR (that’s before Digital – just an SLR) from a pawn shop and waited impatiently after each trip for my film to be developed, so that I could tell the stories that went along with each shot.
Nowadays, I upload my footage to my computer and begin the process of culling through thousands of images to decide which ones are worth working on. Cinemagraphs are new to me as of this past year, I don’t recall which was the first but almost every one that I’ve seen since has intrigued me, and caused me to pause and reflect. It’s a medium I’m becoming very fond of.
gallereplay: Just by taking a glance at your work, it’s clear your photography is influenced by adventure and the great outdoors. Is that a fair assessment?
Blair Lister: I would live under the stars, and breath fresh air everyday if it wasn’t for the life I have under a roof in the city. Editing videos, cinemagraphs and pictures takes a bit of electricity and my wife appreciates the finer things like flushing toilets and such, so for now we live in a house but maybe one day we’ll give it all up and go on a pilgrimage. Simply put, yes; I’m very excited by the outdoors, it’s all I think about when I’m indoors.
gallereplay: Nice! Does your passion for nature influence your cinemagraph ideas?
Blair Lister: Well, the advice to writers that I’ve heard is ‘to write what you know’ and since I’m trying to get out of the house and go on adventures that’s where my camera ends up. I’m eager to shoot anything that tells a story or conveys emotion to an audience. I’m excited to produce cinemagraphs indoors as well but up until now I’ve been shooting what I know, and where I happen to be.
gallereplay: Speaking of which – we love the cinemagraph of you flying through a puddle on your bike – care to talk us through it?
Blair Lister: Sure. It’s rare that I don’t take my camera gear or at least one camera with me out of the house, even when going for a simple bike ride. You just never know what you may see, and the frustration of not being able to capture it would drive me mad. I’m told that I should enjoy the moment more and not always be looking through the lens but… that’s just the way I’m wired. With regards to my cycling cinemagraphs; I stop and turn around and after setting my camera down, checking to make sure that it’s framed approximately where I plan to be, I then repeat what I just rode through. I have lots of footage of myself running from the camera to my bike hopping on and acting like I’m in the middle of the action for the first time. It’s seriously good fun from both perspectives – from the saddle and the lens!
gallereplay: What in particular do you think is special about cinemagraphs?
Blair Lister: I think that cinemagraphs are much more than a cool trend. They’re effective in bringing a single moment to a higher plane, because they’re mysterious and cause the viewer to pay more attention, it’s our inquisitive nature. Yet they are simple enough not to be bogged down with the barrage of sensory overload that a video can induce. I’m all for exciting paced editing, it’s what I do best, but we’ve overloaded ourselves with attention grabbing noise and cinemagraphs are definitely a way to cut through that. My hope is that advertisers who recognize this also acknowledge the opportunity to slow the hectic pace of media and still get their message across, allowing for some peace and tranquility in an otherwise ‘in your face’ crazy world.
gallereplay: We couldn’t have put it better ourselves! Lastly Blair: have you got any cool cinemagraph plans for the future you’d like to share with us?
Blair Lister: Until gallereplay contacted me, I hadn’t taken the idea of stock photography or cinemagraphs to a level where I’d set the scene, set lighting or models, makeup or anything. I would just capture what was already happening there in front of me. Now my mind is churning and I’m making lists of things to try and ideas of what potential customers might be looking for. So you can expect a higher level of intentional shots from me in the near future. It’s been a desire for some time to create music videos, and specifically now the album that my wife has been working on. Her lyrics lend themselves to deep imagery and stories and I believe I can enhance that visually in part through cinemagraphs, so that’s in the planning stages. I’d love to collaborate with artists of all types and explore the mixture of mediums. Currently I need to work on videos that will pay the bills but I hope some clients will come along that share the same desire for the creative elements that a cinemagraph can bring.
For more of Blair’s cinemagraphs, check out his gallereplay profile page!