For as long as there have been cameras, people have been using them to document the minutiae of urban life. In 2011, street photographers got a new creative form to experiment with: cinemagraphs.

At least that’s how Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, the photographers who lay claim to the form’s invention (and its name) tell it. The name they chose is logical: their invention basically amounts to cinematic photographs. Cinemagraphs are still photos with a filmic element, a flicker of movement in an otherwise frozen frame.

Enter Flixel, a Toronto-based startup responsible for Cinemagraph Pro, software that makes creating a cinemagraph as easy as taking a picture with a point-and-shoot camera is. The software lets users import a clip, choose a still scene, and outline what part should keep moving and what pixels should remain dormant. When this technique is applied to the built environment, the results can be captivating.

Check out how some shutterbugs have used Flixel to bring urban stills to life.

Some have gone way up.


Others, underground.


Naturally, there’s lots to capture at streetlevel.


And to the heavens.


Here’s the literal ripple effect.


Where the road meets the rails, there’s a cinemagraph.


Even an average field has potential.


There are cheeky cinemagraphs.


And reflective ones, too.


Famous monuments are an obvious choice.


But whatever the setting, cinemagraphs will probably leave you ensorcelled.


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