Cinemagraphs have been a hot design trend ever since Kevin Burg and James Beck coined the term in 2011. There’s something magical about watching a still image come to life, Harry Potter-style, with beguiling motion. It’s no wonder this trend is still going strong after 5 years.

From day one, brands have been using cinemagraphs to stand out in a sea of static content and provide a dash of whimsy to their marketing campaigns. But some of the best cinemagraphs were created by independent artists with mad Photoshop and photography skills.

Here are 10 of our favorite cinemagraphs for your inspiration. Share your favorites with us in the comments below!

1. Reflection in Shades

This cinemagraph from Toma Iakopo features subtle motion in the reflection of the woman’s sunglasses.

2. Butterfly in a Bell Jar

This shot from Ann Street Studio is softly styled and lit, which draws the eye to the butterfly’s flight and the flicker of the candle in the background.

Butterfly Bell Jar Cinemagraph Example

3. Summer Morning Swelter

This realistic portrait really shines—not just because of the eye-catching rotation of the fan, but also because of the subtle shadows from the fan on the stove.

Window Fan Cinemagraph

4. Rey on Takodana

Admittedly, we’re all Star Wars geeks in this office… But this cinemagraph from The Force Awakens deserves props in its own right. The undulation of water and sunlight perfectly capture the magic of Rey’s first visit to Takodana.

Star Wars Cinemagraph Example

5. Niagara Falls

The dual motion of the rushing waterfall and the rolling clouds in this cinemagraph from Orbo Cinemagraphs is breathtaking.

Niagara Falls Cinemagraph

7. Brooklyn Bridge Traffic

Michel Molder has a whole library of stunning cinemagraphs, but this simple time-lapse shot of the Brooklyn Bridge is a great example of the power of isolated motion.

8. Industrial High Fashion

This gritty fashion shot from Sherif Mokbel uses motion to highlight the refined clothing and model, creating further contrast to the industrial setting.

9. Hamlet in Elsinore

Another beautiful example from Orbo Cinemagraphs. This cinemagraph of the great hall of Elsinore captures Hamlet’s emotional state in one bleak, haunting frame.

Hamlet Cinemagraph

10. Whiskey and Cigarettes

The smoke rising from the model’s cigarette in this black-and-white fashion cinemagraph from Gohan Bartu is eye-catching and gorgeous.

Cigarettes Cinemagraph

Bonus Cinemagraphs

And just for fun, here are a couple more great cinemagraphs I stumbled upon recently.

Grand Central Through Spectacles

Grand Central Terminal Cinemagraph

Credit: Jamie Beck & Kevin Burg

Steam Train Smoke

Steam Train Cinemagraph

Source: Cavus Media

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