We have been working with Remi Lesueur for few months now and we all reckon he is a fantastic travel contributor. When I met him I was however captured by his animated gif work. Remi is able to take photography to an elevated form of art, using a technique know as animated gif, basically an image that moves. Photos are well knows to be still. Animated gif are moving still images. Confusing? Let’s move on with more details and an interview with Remi
An animated GIF file comprises a number of frames that are displayed in succession. It is a similar concept to the first 1920s animation based on books of images, all very similar, except for a moving part. Leafing quickly through the book would give the eyes a feel that the subject in the photo is actually moving. That’s water under the bridgeof course if you think that today’s TV programs are made of 30 or more frames per second.
Animated GIF are becoming more and more popular on the websites, they are the best source to create tasteful illustrations. The most progressive websites (the kind of Wired, as an example) commission designers to enhance the drawings with a third dimension, a moving dimension.
There are great examples as the ones from Laurene Boglio which are really astonishing and they can capture your eyes, and brain, for several minutes
Remi Lesueur is taking the animated gif to another level all together. He is not using drawings but actual photos. Of course the result is quite astonishing. Let’s have a talk with him. We are curious to understand his unique technique.
Please be aware that each Animated GIF photo is over 1M and it may take few seconds to download.
Q. How did you start thinking about animated GIF in photography? What was your inspiration and technique?
A. I started to use gif animation when I was traveling in China. I wanted to show the movement of a street musician so I took several shots of his gesture and with animation gif I created a movement that’s repeated to infinity. I have loved the result, and I saw in the Gif an immense fields of discovery and experimentation, the principle of animation applied to photography. I come from the video area, I was cameraman before leaving for China. I’ve switched to photography because it gives me a format more adapted to travel (lighter materials, processing and more immediate results).
The photo is a great means of expression and communication. My concern is to work animated gif as an extension of photography. Sensitive layer’s distillated on the images to create an interaction between the animated subject and the fixed frame element. In this, the photography becomes the theater of reality’s elements that compose and anime it. With the animated Gif, I find an alternative between the photo and the video.
Q. What makes a good subject for an animated GIF?
A. When I try to create a gif, I look primarily at movement. The animated gif has to have the ability to integrate an action, so I’m looking for a detail, a gesture or a situation that will permit to create a temporary autonomous. For me it’s this element that brings the senses and brings the emotion.
I love animated gif who animated detail remains fluid’s looping. When we don’t see any break between the start and end of the gesture, that’s what works best for me. I would say that what makes a good subject is the poetic dimension, when the lively part’s emerging from the static whole.
Q. How long does it take to process an animated GIF?
A. To make an animated gif with simple picture, you just need a gif software, it’s quick and easy. However, if you want to create a gif with animated elements it gets more complicated. You must use a picture editing software to isolate these items and create layers for animation. This can last long time according to the number of animated pictures and complexity of the result hopped. But most of the time, the more simple is the more efficient.
Q. What software tools do you use?
A. I use Photoscape to create gif file. It’s a free and downloadable software that allows among others to create and read gif file. For the animated gif presented in this post, I used Photoshop to isolate and create layers that I want to animate. Once the animation is finished I export it to Photoscape to save the gif.
Q. what is the typical response when people see your animated GIF work?
A. most of the people say : MARRY ME !!! 😉
Actually, I don’t have so much response.. Easy to click on Facebook “I Like”!
So you can write something on this post for react…
Q. Do you have new project ongoing for the animated GIF?
A. I would like to do a photo report about human gesture evolving in different fields. I have some ideas about topic who will make good result with animated gif. I think we can exploit the animated gif full of different ways and with Internet possibilities are even more numerous. Finally, I would like to create a web documentary who use animated Gif to interacting with the spectator and the plot of the topic.
Thanks you so much Remi.
Here below few new animated GIF from the A Sunday in Melbourne project. You can click on the picture and a new window will open (it may take few seconds as the file is over 1M)