Creating a Living Photograph with Photoshop — Part 1

Image source: Crystal Allison.

The next time you see a photo opportunity, take a video instead! Adobe Photoshop lets you quickly turn your short videos into living photographs that will mesmerize your audience on any social platform.

Grab a tripod and count to ten

When shooting a video for use in a living photo (also referred to as a cinemagraph), using a tripod will make the task much easier. Find a subject where there is some subtle movement — such as gentle wind, moving water, or a flickering candle. Set up your shot and stabilize your camera or phone using a tripod (as shown in Figure 1). If you don’t have a tripod, get creative by propping your camera up on a railing, rocks, a jacket… anything you can find.

With your camera stabilized, switch your camera to video mode, press the shutter, and then count to ten. This will give you enough time to choose a favorite frame as the still image and use the rest of the video as the “living part” of the photo.

Open your video directly in Photoshop

The quickest way to set up a Photoshop file for video is to simply open the video file you get from your camera. This will set up three things for you automatically. It will create a new Photoshop document sized to the video dimensions, import the video and place it on a layer with a video group, and create a video-based timeline in the Timeline panel (as displayed in Figure 2).

Once you have your Photoshop file set up with a canvas, video layer, and video-based timeline, it’s time to create the living photo.

Combine a photo with video with Photoshop

This article is continued in Creating a Living Photograph with Photoshop — Part 2.

Watch a step-by-step demo of this workflow in an e-learning webinar

Combine video with your photographs to create a mesmerizing experience for your brand. Use video from Adobe Stock, or from your phone, to enhance and brand animations for all of your social media channels. You’ll learn how to work with video in Adobe Photoshop, combine video and photos with masking techniques, and create a looping animation.

Watch the recording of Creating Living Photographs with Photoshop, which includes:

Adobe Creative Cloud e-learning series

Creating Living Photographs with Photoshop