A Cinemagraph is a still photograph which has a small element that moves, normally repeating. These images are starting to appear every where in TV advertising, TV programme trailers and Video Bill boards etc.
You can make them using a series of photographs and animating them, or use a video clip; the easiest way is the video clip. Most DSLRs will shoot good quality video as will most mobile phones. All you need is a video clip with some kind of action that will repeat and look natural when seen as a looped video clip for around a five or six second duration.
I was out at the weekend primarily to shoot some insect macro shots but it was a typical English summers day, damp and wet and not an insect in sight. I had been walking around our local nature reserve for about an hour when I gave up on the insects and decided to give making a Cinemargraph a go.
I thought I'd start with something simple, maybe water droplets dripping from a leaf. I found the perfect Ivy leaf growing on a tree trunk and set up the camera on a tripod and started to shoot some video clips. I always have in the bag a small water spray bottle that I use for spraying small wild flowers. The odd water droplet can add some interest and catch the light in a interesting way. I used this spray to soak the leaf and the tree trunk with water. I kept spraying with the camera running until I captured the two drips happening almost simultaneously.
I watched the clip back on the camera and I had the perfect three seconds of video that I hoped would make a cinemagrah.