Cinemagraphs, still photos with moving elements, are quite a trend in photography circles. Unlike jerky animated GIFs, they’re much more fluid and subtle. Learn how to make them with this tutorial.
At Photojojo! they have a detailed tutorial outlining how to create a cinemagraph that covers the planning and execution of your image.
If you’ve never heard of the process before it’s pretty neat. You take a series of photographs and then, using image editing tools, mask off only the parts of the photo you want to move (like the eyes in the photos sample seen here). Then you blend the photos together and create an animated GIF where in only the small portion of the image actually moves. This is quite different than the jerky animated GIFs that result when people try to turn full motion video into an animation.
Hit up the link below to see how you can create your own cinemagraphs.