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The feature that I have been playing with the most since I was lucky enough to get my Nokia Lumia 820 has been the Cinemagraph app.

Cinemagraph image

This cool ‘lens’ application that Nokia has created allows you to add some movement to your still images. Movement in still images… Sounds paradoxical right?

Cinemagraph is a fantastic app that is sure to provide you and your friends with hours and hours of fun. It’s easy to use but it also rewards creativity, and with some patience and practice you are sure to produce genuinely stunning results!

We have already given you some examples of GIFs to inspire you and show you what’s possible. Now, with this simple guide to using Cinemagraph, it’s your turn to get artistic.


Starting Cinemagraph on your Nokia Lumia 920 or Lumia 820 can be as simple as launching the app shortcut, but did you know that there’s another way of doing it?

You can also launch Cinemagraph when you’re already using your smartphone’s camera.

At the bottom of the camera’s viewfinder on your screen you’ll see the icon with two horizontal arrows pointing in opposite directions.

This is the lenses button that will let you select further features for your camera. Cinemagraph is just one; other great camera features are the Smart Shoot and Panorama lenses.

No prizes for guessing that to launch Cinemagraph from here, you just tap on the Cinemagraph icon.

Lens applications

Taking Cinemagraphs

The first thing you will see on Cinemagraph is what looks like a regular camera viewfinder. You will see some guidance along the top that reads ‘take picture, holding phone steady’.

Just take a photo as you normally would but it is very important that you hold the phone very still all the way until the full image has been captured.

Cinemagraph screenshot

You’ll see a circle in the middle of the screen while the app processes the image. It’ll only take 3-4 seconds.

Some things worth keeping in mind. When creating a Cinemagraph, I always find it useful to have an idea in my mind, which part of the photo that I want to animate.

So try to visualise what (you hope!) your Cinemagraph will look like. You want some movement, so I’ve found that running taps and passing cars are good subject matters for you to get acquainted with the app.

Adding the animation

You’ll first be asked to ‘pick areas to animate’ – these are the places in your photo where the app has detected movement. Most of the time, this should be pretty obvious. For example in the photo below, a little square appeared where the water flows out of the tap.

Cinemagraph screenshot

Tapping this square turns it orange and the app will show you a preview of the animation. If you’re happy with what you see press the tick at the bottom of the screen.

Next is the edit screen, which gives you greater control of the animation. There are two key areas here:

  • Looping: Changing the speed at which the Cinemagraph plays itself
  • Increasing and decreasing the animation with simple rubbing gestures
Cinemagraph screenshot

To toggle between increasing and decreasing the animation just tap on the paintbrush icon.

To adjust the looping, tap on the icon and a timeline will appear. Just scrub up and down until you’re happy with the speed and length of the loop.

When you’re happy with everything (often I found that I didn’t need to make any adjustments at all) just press save. A copy will then be saved in the Camera Roll on your Photos.


Have you made any fun Cinemagraphs yet? Let us know how you’ve been getting on in the comments below.

*If the Cinemagraph images at the top and bottom of this page are not loading properly in your browser, then try clicking through on each image.