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If you’ve been paying attention at all during the last five years, you’ve seen the expansion (and popularity) of digital video, Many photographers have felt the need to add video to their services if they want to remain relevant (and especially if they want to get paid).
With many photographers now adding “director” to their title and working as DP’s, traditional photography is becoming harder to sell. The availability of cheap (and very good) cameras, even smartphones that have good quality cameras, has everyone claiming to be a photographer. The proliferation of un-curated imagery online has led to still photography losing its value in the mind of many ad buyers. The market itself is becoming extremely saturated.
Everyone you know has a camera! But its getting harder to create unique and compelling content.
The Rise of Cinemagraphs
Some of our readers might be familiar with a type of motion imagery called a cinemagraph. This type of moving content is made by the photographer capturing 4K video as a starting point. The video is then frozen and masked to selectively reveal parts of the image. Applications like Flixel Cinemagraph and Microsoft Cliplets have broadened the reach of the cinemagraph format. But the problem here is that the image must first start as a video file.
A New Answer – The Plotagraph
What if you could take your existing portfolio of still photographs and maybe even years after you captured them, breathe new life into them?
Now you can. This week I met a brand new company called Plotograph. The company sees the challenge of making dynamic media as as an opportunity. They have created something that you may recognize but will be surprised to know is fairly easy to create. I had a personal demonstration from the company’s founders, Troy Christopher Plota and Sascha Scheider.
Plotagraph was created to offer a new way to animate still images without the need for hard-to-use software. It also doesn’t need video capture. This means you can go back to your library of great photos and start to create dynamic content.
The product is in currently in beta (which means its being publicly tested by a select group of users). I spent some time with Plota and Schneider getting a behind-the-curtain look at what the company is working on. I will be very transparent right from the gate and tell you that I was blown away. Something this cool simply doesn’t come along every day and I watched, with my own two eyes, as Troy animated a still image in about 10 minutes.
How it Works
Plotograph has done some amazing things. Plota has combined his experience in the development of 3D technologies with his professional photography. Scheider also adds to the success with her fine arts background. Along with a diverse team of experts with elite software engineers they’ve reated a new medium to create digital content
The Plotagraph Pro Software is an an easy-to-use cloud-based software that is going to change the way photographs are presented now and into the future. Major brands like Pepsi, Coke, Chevy, Instagram, Facebook, Vita Coco and PR firm FleishmanHillard have already started using Photographs. Even though the Plotagraph Pro software is still in beta it is being strategically released to high-end brands.
Don’t worry though… if this area interests you, you won’t be out in the cold. At the urging of people like me, the company is offering access to the beta to a limited number of photographers and digital artists. Plota and Scheider’s vision is to empower photographers and digital artists by merging art and technology. They plan to release the software as beta to a limited number of users.
Plotagraph Pro Beta: https://www.plotagraphpro.com/beta
I want to note that this is not an affiliate link. We’re not being paid to promote this. This is simply something being opened up to photographers and other visual artists and as part of our continuing commitment to serve that audience I wanted to share it with you.
What Excites Me
When any new piece of software drops for the visual creative community, concerns emerge over the learning curve. Plotagraph has shared some of their plans for rolling out the application and based on what I know so far, there’s no reason to worry. First, having seen the program in action I will say it’s very intuitive and I don’t think it is difficult to use. The company is planning to offer free training as part of their beta subscription.
When I spoke with Plota he said, “Over the past few years of developing the software I have been on the phone with thousands of photographers and brands. I think I have a pretty good understanding of the industry. Looping content, both for social media and advertising makes a lot of sense. Cinemagraphs have taken off over the past couple years and has helped pave the way for brands and consumers to look at content differently. We expanded on this speed of dynamic content by including traditional photographs. Plotagraph Pro Software can animate any digitized still image, no matter when it was shot. That means brands and photographers can repurpose their images to play dynamically to get the attention of whatever audience they are trying to reach. Every time I get on a call with a brand, they almost can’t believe what they are seeing and the excitement is off the charts. We share that excitement and want to help photographers find new ways to sell their products, including imagery they have already created. I can’t wait to see all the amazing creative that will come from this.”
Plotagraph also plans to act as an agent funneling work to photographers who use their platform. Creating this agency relationship is brilliant and Plota told me they even plan to offer a stock imagery option as well.
While not everyone will take advantage of this opportunity, it means that those who do are going to have a definite leg up on their competition. I’m going to watch this space VERY closely and I plan to work with the software more as soon as I get some more time.
I join Plota in saying that I am very excited to see what people create using this new technology.
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