in personal development on July 7, 2014

I took a stab at creating an animated GIF using my new Canon 100D DSLR. It was a lot more complex to do than I first thought.

GIFs, or if you’re a slave to the mass opinions, JIFs, have experienced a huge resurgence online. Reaction GIFs are everywhere and stunning cinemagraphs are dropping everyone’s jaws all over the world. GIFs are versatile, can be displayed almost anywhere on any device, and have been around for what feels like since the birth of the internet.

Canon 100 DSLR with 50mm 1.8 SF Lens

I recently purchased a Canon 100D and a Canon 50MM Single Focus lens, nice little piece of kit for quite an impressive price (thanks Jessops!) upon my return from holiday in Turkey. The camera comes with movie recording facilities, but I was more interested in learning how to master the short depth of field the 50MM offers.

While taking photos during my lunch break, I accidentally discovered the 10 shot continuous mode in 100D, which in turn allowed me to make a short GIF using these 10 consecutive photos. At the time I was trying to photograph my lunch for the day, soup. By this accidental discovery, I was able to make a short looped GIF of the soup being poured from a pot, to the bowl:

Soup GIF

To archive this, however, took some planning and effort after I had discovered the 10 shot mode on the camera. Photography is a hobby for me and not a profession, so I haven’t purchased a miniature tripod which would have been the ideal piece to have for a “photo shoot” like this. Instead, I had to make do with what was in the kitchen; a squash bottle, some sticky pads and a packet of chewing gum.

Photoshoot Setup

Photoshoot Setup, Camera Screen

Preview of Shots

Full Table Setup

Despite the undeniably amateur setup I had going on here, it surprising worked quite well, once the camera and the “unique tripod” were balanced correctly.

Only thing left to do was to squeeze the shoot button, start pouring the soup (slowly) and just cross my fingers it would work.

Soup in Pot

Soup Tin

Soup Pots

It took 3 attempts at pouring the pot of soup until I finally got a decent set of photos. However, what I forgot to do was hold the pot steady, so if you look closely in the background, you can see the pot sightly moving. This does break the cinemagraph styling in which the whole image should look like a photo still, with the exception of the animated section.

GIF Shot Preview

GIF Shot Preview

Overall, I’m still pretty pleased with the outcome. I wanted to share the photos of how I did this short GIF to illustrate how complex it can be just to create the smallest, shortest and simplest animations. Likewise, how quickly these GIFs can be thrown together when you find yourself with a spare 20 minutes during your lunch break. A camera is required of course.


Callum works as a Web and Social Media

Callum Hopkins

Callum works as a Web and Social Media "Genius" at Altablue, a Wood Group company. He is based in the North East of Scotland. He has knowledge in Web Design & Development and is a published author. Callum is an avid Football Fan.