A living photo, often called a Flixel, is a combination of a still image and of a short video. A Flixel is created by filming a short, high-quality video and editing within the Flixel Cinemagraph software.
Because Flixels are shot with video, it is neccesary to use continuous light. To light this Flixel, Westcott Top Pro photographer James Schmelzer utilized the Westcott Skylux LED on-location in Detroit. The Skylux is daylight-balanced and flicker-free–both very important features when shooting video.
He uses 3 Skylux for this Flixel: 1 as a main light hitting his subject and 2 as rim lights illuminating smoke and the background. The main Skylux is placed at a 45-degree angle above his subject and is modified with barndoors to help sculpt the output.
James also sets up a large Scrim Jim with black fabric, acting as a gobo to eliminate the outside light hitting his subject.
He uses a 4K camera, the Panazonic GH4, which allows him to extract and edit his still frame from his video. He chooses a low camera angle for a more dramatic shot. After shooting, he imports the video into the Cinemagraph Pro. He then selects his still frame and export this frame to Photoshop.
After enhancing the still, James imports it back into Cinemagraph and finalizes the Flixel editing process.