God's GIF: Q&A And Photo Shoot With GIF Guru Josh Greet
Anyone who spends any time on the web will have noticed GIFs are everywhere right now. We wanted in and got together with Josh Greet for a shoot and he even answered our questions.
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VICE: So, Josh, tell me a bit about this GIF shoot. I mean, why GIF and not just regular photos?
Josh Greet: Well, I feel the GIF file is underrated, photographically. Everyone thinks everything should be high-res. GIFs seem to be used for everything but serious photos. The 3D thing works great with them as you don’t need glasses, etc., and there’s something about the fast-paced swinging backwards that makes people stare at their screens for longer.
For sure, it’s almost hypnotic. So GIFs are enjoying a renaissance somewhat with the emergence of Tumblr. Why, in this day and age of high-res videos, etc., do you think they have found popularity again? It’s not like people are ditching their iPhones to play Snake on their old Nokia 3210s.
They were originally made because of slow internet connections, so you couldn’t watch any videos or look at high-res photos. But, from a technology point of view, there’s no need for them anymore, no.
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So how did you get into the art of GIF-making?
Well, I originally got into it because of the Nishika N8000 camera, really. I found it while trawling through eBay and thought it looked strange as it has four lenses. I found a small Flickr group where people were stitching them together into GIFs and that pretty much made me buy the camera straightaway. I didn’t think the people or the GIFs the group were making were that great, but I saw the potential to do some more interesting things. I used the camera for a year making GIFs and not really thinking about it, but I’m taking it a lot more seriously lately.
So everything you shoot turns to GIF?
Yeah, it’s not that easy. It takes 35mm film and produces four images on that film which I scan and digitally overlay. It’s taken a while to master, but I can turn them around pretty quick now.
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Why do you think it works well for fashion, then?
I think using GIFs in fashion is great seeing as there’s a lot of fashion across the web and it’s not really taking advantage that we are viewing it on computers.
So you think it brings the shoots to life?
Yeah, definitely—it gives it depth. For example, if you’re scrolling through a fashion blog with loads of stills these moving pictures are really going to stand out…