Animate up your travels with .gifs

Not much into shooting video to capture your trip abroad? Do Ken Burns slideshows bore you to tears? Lucky for you, animated .gifs (short for “graphic interchange format”) are all the rage among on the social media circuit, and can be a fun way to document (and share) some of your travel action. Instead of sending a plane Jane video of that insane Hula Dancer you saw in Waikiki, why not remind your friends and family that you are ahead of the curve by sharing it as a fun animation?

The app for the job is .Gif Shop. It lets you create and share looping animation goodness directly from your iPhone and it couldn’t be simpler. To start, you shoot a series of still images from within the app and then, after making a few critical decisions (like selecting the opacity as well as the resolution), your frames are ready to be stitched together into a fun animated package and shared on Tumblr, Twitter or via good old-fashioned email.

For a few animated examples, read on.

Perhaps you already have a series of photos that are just begging to be turned into .gifs? The Giffer! App is an after-the-fact animation factory that uses an easy interface to combine a series of still photos and animate them. This app allows you to adjust the frame delay and animation yo-yo, tweaks that could elevate your animated clips to superstar Viral status. Be aware that quicker animations mean larger files – something to consider when creating in your iDevice or sharing with friends.

.Gifs are a fun new way to share the magical times of your vacation, Which is appropriate since they are kind of like the moving photographs in the Harry Potter series. Only this time, you don’t need a degree from Hogwarts, just a few apps to turn your smartphone into a magic wand.

[flickr images via SML, animated gifs via Jen Pollack Bianco]