It was on the photography-based PetaPixel website that I first heard of what are called cinemagraphs. While cinemagraphs are uploaded as GIFs, in essence a cinemagraph is to a standard GIF what color footage is to black-and-white. With a cinemagraph, a photographer uses photo compositing techniques to animate only selective elements of a photograph, while the rest of it remains still.
In the hands of a master photographer like Julien Douvier, who produced the three shots below, the effect is simply stunning.
Douvier didn't do the one atop this entry, however; that's the work of photographer Mike Hollingshead, whose work is catalogued on his Extreme Instability website. Hollinshead's moving supercell images are technically GIFs rather than cinemagraphs, as they're not the result of compositing, but straightforward animations of still frames. But his subject matter is every bit as arresting as Douvier's work.
Though it's a new area for Hollingshead, we can expect to see more in the future. "I'm starting to make a lot of animated gifs from single images as well as others," he writes. "I have some other stuff to accomplish first before focusing more on them but they are coming. It's November 21 now, hopefully sometime in December I get a bunch made and posted on here somewhere. So check back."