I just love those moments when I scroll through my Facebook feed and a beautiful photo stops me in my tracks. This is exactly what happened when I saw this image by Robbie Harvey. So, I reached out to him wanting to hear more about it. I was impressed to hear that it was taken in a single shot, and Robbie agreed to share more details about his photo with DIYP readers.
Levitation photography is a relatively new topic, only really taking off in the last 20 years or so since digital cameras ousted film. But it’s become a very popular one. Often it’s done by balancing on top of objects or suspending from a string that will be photoshopped out later, but there are ways to do it without Photoshop.
Many of the ways to do it without Photoshop just involve good timing (or a little luck). You need to capture somebody mid-jump or an object as it hurtles through the air, but there are other tricks you can do to make it look a little more like levitation. In this 5-minute video, COOPH looks at a number of ways you can help to sell the effect without Photoshop.
For this production with Or Samson we wanted to do something that we did not see before, but we also wanted to raise the technical bar so the photos will not be easy to reproduce.
I was chatting with Adi Kropik (my go-to MUA), and we thought that levitating a female magical goth would both pose a good challenge, but also create some great photos. The art side was “easy”, we are not strange to magic. The technical side, however, was not trivial. We needed to suspend a model high up in the air, while she feels comfy enough to look good.
We did a quick goth in the forest search in google images, just to make sure we are not repeating anything familiar theme, and BOOM! no one has done it before. Getting inspired by Lord of The Rings we went for two looks, a black Goth and a white princess.
A team was assembled (see bottom for full credits) and the production went underway.
Light painting can give a sense of otherworldly to your images, and so can the levitation. But when you bring those two together – it can take you to another dimension. Pennsylvania-based photographer Swen Cubilette brought levitation and light painting together to create an image that captured my attention immediately. He kindly shared his image with DIYP and chatted with us about how he created this captivating photo.
Levitation is an often visited subject for both stills and video. It’s often done with human subjects using some fancy Photoshop compositing work. But it can be done very simply with every day objects, too with just simple fishing line.
Photographer Jay P. Morgan showed us what he keeps in his tackle box a few weeks ago. In this video, he goes a little more in-depth into how to actually use it all to suspend objects. He talks about various methods of attaching the line to your object, and other things to consider when trying this. Using fishing line is a great method as it’s often invisible, requiring no post work to remove it.
Making things float in photographs is something that seems to pop up for many photographers. Sometimes it’s the entire point of the shot, and at other times, floating objects are merely decoration for a wider scene. Whatever your reasons, there’s easy ways to do it, and there are hard ways. One of the hard ways is to just keep throwing things in the air, continually taking shots until you get one that gives you the right look.
That method is kinda hit and miss, though. Plus, not all objects are suited to being thrown in the air. Such is the example in this video from photographer Peter McKinnon. While you can get extremely complicated with levitation images, they don’t have to be, especially for small objects. Peter shows us how we can do it simply with a telescopic shower rail or hook and some fishing wire.