How to create the levitation effect

Levitation photography is a relatively new topic but it has become a very popular one in recent years. A levitation effect is often created by balancing on top of objects or having an object suspend from a string which is later edited out. There are some ways to create the effect without using a photo editing software. However, if you are new to this, then it is recommended that you choose the first method.

Gear Required for Levitation Photography
The following are the things you will need to create the levitation effect:

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Willing Subject
  • Chair or Table/Stool
  • Photo Editing Software (e.g. Photoshop)

Steps to Create the Levitation Effect
The following is a step-by-step process to create the levitation effect:

Step 1
Set your camera on the tripod and adjust the exposure. Make sure it is balanced. Before you start, it would be a good idea to take a few practice shots of your location so that you can have a general idea about the lighting conditions. If possible, work indoors as it helps keep the lighting conditions under control. There’s no need to use a certain aperture or camera settings. Auto mode is sufficient in most cases.

Step 2
Ask your model/subject to lie back on the chair or table in a graceful way. Aim to lean the subject’s head backwards so their body looks like it is lifeless. If the model is standing on the stool, ask them to reach upwards as if they were picking a fruit from a tree. Use similar scenarios to get a few different poses and then compare them to see which one works best for you. Once you have selected the desired pose, take the shot.

Step 3
Now for the next step, it is extremely important to keep the camera angle or position exactly the same as before. In other words, don’t move the camera at all. Clear the chair or table away and help your subject out of the shot so you are left with the same shot (minus table/chair and model). Now use the same camera settings to take another shot of the empty scene.

Step 4
Wave goodbye to your model and pack your camera and other gear as the next step is all about using a photo editing software to create the levitation effect. Load the two photos that you captured in the photo editing software, then select the eraser tool and erase all traces of your chair or table that your subject was leaning on. The levitation effect should start to be obvious if the two layers are aligned correctly. Once you are happy with the erasing and you are satisfied with how the effect looks, simply merge the layers together and save your levitation creation.

Creating the levitation effect is easy if you have the right gear and you are well-prepared for the shoot. Tell your model what to wear and use a tripod for the best results. You can also use a fan to make the hair move or add extra props that float in the air. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published