How To Do Levitation Photography
See how to do levitation photography without superb Photoshop skills or having an out-of-body experience.
I’m sure we’ve seen some sort of levitation/floating photography, whether it be someone in the middle of a field or in a room with lots of floating objects. Maybe you’ve thought they look hard to recreate, and a lot of them do take some incredible Photoshop skills. However, there is a much simpler way to do it. No out-of-body experience required.
What you need
- Tripod or flat surface
- Stool ( or something that you can sit/lie on)
- Stable floor
- Consistent lighting
- Permanent background
- Editing software ( I use PicsArt)
How to do levitation photography – step by step
Taking the photos
First, you need to place the camera on a tripod or flat surface and take a picture of the location without the subject. You’ll need this reference photo during editing. After you’ve taken the first picture you cannot move the camera or any objects in the background as this will make editing trickier. From this point onwards, make sure any settings you choose or lights you use remain the same, or the end result won’t look right.
Now is the time to get your subject to position themselves on the stool/ladder however you wish. It’s best for them to start with sitting or lying first, to get used to doing it.
Once you’ve got the pictures of your subject in the poses you want, upload your pictures onto your PC/Laptop. Upload the first photo you took (the one of just the area) onto your editing software.
Now either add a layer or add an image. Choose one of the other pictures with your subject, ensuring both images are the same size. Try lowering the opacity to make sure all the objects line up. Next up, just use the eraser tool to remove the stool from underneath the subject. This can be very time-consuming because you’ll be making sure you get rid of every piece! It is up to you if you keep the shadow under the subject or not, depending on the shape of the shadow.
For final touches you can adjust the brightness and contrast until you deem your image truly finished.
Try not to have fences in the background of your image. These can make it look as though you’ve just enlarged the person.
Make sure the stool and your subjects clothing contrast – this makes erasing the stool much easier as there is a clear line to follow.
If you’re doing this outdoors, make sure the weather is consistent. Sometimes, if it gets a little darker when you later go to edit the images, you’ll get darker/lighter patches in place of the stool.
Do not adjust the brightness and contrast of the images until after you’ve combined them, as you’ll have the same issue as the one above.
Be aware that this can be very fiddly – so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t work on your first try!
Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, try adding other objects to levitate such as books or clothing. You can hang these around with rope, fishing wire (which is nearly invisible) or other stools – just be wary not to overwhelm the image.
Happy levitating, photography witches and warlocks!