em.photography 3:00am, 7 February 2009
What is the trick behind taking this photo? I think it probably has to do with taking the photo with the object (table?) without the person in it and then add the person and using layers / masks in Photoshop to get rid of the table?

Can anyone shed some light on this?

xasdrd Posted 9 years ago. Edited by xasdrd (member) 9 years ago
I'm guessing multiple image blending. I'm also reasonably certain, the lady was shot against a seamless background and blended into the kitchen photo (can tell from the lighting on her vs the room).

Pretty nicely done though. I'm guessing the stool she was sitting on was edited out.
Dr. RawheaD PRO 9 years ago
Well the person who's famous for this (at least that I know of) is Miss Aniela


and if I remember correctly, all her levitated objects, including herself, are shot in situ, i.e., not against a green/blue screen using chroma key.

Therefore, it would have to be multiple exposures and manually removing whatever that's doing the holding in Photoshop.

Incidentally, as long as you're careful not to move the camera during the multiple exposures, it shouldn't be too hard to separate out the background (the walls, the floor, the kitchen appliances, etc.) from the various levitated objects (do a subtraction), which makes it as good as, if not better than using chroma key.

I've been meaning to test something like this out (thinking about levitating all my LBA purchases :-))))))
SteveFE 9 years ago
That second one reminds me of Halsman's "Dali Atomicus".
Dr. RawheaD PRO 9 years ago
I created a little tutorial for how you might do this. Disclaimer: I'm not a Photoshop expert by far, and I'm not even being modest. There's most definitely a better way to do it than the way I did it, but the concept should be valid.

The tutorial in a set:

End result:
Hartblei Levitated by Dr. RawheaD
em.photography 9 years ago
Cool guys. Thanks! I also found on the picture I originally posted, the photographer made a tutorial too! Check it out on her site if you like.
autumnatik 9 years ago
Yeah basically multiple images composited in photoshop.

Or check out this guy who did these sort of effects with cranes and wires in the 1960's


click the section (Classics>Paris 1960)
=Dieg0 [deleted] 9 years ago
In the description on the photo you posted there is a link to how to do it.

I am surprised noone pointed it out yet.
Dr. RawheaD PRO 9 years ago

Maybe that's because nobody really reads what other people have to say. Like how you didn't read the OPs comment that is a couple spots above yours ;-)
Dr. RawheaD PRO 9 years ago

And the same goes to me; I just read up on Ms. Aniela's photos and apparently, all of her floating objects are actually hung from the ceiling with fishing wires. She's the only one that was held up by somebody else, who later had to be removed from the photo using 'Shop ;-)))

Vieira PRO 9 years ago
Of course, sea kay remembered us all of the most straightforward way: actually levitating and having hovering objects around the house. Bunch of overcomplicating folks.
APD Photo 9 years ago
Wingardium Leviosa?
Ben © Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Ben © (member) 9 years ago
Linhof Technika with front rise, but difficult to do in photoshop.
Silviano Carrillo 9 years ago
These shots are really easy..
shot one with you standing on a chaia, shot nother frame without you and the chair, now blend and remove chair.
Voilá you are floating..
puja 9 years ago
saw Miss Aniela talk about this last week... (photo above)

she said she took a picture of the setting with no model
and then she had someone holding her legs up in the air

and then cloned them out.
Vieira PRO 9 years ago
SteveFE wrote
That second one reminds me of Halsman's "Dali Atomicus".

Thanks for that! Here's what I found about it:

""Dali Atomicus" by Philippe Halsman - 1948" by monkeyc [?]

"Making of Dali Atomicus (Salvador Dalí A) by Philippe Halsman, 1948" by trialsanderrors [?]
Making of Dali Atomicus (Salvador Dalí A) by Philippe Halsman, 1948
Dr. RawheaD PRO 9 years ago

That is one of my all-time favorite photographs, which happens to have my all-time favorite artist in it ;-)
=Dieg0 [deleted] 9 years ago
@ rawheadrex
Yeah funny how that happens right?
aleksey matviyenko 9 years ago
Paul Vernon Photography Pro User says:
Wingardium Leviosa?

I think so too.
-RobW- PRO 9 years ago
I bet those cats were getting pretty hacked off after being hurled through the air 26 times...
Mike Leland 9 years ago
There is an article in this months American Photo magazine about flickr stars and this very photo is featured along with set-up shots.

And then there is this...

Alfonsziet 9 years ago
I figured it out for myself (its really not that hard) a few days ago..
I think you make the picture pop out more if you process it more like i did.

Float by Alfonsziet
Alfonsziet so how DID you process it...
Dr. RawheaD PRO 9 years ago
Multiple levitations:

My 135s [lens pr0n] (131/365)

Didn't work as well as the tutorial because of bad lighting (did this in the middle of the night, requiring flash for the lens shots) disallowed me to make the background identical to the final image's background. But this time, I actually threw the lenses instead of relying on a safe tool to prop them up. Yes, it did require some courage :lol:
Mac-xime Perreault 8 years ago
This is my second try of levitation
I took out a ladder under my back.
I still need to work on my levitation tech
But thx for the tips :)

lévitation 2ième essais by Mac-xime Perreault
Justin Clough1 8 years ago
Me and my friend mastered this style in about an hour with photoshop and a 150$ camera check it out we also added a fake DOF, it turned out pretty good

Photo Extremist PRO 8 years ago
I've made a video tutorial here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHpV2PXTjiE
Andrew Otten Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Andrew Otten (member) 8 years ago
I did a quick tutorial, check out the link below and let me know if it is thorough enough.


glennbruy Posted 8 years ago. Edited by glennbruy (member) 8 years ago
I think knowing how to create realistic shadows and reflections is what separates the boys from the men in this technique. In all the tutorials shown there is no suggestions onto how you can keep the natural ones.

For objects hung from the sealing you can copy them, but I don't see a way to keep natural shadows and reflections when someone is holding you and probably disturbing the shadow or reflection.
Andrew Otten 8 years ago
PixelPet, in my tutorial i didn't mention shadows because i wasn't really top lit. There are many ways to create shadows though, dodge and burn would be the easiest, but a layer mask is better though.

I think you should do a shadows tutorial and post it here, then we'll have it all covered. :-)
Trevor Dennis PRO 8 years ago
In this case, the subject is actually photographed mid-leap.


He has dozens done in a similar way

 by maneeacc

QuiteCurious 8 years ago
I flew today. by QuiteCurious

Photo Trickery by QuiteCurious

I did a levitation photo of myself and wrote a tutorial here:

Hope that helps!
kristincupoftea 7 years ago
Then how would you do this:
Because I don't think she was standing on a stool.
Or this:
Cause this seems more complicated than you guys have been describing.

Could anyone shed some light on this?
Arkku PRO Posted 7 years ago. Edited by Arkku (member) 7 years ago
In the second photo's comments the photographer shows how it's done:

The first one is really interesting. One possibility is that she just jumped, although the final pose seems hard to achieve that way especially without motion blur, so probably not.
Peter van Rens 7 years ago
What second photo?
Arkku PRO 7 years ago
The second link in the post directly above mine, i.e.

the cyclist. by karrah.kobus
Mac-xime Perreault 7 years ago
Still using a ladder
1st rule of levitaion (Hugues)
© C H A I T U 7 years ago
I forgive my EX..!!! by © C H A I T U

one of the pics which i was able to capture :)
Mac-xime Perreault 7 years ago
Here I used Ive used 4 picture.
One for the legs, one for each arms & one for the floor.
I think that the drop of blood on the floor add a lot to show that she is not falling.
I hope you like it :)

Death pose
squarepegjer [deleted] 7 years ago
I took this one last year - it's three separate shots of all the subjects (fiancee, cat, balloons) in the actual room - in these actual positions under the same lighting, then blended in photoshop with simple masking.

Balloon Cat
Fawzan Hasan 7 years ago
In The Air
RachelMarieSmith 7 years ago
365/30 - Sugar & Spice

Used lots of layer masks and a light kit to get this final result.
Here is my first try -
No-Poo by Mya and the Glittering Withywindle
RachelMarieSmith Posted 7 years ago. Edited by RachelMarieSmith (member) 7 years ago
365/30 - Sugar & Spice
My first ever levitation photo and it was featured on explore! :D
Took the photo of myself with the same lighting in another room altogether and edited using masks into the kitchen using the same light setup as the other room.

Electric Jon
Stool. Removed the stool. Camera was sitting on a wall.


365/37 - My World
There are some before and after shots if you check the image out. :)
**Images featured on Gizmodo's Levitation Contest!**

365/53 - Forgotten Childhood [Tribute to Toy Story 3]
The lighting really helps. If you can have everything have the same lighting that's what really brings everything together.
Louish Pixel PRO 7 years ago
I made a behind the scenes video tutorial.

RachelMarieSmith 7 years ago
365/77 - Tea Time
Was leaning against a chair and then I took the chair out of the shot and made sure my dress wasn't pressed down to hide the appearance of the chair.

365/90 - Paradise Falls
Had Jon leaning on a chair upside down and erased the chair.
JulieOnJune 7 years ago
this is my first attempt. my legs were leaning against a chair.
in my dream by JulieOnJune

aand..my second attempt. this photo was just being rotated 180 degree. i take about 3 different photos (teddy, my skirt, myself) and blended them with simple masking.
against gravitation by JulieOnJune
The Davo Davies 7 years ago
This is our first attempt at some levitation photography. Comments/critiques and advice is very much welcome!

Extreme Parkour by The Davo Davies
gouldevane 7 years ago
voila les miennes ;-)
pause café

en Apesanteur
The Davo Davies 7 years ago
Suddenly, we can do the impossible. by The Davo Davies

Ok, so here is attempt 2 of our levitation shots - "Suddenly, we can do the impossible"

We have a ton of ideas for this - just a case of figuring out what works. Any suggestions?
Or, you just start to fly...
As Douglas Adams said: flying is the trick to fall and miss the floor. ;)
dollen 7 years ago
I had this very athletic model jump a thousand times and rotated it for the falling through the clouds feeling.
Lightning Crashes

Most of the levitation images form from the people who did a lot of multiplicity and its really a natural progression. Lots of shots, layers, masks, shadows and time.

This is one of my favorite multiplicity shots. It took me like an hour of editing... but turned out to be well worth it.
kellyboi.2008 Posted 7 years ago. Edited by kellyboi.2008 (member) 7 years ago
I did this one last February
Pringles by kellyboi.2008
Danylö Böbyk Posted 7 years ago. Edited by Danylö Böbyk (member) 7 years ago
I just gave it a shot and made a BTS video and shared the HOW TO at my blog:
Let me know what you think of the video! Cheers = )

The image: "Fly-Away":

and here's the setup:
celline1130 7 years ago
I still don't know how you add the shadows to make it more realistic. Does anyone know how to add shadow/fix dresses on photoshop?
Danylö Böbyk 7 years ago
although I quickly discussed this in my post (just above), I should have elaborated on that;

There are probably many approaches to this but
- ideally it would be great to have the real shadow of the person (if its possible that the prop/holding object doesn't interfere with the shadow. It's nice to have some of the person's shadow be real, and you can just add the rest of it.

- but if that's not possible, I'd recommend to take a quick snap with the same lighting & setup of just the person jumping up or being in a more or less similar position as on the desired levitation image - the point of which= to see how the shadow would really look like so that you can then emulate it in Photoshop

- to add the shadow in Photoshop, i just made a new layer. then use the Brush tool to paint in Black where the shadow should be. Of course the right brush should be used depending if you want a harsh or soft (more feathered shadow). Since its in a separate layer, you can adjust (usually lower) the Opacity so that the shadow looks natural.
KEY point; try different blending modes to see which looks best - i dont remember which i used but its between Multiply, Overlay or Screen - probably overlay. And voila!

hope that helps.
- Danylö
ChelseaWelsea 7 years ago
Thanks to all of you, I made one myself today! =)
Levitate  by ChelseaWelsea
tokate 7 years ago
I made a levitation picture a few months ago, without knowing that there is something like a community about all that.
It's not very professional but it was my first try of levitation.

jasonmcconnie 7 years ago
Parkour can help.
Achilles by jasonmcconnie
Nick Layton Photography PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Nick Layton Photography (member) 6 years ago
Just adding to the already massive amount of good info here.

My levitation shot from a Bank cashpoint area in Southampton with accompanying lighting notes:

A funny thing happened on the way to the cashpoint by Nick Layton Photography
♥bnzfam♥ ツ 6 years ago
this lady is good yowayowacamera.com/
ignaciodespouy 6 years ago
No PS work.. Actual photo
Pool Effect..:-)
G. Kar 6 years ago
Can anyone tell me how to manipulate clothing or hair to hang the right way while levitating?
darkspy_side21 Posted 5 years ago. Edited by darkspy_side21 (member) 5 years ago
Mac-xime (I rather go blind):

i like this perspective... how to make it . . . .someone.. please help me.... give the tutor... teach me :)

its my photo, im trying to make levitation :)

dream on by darkspy_side21
Robert Mao 5 years ago
There is an iOS app named levitagram can make the levitation photo easily with an iPhone, iPad or iPod!
AppStore link

Here is a sample levitation image:
Groups Beta