Levitation photography, working with models

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Levitation Mobile Photography – Working with a model.

By Matt Glastonbury, accomplished Mobile Photographer, providing great tutorials and App reviews. Matt is an independent blogger who acts as a Contributing Editor to Ink361. (Add Matt on Google Plus)

In this tutorial we will go over what’s generally needed to take a successful “Levitation” photo. Funnily enough, this is my most assumed edited, and asked-about form of photography. If done properly, these photos can look truly incredible. That’s why people often don’t believe they are unedited. It’s just a jump with good timing!

Capturing the #levitation #jumpstagram is so much fun, especially with props like a broom. One big reason is because it’s as easy as photos 1, 2, & 3. It’s just jumping, but often lots of jumps are actually required.

As you know, a lot of what we communicate is done by physical action/body-language, so your model needs to position themselves, in a way that they would, if they were really flying. So the jumper will need to visualise and/or research what motions, and actions people make when they really are floating. Avoid actions that are normally associated with falling like waving your hands, spreading the legs out etc.

To take effective looking “levitation photos” you need to cover a few important elements:

1, Space between the model and a surface. (Surprisingly, not much space is required, but the angle of the feet are important. The model’s toes need to point down as much as possible)

2, Good body language that suggests flying or floating

3, Shooting at the right time

Most shots taken when the model is jumping upward are effective due to hair, and clothing, angles being pressed down on the body when moving up. Photos of a falling person tend not to resemble flight.

Other important tips to remember:

  • Hold the phone down-low and angle up.
  • Avoid objects that don’t give a clear view of space between feet and surface.
  • Tie down hair or loose clothing that can appear to float if the model is captured when falling.
  • Avoid low-light scenes that slow down the shutter-speed of the camera and cause too much motion blur, especially on the feet.

You can also do this yourself if you have a tripod and install the Fast Camera app for iPhone. Fast Camera will take lots of low resolution (high enough for Instagram) photos of you doing your own jump, allowing you to select and keep the perfect ones. It’s also great for other high-action shots.

Concluding… check out the #levitation, #vadering and #levitation_bymattg hash tags for lots of cool ideas, and head over to my feed for the Levitation Challenge if you’re up for it.



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