Sunday, 11 May 2014

Levitation Photography: Techniques for Defying Gravity

Levitation Photography: Techniques for Defying Gravity

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Levitation Photography: Techniques for Defying Gravity

Posted: 10 May 2014 08:47 PM PDT

Levitation is one of the most intriguing subjects in trick photography; it has inspired millions of people since its invention in the mid-19th century. The ability to harness the creative aspects of the photographer and combine it with real-life images has resulted in a combined revolution of art and science.

levitation photographers

“Photographer Levitation” captured by Louish Pixel

One of the simplest, yet most overwhelming and inspiring feelings is found in the types of photographs where the subject seems to levitate above the ground. Levitation photography is still one of the most eye-catching and spectacular types of photographic subjects. However, despite the seemingly complex nature of these photographs, many of them are simple to achieve, either all in-camera, or with the use of technology such as Photoshop or an application on your phone.

For most amateur or aspiring photographers, the ability to improve picture-taking skills is actually easier than we might think. This article shows you how to incorporate this type of special effect into your repertoire. The following techniques will help you accomplish levitation photography:

Jumping Technique

The most spectacular effects are the simplest of all to photograph. The subject simply jumps in place, above the ground, and then the photographer snaps the picture. There are no post-production or editing effects required, since everything takes place inside the camera. However, it does take more than just simple jumping to achieve the effect.

Stationary objects should also be included. In other words, the levitation effect is more pronounced when we see objects that are normally stationary in the frame of the picture, such as a house, vehicle, furniture, or any type of stationary object in a levitated position.

The human subject must not look like he or she is jumping. You can achieve this stationary position with a calm expression on the face, slight bending of the knees so that the feet appear to be floating effortlessly off the ground, and some kind of rigidity in the clothing that does not give away the subject’s motion.

levitation photography

“Test” captured by Amy Constanza (Click image to see more from Constanza).

If your subject has long hair, it’s important to press the shutter button during the middle of a jump and not in the final phase while the subject is descending with their hair appearing to be hanging from the sky. You can also use hair styling product to minimize hair movement to make the shoot easier.

The shutter speed on your camera must be set fast enough so that there is no motion blur. You can hire a skilled model, particularly a dancer or athlete who is accustomed to jumping, to create a more realistic effect.

Double Frame Technique

The next type of levitation trick is using objects, for example stools and ladders, to support the subject. After this, you mask out the subject in post-production editing with the use of photo editing software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop). This is perhaps the most common type of levitation photography.

This type of levitation photography can achieve some spectacular effects if done correctly. You should ensure that objects used to support the subject are easy to remove in post-production editing. To perform the post-production editing, you will require double frames (i.e. shoot two images for post-processing).

Double Frame Levitation Photography Tips
  • Use a sturdy tripod to hold your camera, and place the tripod at a fixed position for the entire shoot.
  • Use manual mode on your camera to achieve your desired lighting exposure, and maintain the same setting for your entire shoot.
  • Use manual focus-mode on the camera lens to achieve the desired focus point on your subject, and maintain the same focus point for your entire shoot.
  • Consider using a remote shutter release or set your camera on self-timer mode if you are modeling for your own shoot.
  • While shooting multiple frames, the first image should consist of only the background without the subject and supporting object. The second image should consist of the exact same background but with your subject and the required supporting object.
  • After capturing the images, you will need to use Photoshop or other editing software to align the two images. You can then easily remove the supporting object by using the masking technique.

In essence, there needs to be a significant color difference between the supporting objects and the subject itself. This makes it easier to isolate and remove the supporting object while editing.

Tips for More Realistic Levitation Photography

gravity-defying photography

“Levitation” captured by Dan Stewart / dan2452 (Click image to see more from Stewart.)

  • Try to include or create shadows of your levitating subject. You should shoot the picture under soft lighting to achieve soft shadows, as it will make your work easier during post-production editing. When necessary, you can clone out the shadow of the supporting object and add in artificial shadows using the burn tool in Adobe Photoshop.
  • The more complex the background, the more believable the levitation. Using a simple, solid color background makes it very easy to achieve levitation effects. However, the more complex and natural the background, the more believable the image. Removing and replacing the support structure is more difficult to achieve.

If you apply the above tips and tricks, you will definitely add wings to your existing portfolio. Expert levitation photography draws an impressed audience at a quicker rate.

About the Author:
Swee Shiong Chong writes for SG East Photo, a photography blog on techniques and equipment that is used in creating all types of photography from around the world.

For Further Training on Levitation Photography:

One of the best-selling photography eBooks on the market covers how to take photos that produce unusual, eye-catching results (including extensive chapters on various levitation photo techniques). It can be found here: Trick Photography and Special Effects

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Interesting Photo of the Day: Stunning Reflection of Autumn Glory

Posted: 10 May 2014 03:45 PM PDT

High in the mountains of Quebec, Canada lies a beautiful 205-square-mile natural conservation area named La Mauricie National Park. Despite the impending wintry weather, autumn is arguably the best time to visit La Mauricie, since the park boasts a vibrant array of fall colors—thanks to its many sugar maple and yellow birch trees.

Photographer Pierre Leclerc captured this stunning photograph of the park in its autumn glory from the shores of glassy Modene Lake:

autumn canada la mauricie national park reflection modene lake quebec

Autumn reflection on Quebec’s glassy Modene Lake. (Via Imgur, Click to see larger size.)

“To be a photographer is to be aware of things around you,” writes Leclerc on his website. “Lots of people miss the most beautiful of things. You need to appreciate nature and see it as it is. You need to be aware.”

Leclerc is a landscape, wildlife, and action sports photographer based in Quebec, Canada. His work has been featured in many outdoors-based publications, including Canadian Geographic magazine.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Photography Project Celebrates the Beauty of Mothers’ Real Bodies (Video)

Posted: 10 May 2014 01:26 PM PDT

Ashlee Wells Jackson, a photographer based out of Chicago, is making a point to show the natural beauty of a mother’s body after childbirth in her photo project titled, The 4th Trimester Bodies Project. The project showcases women’s bodies just after they have given birth in hopes to restore confidence and pride in their bodies:

Jackson had the idea to photograph herself after a trying and heartbreaking pregnancy, in which only one of her twins, Nova, survived and was born at only 24 weeks. Nova spent 100 days in NICU before she was strong enough to be released from the hospital. The loss of Aurora, Nova’s twin sister, and Nova’s battle in intensive care weighed heavily on the new mother.




A project that started just as a personal assignment has turned into an epic venture, as Jackson prepares to take the project on a worldwide tour. See the video below for more details about The 4th Trimester Bodies Project, and check out Jackson’s website for tour dates and to find out more information on how you can be a part of the project.

“I felt broken and damaged, and at a point in my life where I wanted to be celebrating my body for creating life, I was dealing with the fact that it took it away… I wanted to put a picture of myself out there to help myself cope and to hopefully help other women.” – Ashlee Wells Jackson

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Tricks for Photographing Kids and Pets in Natural Light (Video)

Posted: 10 May 2014 11:20 AM PDT

When it comes to photographing children and animals in a natural setting, getting the perfect shot can be tricky. You have to be able to match the children’s energy and effectively capture the kids, the light, and the scene to portray that energy and the feeling of just being a kid. Nikon professional photographer Tamara Lackey leads us behind the scenes of a photo shoot with three playful, energetic children and their dog in a busy, loud park:

The Challenges of Photographing with Children and Pets

With all the outside noises of traffic, construction, and trains, Lackey has to make the extra effort to connect and interact with the children.

In addition to the noise and distraction, she has a few more challenges:

  • Responding to each child’s unique personality individually, as well as a group
  • Shooting dynamic, fast moving subjects
  • Getting great candid images using natural light

Camera Gear

Lackey uses a Nikon D610 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens. She says the camera is perfect for shooting the quick moving kids and dog—it’s fast moving and lightweight. She takes advantage of the beautiful, sunny day by using natural backlighting and sunwashed flare to get playful, happy images.

children playing photo

It’s important to maintain control of the shoot, while still managing to keep the kids enthusiastic. The main thing to keep in mind while photographing children is that, above all else, it has to be fun!

Go to full article: Tricks for Photographing Kids and Pets in Natural Light (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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