Levitation Article/Tutorial

I’ve been a fan of Levitation Images for a while now, and thought it was about time I had a proper go myself.  This small article/tutorial is a walk-through on how I created my image below.  Please bare in mind that you do not need low light nor flash.  It’s all about experimenting and having fun!

Levitation - Push Your Limits

Levitation – Push Your Limits

To get the final image above, I had a Nissin di866 MKII Pro flash gun mounted on a light stand, shot through a white umbrella.  The lighting itself was pretty low so I could achieve the shadow effect I was after.

I got to the location I wanted to set my equipment up at a little before sunset so I could get a focus reading (camera was mounted on a tripod).

A pair of step ladders was used as my main platform to stand on, and I took quite a few photos to get my staged lighting right.  When everything was set up, I set the camera to remote timed release.  Climbed up the step ladders (without falling off), and again took a series of shots to see I had everything set up as I wanted.

Levitation Photo - Stage #1

Levitation Photo – Stage #1

Because of the low light, and the way I positioned the flash gun, only the immediate foreground was lit, and also cast shadows to the right of me (as you are looking at the photo).

When I was happy with the way I looked on the step ladders (apart from nervous LOL), I needed to take a second photo – this time without the step ladders.  The camera nor the flash were moved.  Once things were moved I ended up with the following photo.

The background Image for Levitation

The background Image for Levitation

Now that I have my photos, the next step is Photoshop (or whatever photo-editing package you are using).  Open the two photos you want as Layers (or open both as separate documents and copy one onto the other).

With the two photos loaded, I placed the image of myself on the step ladders up on top of the layer stack, and then added a Layer Mask.  If you can’t use Layer Masks, the Erase tool will work just as well.

Next I removed the step ladders, and its shadow (shown below), taking care to leave my own shadow in the photo.

Remove Step Ladders & Shadow

Remove Step Ladders & Shadow

Finally, I cleaned up the foreground using Content Aware to make it look more natural.  The Clone Tool will do the same job (just takes a little longer).

I’m going to have more goes at this type of thing.  It would be great if you could post links to your own images – its all a learning curve 🙂

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One thought on “Levitation Article/Tutorial

  1. Pingback: Levitation Article/Tutorial « Mark White Photography

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