How to Make Objects Fly (Levitation Photography): Step-by-Step Tutorial

Levitation photography can be a lot of fun, especially when you are starting out. It refers to a kind of photography where you make it look like that people or objects are flying or floating in the air.

It’s a type of photography that has the potential to continually knock on your creativity prowess as you can think of a million things to do with it.

First, let’s look at some levitation shots to get an idea:

So how do we achieve this?

It’s very simple too and in this post we’ll be looking at how we achieve the following shot of a “floating” paper cup.

The same principle can then be applied to anyone or anything you want to.

Things you would need:

  • A DSLR Camera
  • A tripod
  • Photoshop

Here are the steps:

1. Find a surface on which you want the cup to hover on. In this case, it’s a table.

2. Find an object to which you can attach the cup to, like the stand in the picture below:


3. Place your camera on a tripod and adjust the composition to your liking.

4. Focus on the cup and take a shot. This is your first shot.

5. Now for the second shot, the thing you have to do is to take a shot without the stand and the cup. So remove those first. Now, before taking the second shot, change the focus mode of the lens from automatic to manual. We are doing this because we want to maintain the focus of the camera on the same area as the first shot. This is because we want two identical shots, the only difference being the absence of the cup and the stand. Switching to manual focus ensures the camera doesn’t focus again on the background (the wall in this case). Now take the shot. This is your second shot. If by chance you noticed that the camera lost focus after the first shot, you can again lock focus on the cup by half-pressing the shutter button and then switching the focus mode from automatic to manual. You should get a shot like the one below:

6. Just to make sure, you’ve got everything correct, review both the shots on your camera screen and go back and forth between them. The only difference between both the shots should be the absence of the cup and the stand.

7. Now that you’ve got the shots you need, it’s time to head to the editing part, for which you can view the video below:

Now that you know the concept, let your creativity go wild and try to come up with some dazzling shots and impress your friends.

If you want to learn various types of trick photography, then I suggest you check out the e-book called Trick Photography and Special Effects by Evan Sharboneau.




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