5-Step Guide: How to Create ‘Levitation Photos’.

by | Jul 4, 2019 | How To, Inspiration, Tips and Tricks

Levitation images are magical! They’re super cool looking, eye-catching and make people think about what’s not quite right. If you look online for levitation photography, you will find more than a dozen amazing examples. However, levitation photography hasn’t become too wildly popular yet. Maybe because it seems like a difficult feat to pull off?

What most people would be surprised to find out is that, in its most basic form, levitation photography is just about composition and stitching two or more photos together in a   software (like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP).

So today we’re gonna be talking about how to create photos where the objects are seemingly floating (no Hogwarts or Ilvermorny diploma required). There are a few ways to make objects float in photos;

Credits: Carl Kleiner

You can actually tie a string around the object and hold it up, take a photo and then erase the string in Photoshop after.

Credits: Jakob Owens

Turn up your shutter speed and toss the object up into the air (kinda like when you see all those photos on Instagram where people have an object levitating over their hand).


Credits: Christopher James on imgur

You can take a photo of the background and one of the objects separately before cutting the object out in Photoshop and levitating it manually.

Now, if you don’t have a bunch of string lying around or if you’re not very good at cutting things out using photoshop (which is understandable), here’s an easier way to go about things.

The Essentials

First, you’re going to need a camera to shoot the photo with (if you don’t have a DSLR camera, you can still use your phone), a tripod to hold the camera steady and some kind of photo editing software. For this tutorial, we’ll be using Adobe Photoshop. 

Your Subject

The next step is to take a photo of the object that you want to levitate (in this tutorial, we’ll be using the Pixajoy Mini-Layflat Photo Book). You don’t need a fancy light or any kind of fancy setup for this, so if you’re just shooting with natural light or with whatever’s in the room this method will still work. What’s most important is how you execute your shots. 

Now that you’ve got your object, make sure that it’s levelled and is framed nicely (basically, have everything looking the way you want it to look). For the camera setting, have the shutter speed at 1/250th of a second and adjust the ISO accordingly depending on your light. 

There are two reasons why you will need to shoot your photos at high shutter speed. The first reason is to balance out the light available to you. The second reason is that there’s going to be a little bit of shake when we get into the levitating part and you’ll want to try and freeze that motion as much as possible.

The Trick

Alright, here’s the big reveal on how to make your objects float! You’re going to hold your object on the right-hand side and take a photo before repeating the step, this time, holding the object on the left-hand side. Once you’ve got these two separate shots, combine them together in Photoshop and edit out the hands.

The key point of this method is that you’re going to want to keep your object as close to the same position as possible (because the more you have to move each shot, the harder it’s going to be to put these two images together). You can do that by turning on your 3X3 Grid on your camera.

Simply line up the object right in the centre (in the same place) for both shots and capture your images. Make sure to get a couple of different versions (always review what you have) and try and to pair up whatever looks to be the most accurate in position. Another really important thing to remember is to switch your focus over to manual focus mode (the reason for this is because you want the focus to be exactly the same for both photos).

A little Editing Magic

Once you’re happy with your photos, open them in photoshop and make sure they’re both editable layers. Now that you have the two images on Photoshop as layers on top of each other, take the first layer and turn down the opacity to about 37% so that you can see how your images line up. If they’re a bit crooked, no worries. Simply use the Move tool to ensure that the object in your photo is properly lined up. Once that’s done, simply delete the parts of the photo that you don’t want. 

Now, the reason why most people like this method is because it actually keeps the shadows underneath your image (which is what makes it feel like a real levitation). So what you want to do is to create a layer mask and brush out what you don’t want.

In order to do that, simply select layer one and click on the layer mask icon. This is going to create a layer mask (be sure to change the layer mask colour to black!). Next, select the brush tool and increase the size. Make sure to turn the hardness down all the way because you’ll want nice soft edges when you paint over the unwanted parts of your images. 

The Results

Once you’re done painting, you’re going to be left with a complete levitation image. At this point, you can crop the photo to your desired size and add in a curve layer in order to adjust the lighting to your preferences (maybe even throw in a background if you want).

And voila, you’re done!

 


Now that you’ve learnt to make floating photos, why not practice and turn your finished images into cool photo prints, photo books or more! You can browse our selection of premium quality photo products on the Pixajoy website today.

6 Personalised Christmas Gifts to Delight Your Loved Ones

Planning to get ahead in your Christmas shopping? Great! We definitely recommend it because: You get to avoid the stress of finding a gift last minute. You’ll have more time to pick out something thoughtful and/or meaningful. You’ll actually save a lot of money in the...
story tag card christmas decor

6 Easy DIY Christmas Decors

Christmas is coming up and what better way to show off that Christmas spirit than by giving your home a holiday makeover. We understand that at times, the allure of store bought Christmas decor is hard to ignore. But on the other hand, there’s just something about DIY...

4 Creative Ways to Identify Your Talents And Utilise Them

Each one of us carries certain qualities that contribute to our personal life and society. But sometimes with the constant pressure of daily life commitments, peer pressure, and so on, it's no surprise that we lose ourselves in the shuffle. So if you're one of them...

8 Personalised Fall Decor Ideas For Your Home

Malaysia might not have four seasons like the western countries, but that doesn’t stop us from falling in love with all things Fall! From pumpkin spice lattes to everything earth-toned, there’s just something inherently magical about the fall season. Maybe it’s...

5 Easy Ways to Personalise Your Child’s Learning Experience

During your child's first year, you'll notice that they seem to develop at a rapid pace. Their weight will double between the 5th - 6th months and triple by the time they hit their first birthday. They'll also go through many major milestones - like learning how to...
personalised stickers for kids

Top 3 Shapes of Personalised Stickers and How to Use Them

Stickers are a type of label which has been used for many years as an amazing medium in advertising products, establishing brands, kickstarting new projects, decorative items for personal use and even helping elect politicians. They are loved by people of all ages...

5 Ways to Live a Meaningful Life

Wanting to live a meaningful life is just part of human nature. No one likes the feeling of being stuck in a rut without any progress. We're sure that at some point in time, you must have experienced something similar. The almost robotic feeling of waking up, going to...

Top 4 Things to Be Passionate About for a Fulfilling Life

Are you living your life in a flow or a fulfilling life with lots of love and passion? If your answer is "yes" great! But if your answer is "no" then, this question should be thought-provoking that'll need you to reach the depth of your soul and discover yourself. We...

How to Make a Baby Book in 4 Easy Steps

See the baby doing something cute. Take a photo with the phone. Upload the moment onto Facebook or Instagram. That seems to be the ‘go to’ option for parents to easily share and keep track of their child’s growth and progress. Unfortunately, most of these ' slices of...
wedding photo book layout designs example

What to Do with Your Wedding Photos: 4 Creative Ideas

Wedding photography is one of the biggest investments couples do to capture their wedding moments and cherish them for a lifetime. It’s likely the first or few times you’ll not only have professional photos taken of you but also the photos of your close ones, favorite...

Follow Us on Social Media