24 Magical Images That Prove Levitation Is Possible

24 Magical Images Of Levitating Bodies
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“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward," Leonardo da Vinci famously mused. Artists have long been fascinated with the prospects of flying and floating, from da Vinci's sketches of flying machines to Marc Chagall's dreamy paintings. And as advancing technology has catapulted art into the 21st century, the dream of "tasting flight" has become that much more real. Take for example, the mesmerizing art of levitation photography.

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Black Balloon Antics by Damon Dahlen (Photo credit: Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

We have photographer Damon Dahlen to thank for this hypnotic moving image, a kaleidoscope of visual trickery and aesthetic awe. He's the mind behind an entire series of levitation photographs that seems to achieve the impossible. Men and women defy gravity with magical ease -- dancing, falling, hovering and soaring in midair. The stunning acts are captured in GIF form, bringing the act of flying to new and more beautiful heights.

To create his levitation objets d'art, Dahlen engages in a complex process of puzzling together static photos one after another. "I generally shoot the levitating person (a person in frame, resting on a stool or a ladder) and then a base shot. I then lay the levitation photo over the base photo and remove what the person is resting on," he explained. His moving images -- the GIFs -- are a bit more complicated, and can take anywhere between a couple of hours to a several days to complete. He has to repeat the process above over and over again, shooting several photographs, and taking into consideration speed and emphasis as the images come together in a frenzy of motion.

"I love the fact that the GIF has unlocked the middle ground between photo and video," Dahlen added. "It's no longer a medium that is just used for quick hits of funny parts of videos. With the powerhouse that photoshop has become and the realization that this new ability can allow artists to play in spaces that were not possible before makes the possibilities seem endless."

His results, featuring dark marionettes and ethereal music box dancers, seem well worth the exhaustion. Take a peek at Dahlen's hypnotic GIFs below and let us know your thoughts on his levitation style in the comments.

Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Peace
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Let Me Pull Some Strings
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
A Sudden End
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Untitled
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Flail Nowhere
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Strobe Death
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Why Walk When You...
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Smooth, Stop, Repeat
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
What Did She Say?
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Just Blink
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Shortest Distance Between Two Points...
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Give Me A Banana, NOW!
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Hairiffic!
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
I Know This Is Possible
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Music Box Dancer
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Pink Pumps
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
It's Me!
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Ghostly Maneuvers
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Stomp
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
The Eye
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Look Over There
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
One Way Or The Other
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Stormy End!

Editor's Note: Damon Dahlen is a photographer at The Huffington Post and these images are but a few examples of the breadth of his work as a professional artist. Many of the models in this series are, in fact, HuffPost writers, editors and staff members. His work has previously been featured by Saatchi Gallery, and you can see more of his static levitation photography below. For more levitation goodness, Dahlen suggests checking out the work of yowayowa and Ms. Aniela.

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Before You Go

The Unknown
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Figurine
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
The Fall
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Onward
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Toe Point
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Stop, Stop, Stop
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Chillin'
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
I'll Show You
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Take Me Away
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Looking Glass
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Exit Stage Left
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Levitation
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
I Got My Spotlight On You
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Nobody Puts Ray Giggles In A Window
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Stuck?
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
My Hair Rocks
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Oh Baby Baby
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Just Hanging Around
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Strike A Pose
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

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