I have always wanted to fly. I remember jumping off of furniture, cabinets and refrigerators as a child with blankets attached as wings hoping to at least glide across the room. After months of trying (I was a little hard headed) and many bruises, cuts, sprains and one major visit to the emergency room with screw impaled in my cheek I gave up on my endeavor. Imagine the disappointment after seeing that Superman could do it that I was not cut out for flight. So, so sad!
Fast forward thirty years and after lots of growing up - and having a kid of my own -- I picked up photography and started taking pictures for my job. It wasn't long before I came across a new type of photography that I had to try myself. Photographers were levitating people (they look like they're flying, like I'd always wanted to) and it made me think of my younger days.
Doing some research on the subject I found that it looked like Levitation Photography's roots started with Philippe Halsman's photograph 'Dali Atomicus'. Some of the photograph had moving elements that were either thrown or were jumping in the picture. However the other parts were strung up with wire to give the illusion of levitating objects. This image was a feat of photographic ability combined with artistic prowess -- all the elements in the photo had to be placed and perfectly timed to make this capture possible with a film camera.
Nowadays with the advent of digital cameras, computers and of course with digital darkroom applications like Adobe Photoshop we can do this with relative ease. (I say relative as this still takes some doing and is not as easy as erasing, painting or cloning the image to get what you want.) There are rules that should be adhered to when trying to levitate a person in a photo in order to make it look authentic. In essence, this type of photography is trying to mimic an ethereal airy light feeling while making the viewer wonder exactly "how did they do that?" It is paramount the image and the art should remain true to this idea.
I still haven't found a way to be airborne myself, so in the meantime, I'll make other people fly. It is important to not give up on your dreams even if they are not humanly possible: it's all about thinking outside the box!
If you're interested in doing your own levitation, check out my tutorial.
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To see more great photography visit HuffPost Exposure.