How To: Levitate

There has been a lot of interest in my recent blog post on the Experimenting with Gravity shoot. For those of you who asked, the image is a composite and here is how we did it.

First, I directed and shot our model (Anne Concepcion) against a white backdrop. Yes, she really is jumping in the shots. I was lucky enough to have such a graceful model who made jumping (over and over and over again) seem effortless and beautiful. It helped that I knew exactly how I wanted her to pose and where I wanted her to be in the photo. I made little sketches for her to follow (will not be showing those as they are absolutely horrid) and I even attempted a few jumps myself (will not be showing those either!) so I could show her where I wanted her limbs to fall. As I’ve said before, it is so important to know where you are going and to make sure everyone on your team knows what you are trying to achieve before you even begin shooting. Use sketches, models, photos you pull from books or the internet to help explain what you want. The better you communicate with your team the smoother things will go.

Then, with the same light set up (sb800 shot through a shoot through umbrella, camera left about 6ft. up) I shot the room I wanted to put her in. In retrospect, I realize that it may have been so much simpler to shoot her straight in this room. Live and learn.

Put it all together and what have you got? Bipity bopity boo! (sorry… I’m still on a bit of a Disney high). I simply masked out the white backgrounds, repositioned the models so they would make sense (perspective-wise) relative to the room and to each other. Added a lot of dodge and burn to get the shadows and highlights to make sense. And finally, played with the colors of the models and the room so they would blend better.

And that’s all she wrote. I hope that helps explain things, this really was a whole lot of fun and I look forward to trying it again and seeing how far I can take this effect. Let me know what you think or if you have any ideas on how to take this to the next level.

x,

Jack