LEVITATION Photography Tutorial (Easy!) // Make things float!


what’s up everyone this is Tom welcome
back to another video in this one it’s a photography tutorial what I’m gonna be
showing you how to do is levitation photography this sort of really easy
technique that you can pretty much use for a whole variety of shots in my
example I’m using these sort of Scrabble tiles these letter tiles but you can
really use this for a lot of different levitation photography it is a style
that is almost entirely inspired by a photographer called David Wallace @davidwallaceshoots over on Instagram so definitely check him out he does a lot of
this sort of style of photography absolutely love it it’s always a favorite when
it pops up in my feed you only really need two things to make this happen you
need access to an editing software something like Adobe Photoshop and you
need a camera that can be manually focused so manually set focus on and
bonus if you have a lens that you can stop down the aperture on so for
instance I’ve shot this photo on F 1.8 that will just help with the effect
because you’re obviously gonna get a more blurry sort of atmospheric
background the only other thing you’re gonna need for the shoot is you need
something that you’re gonna levitate as I mentioned for me this was these
Scrabble tiles and you’re gonna need some string or some fishing line really
anything that you can sort of hold out in front of your camera lens and stick
the thing or levitating – I need some blue tacks and blue tack or some tape
and that will actually stick these to the line and then obviously what we’re
gonna be doing is photoshopping out that line in Photoshop so once we’ve got
those three things ready what you can do is start sticking your Scrabble tiles or
the thing you are levitating to the fishing line or the string using the
blue tack for me I actually did this whilst I was on the shoot because I knew
that they would just sort of fall off in my bag but it all depend on the item
that you are levitating then what you’re gonna have to do is take two different
photographs oh and this is gonna be a bunch easier to shoot if you have a
tripod because you can just set it up anywhere otherwise just use a wall or
just sort of leave your camera in one place between the two photographs that
we’re gonna take so for the first photo what you’re gonna need to do is put your
subject in frame someone that you’re gonna have sort of like blurring out and
the hand as you can see from my photo so what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna set
a folk point and have it focusing fairly close
to the camera lens then you can have your subject sort of stand in and taken
out of out of focus sort of blurry photo as if they’ve just thrown something at
the camera then just come out of frame and take another few photographs of you
holding that line in front of your camera lens it doesn’t really matter if
your hands are in the shot etc because you’re gonna rub all of
that out in Photoshop but just make sure there is space between these Scrabble
tiles or your levitation object and your hands if that is the case hold onto the
string from a few different angles get a few photos to make sure that you get
sort of just a variety of shots to choose from for my example as you can
see I actually tried to do it initially using the string and trying to get the
full word this didn’t actually really work so I just split up the words I did
Tom and then Rich separately and you’ll find that a lot easier to do and then
you can just repeat the process when we’re editing in post as I will show you
in a second so now you’ve got those photos and let’s jump into Photoshop
and I’ll show you how it’s done okay so I have the three files marked out here
as you can see I’ve got a photo with me sort of blurred out in the background as
if I’m throwing something then I have the first sort of me holding out the
tiles and the other word and as you can see we’ll just be cutting around here so
it doesn’t really matter that I’ve got my other hands and we’ll just repeat the
process that we do for the first tiles with the second set of tiles
so let’s open up this image here open this up in Photoshop let’s assume we’re
pretty happy with the crop at the moment then what we need to do is
just drag in the other image over the top like so and if you shot this on a
tripod it should sort of sit over the top fairly well you can press ENTER and
it’ll place that there then what we’re gonna do is we’re going to go down here
and click add layer mask now simply drop the opacity on this layer ever so
slightly and then we’ll go over to here to the eraser brush bump that up bump
the hardness up as well and then we can select the
the mask again bump up the size and now we could just sort of rub out all of the
areas that don’t contain those Scrabble tiles or the object that you are
levitating this can be fairly rough until you get around the actual sort of
subject itself there we go now we can sort of zoom in and enlarge this hold
space and you can drag around the canvas and you can see that the only bit of
this image is going to be the the Scrabble tiles that’s the only thing
that we want in the final composition so now what we can do is quickly erase a
tool and really bump this down so let’s bump the size down to sort of a maybe a
50 pixel size and we can just drop the hardness again to maybe about a 30% and
we’re gonna start sort of going around the outline outline of our Scrabble
tiles the nice thing about these tiles is because I’m using it because they are
straight edges I can click here and then click the over sort of the other side
and keep it as sort of a fairly soft ish brush but by holding shift it goes in
a straight line from where you click in between those two points
so it was sort of automatically start rubbing out the lines for you the
objective here is obviously to remove a remove all of the other areas off the
photograph most predominantly the string because the background hopefully is
similar so you the color fringing and things like that will actually be
consistent between the two photos the string is the most important thing that
you need to remove so let’s just go ahead and do this for the first few
Scrabble tiles so once you sort of kind of done the
first tile you can bump up that opacity and sort of zoom out and see how that
might look and as you can see that’s already looking pretty decent and then
you just repeat that process for the other tiles and let’s remove the
peripheral area so I’m just gonna do that and then we’ll just speed through now that we’ve outlined all of our subject we can go through with a harder brush and
now that we’ve sort of separated the edges and just rub out all of that
peripheral area of the sort of overlay photograph as you can see that’s already
looking pretty good so now let’s insert the other photograph and just repeat
that process with that one as well okay so we’ll drag this photograph in as
like before press ENTER to place it go down here
click layer mask make sure that we have a pretty big and hard brush applied a
razor brush and then we can just oh I’ll just drop this opacity to make this a
bit easier to see and but then we can just cut around all of the area that
doesn’t contain the actual subject and I’ll just speed through cutting those tiles
out in the same way okay again once we’ve done that sort of
rubber halo around it we can just increase that brush size increase the
hardness and then sort of go around it to give it our final effect if you want
to make sure these selection is totally accurate what you can do is click hold
command excuse me and click on the layer mask and you can see where it’s actually
selected on your mask as you can see the only little bit for me remaining to do
down here is this a little bit here so we’ll just do that then deselect it do
it again and you can see that it’s gone now we can bump up our opacity and you
get these sort of final effect as you can see so now you can actually play
around with these as individual layers and even give them a bit of a sort of a
rotation or that type of thing just to sort of finish this off I’m actually
going to create a new group by pressing command G on these layers
I’m gonna duplicate that and then I’m gonna rasterize that group excuse me I’m
gonna merge that group and then I’m going to give it a little bit of a blur
filter a little bit of a lens blur just to sort of just kind of add to the
realism of the effect not very much at all just probably a lens blur of maybe
about ten something like that we can hide that other group and even scale
this down ever so slightly just again so it looks a little bit more realistic now
what we can do is just throw a grade or preset over the entire image I like to
do that with composite images where you’re sort of putting an image into
another one it just an overall grade sort of really helps the the vibe and
the feel feel the same between all of the layers. There we have it guys not on
all that scary effect as I’m sure you can agree hopefully you have enjoyed
this video and/or found it helpful be great to see some of your photos if you
do attempt this techniques so hit me up on Twitter or
Instagram with those other words I’ll be responding to comments or questions or
suggestions in the comments down below and I will catch you, next time

10 Replies to “LEVITATION Photography Tutorial (Easy!) // Make things float!”

  1. What's up creatives! Posted a photo earlier in the week teasing this levitation photography effect – so here's the tutorial breakdown! Gotta try at speeding these tutorial-style videos up, but hopefully it does a good job at breaking down the process so you guys can attempt it yourselves.

    Sorry that the sound goes a tad shonky around the 6 minute mark (only for about 15 seconds or so) I actually edited a lot of this video on a flight, as I'm in LA for work for a week now. I didn't want to delay this going live so hopefully it's not too bad! Enjoy dudes 📸

  2. This is very helpful. I will post something like this in my instagram and will tag you! Hope ul comment! Great Job, Tom!!!

  3. I'm starting to feel like a supportive mother on Facebook, but I mean it, a great video as always!

  4. Good Video!! There is an easier way, just use the Selection Brush tool and select the tiles with the tool , I'll make a video about it 🙂

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