[BTS] Scissor Kick Levitation Shot
World Cup fever? Everyone's hyped and even I am tracking it, although I can't claim I'm a football fan.
Well, in the meantime, I came across some levitation photos that really impressed me and decided I wanted to give it a try myself. The easiest test subject at my disposal? Obviously, my little bro, who ended up showing off this photo as his profile pic to impress some friends.
My little brother got a football with Berbatov's autograph on it and a couple of small goals set up in the yard, and obviously he was having a blast! I asked him about making this shot and his first reaction was 'but I can't do that', so I had to comfort him that *cough*some Photoshop will be involved.
I find levitation shots quite magical in a sense and surreal, and they are because of the Photoshop work that goes into it. However, I don't think they are completely made up because for the most part they involve the actual subject in the actual environment, so the digital manipulation is to remove the supporting wires, rather than create something completely bonkers.
Here I have to say that this was only my first attempt at it so the results aren't necessarily spectacular and there are plenty of thing I could have done better, but I'm really happy with the way this image turned out.
The process is really simple really. Ah, this is where we get to the BTS part!
Step 1: put the camera on a tripod so that you have the composition you want (obviously)
Step 2: take a shot for the background without your subject in it, or, like it is in my case above, a few shots with different exposures to make an HDR
Step 3: put your subject on a decently comfortable platform for them to 'levitate' on in the correct place in the frame. Support them as much as possible (or as little) to get the desired pose. You may or may not assistants *cough* friends, as I said in a previous post, to help out. Always keep post-production in mind to make life easier later!
Step 4 (optional): add any additional elements, like the ball in my case. You can make your subject or friends hold items in the right places for the different shots, or you could use a remote to do it yourself or even the camera's timer.
Step 5: Here everything comes together in the computer and we do our hocus-pocus magic trickery in Photoshop to use some layer masks to bring the elements we want from each shot (and hide those we don't!) to make the final image!
Step 6: Don't forget to show it off! Because it's not really meant to sit just in Photoshop and on multiple redundant hard-drives, is it?
Important note: it's best if the lighting/time of day/place/etc remain at least roughly the same. Makes life much easier in post-production.
Oh, and another cool thing, it works with any camera really as long as you set everything up right.
Here are the original shots (exported straight from Lightroom without editing the RAW files from my Nikon) which I used to composite my final shot:
Again, I could have set this up much better to get a much more dramatic and spectacular final result, but it was my first time doing it and I learned a lot from it.
I'm considering making a whole levitation series now.
These kind of images are truly mesmerizing and magical.
As always, for more of me and my work keep coming back to my blog! I promise I will be updating it more and more consistently!