I’m sure you have all seen photo’s where people appear to be levitating, but have you ever tried it out for yourself?

It’s not really all that hard. All you need is:

  1. Camera.
  2. Tripod.
  3. Flash. (optional)
  4. Ladder, milk crate, box , chair or anything to support you above the ground.
  5. Photoshop or any editing software that allows you to work with layers.

 

First of all, set up your camera on your tripod. Set your camera to manual and take a background shot. Once you get your exposure how you want it, be sure to keep your settings the same in all of your shots.

Next step is to get levitating! To help you fight gravity, position yourself on a ladder or whatever you have handy. (I’ve used milk crates here) If you’re shooting alone you’ll need to set the timer on your camera or use a remote to release the shutter. Or, if you have a good friend named Dean, like i do, set everything so it’s ready to go and get him to press the shutter release for you. (Thanks Dean)

Now it’s time to open up photoshop where the illusion will all start to take shape. Open both images using the image without you in it as the background. There are a few ways to remove the milk crates. The eraser tool will do it, but it is irreversible, so if you make a mistake you’ll have to start over. The best tool for the job that i’ve found is the “Layer mask”, it lets you paint out any detail you like, and if you make a mistake you can paint it right back in again. If you don’t know how to do layer masks, go and google it. But hurry back, we’re just getting to the good bit! If you do know how to do layer masks go right ahead and start to paint out the milk crates. When you’re satisfied they’re all gone it’s time to go to layers and “flatten image”.

Once the milk crates are gone, there might be a dent in your bum, legs or stomach in my case, from where your weight was on the milk crates. To fix this go into filters and select “Liquify”. Use a medium size brush and carefully push out the dented area.

Once you have everything where it should be, just edit the image to your liking as you would with any other photo.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful.

Now go get levitating!

Good luck!

Dean, part time model, full time web designer. http://thriveweb.com.au/

51 Comments

  • Greg Gardner

    September 10, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Thanks for this, you laid it out very simply and I can’t wait to try.

  • rafael rodrigues

    December 3, 2010 at 8:39 am

    nice tutorial man super easy to follow and understand. I have been experimenting with this for a little bit and some of my photos have came out better than others. The DOF is quite nice and your body is in focus to which gives the picture a nice sharpness.

  • Andrew

    December 4, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Thanks Rafael, i’d like to see one of yours if you want to put a link up.

    Cheers,
    Andrew.

  • Cindy

    December 28, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Nice.. it’s simpler than I was telling myself it was when I tried to look it up. I always over complicate things when trying to figure it out.

    Thank you!

  • Adam Cavanagh

    January 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Cool stuff! I’m definitely gonna have to try this out.

  • Beth

    May 22, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Ah love this levitation idea :) have been looking for ages for tutorials and you’re one of few people to actually bother explaining the whole process properly and to show how you went about doing it! So thanks for helping me out a great deal.
    Although I can’t help but think how people get their models really high up in an image, high up in the sky or touching the ceiling… hmmm.. I am determined to find a way!

  • matt weigand

    September 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I have been trying to do this for quite some time now and i have the same problem that no tutorial online can help me with. In the layer bar on the side there is no tool or button to click on for layer mask , so i cant proceed with this levitation editing.

  • Jay Thomas

    September 22, 2011 at 8:36 am

    My god! This is bloody amazing! Made it look so easy as well! Very helpful! Massive inspiration! Thank you!

  • halishia

    September 30, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Hey! I know you did this ages ago, but i just wanted to say how amazing this was and how easy you made!!! i am going to try it now. (:

  • Andrew

    October 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    @matt weigand
    The rectangle with a circle in it will give you a layer mask. If you can’t get it to work that way, just stack the layers and use the eraser tool to remove unwanted items. It’s not ideal but it will get you started.
    Cheers, Andrew.

    P.s. Thank you all for the kind comments!

    Andrew. :)

  • Jessica

    January 13, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Thank you! This is great

  • isolabella

    March 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Now I will try to fly! Thank you.

  • Knock Knock Jokes

    March 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    How to levitate. (Levitation in a photo tutorial) ‹ Andrew Otten Photography I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks! your article about How to levitate. (Levitation in a photo tutorial) ‹ Andrew Otten PhotographyBest Regards Cindy

  • Lenita Dieng

    March 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    We are thinking about our getaway so for us this is quite timely.

  • Knock Knock Jokes

    March 16, 2012 at 5:51 am

    How to levitate. (Levitation in a photo tutorial) ‹ Andrew Otten Photography I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re wonderful! Thanks! your article about How to levitate. (Levitation in a photo tutorial) ‹ Andrew Otten PhotographyBest Regards Cindy

  • Antione Seagren

    March 17, 2012 at 1:41 am

    We are thinking about my trip so for me this is useful to know.

  • cimengse

    March 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    How to levitate photography (Levitation in a photo tutorial) ‹ Andrew Otten Photography I was suggested this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks! your article about How to levitate photography (Levitation in a photo tutorial) ‹ Andrew Otten PhotographyBest Regards Cindy

  • Neal Albani

    March 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Can I publish your publish to my blog? I’ll add a one-approach hyperlink to your forum. That’s one actually candy post.

  • Porsha Riopelle

    April 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Great Website sir. Thank you for offering us your work. I will put this on my Facebook page for my friends to come and read it as well.

  • Andrew

    May 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you,

    Andrew.

  • Andrew

    May 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Feel free to share,

    Cheers, Andrew.

  • Andrew

    May 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Cindy,

    I’m glad you like the tutorial, thanks for the comments.

    Andrew.

  • click

    May 31, 2012 at 12:42 am

    I adore that blog site layout ! How do you make it. It is so sweet.

  • Andrew

    May 31, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks, i love it too!

    Talk to Dean at Thrive Web Design!

  • Mandar

    July 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    u r great !!! u made it simple …very simple indeed !!!!
    but, why did’nt u explain “Layer Masking” ? would have been THE PERFECT one.
    :)
    anyway
    Thanks for u’r help !!

  • Andrew

    July 14, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks for the comments Mandar!
    I did consider doing an in depth tutorial, but i knew there were plenty of great tutorials on layer masks already. Next tutorial i will go into more detail, i promise. :)

    Andrew.

  • Ting

    August 20, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Wow~ I love you!!
    will go and try!! :-D

  • Andrew

    August 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks Ting, love you too.
    Good luck!

  • Sarah

    January 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    What certain apps would have the liquefy or layer mask included in them?

  • http://tinyurl.com/bunmnevin25625

    January 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    “How to levitate photography (Levitation in a photo tutorial) ‹ Andrew Otten Photography” was a delightful post, cannot
    wait to read alot more of ur posts. Time to spend numerous
    time on the internet lolz. Thank you -Trina

  • Andrew

    January 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Photoshop, all versions i think. I hope this helps.

  • Lisa

    June 12, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Amazing! Thank you so much for the step by step instructions, I can’t wait to try it.

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