Miljenko Barbir – Levitacija – on fotogard.com
English translation of the article:
Levitation is a process which enables an object to counter the force of gravity and float in mid air maintaining a stabilised position without any physical contact to the ground. There are several methods of matter levitation, from aerodynamic, magnetic, acoustic, electromagnetic, electrostatic, etc.
Besides physically explainable and provable methods, there are paranormal contexts of levitation where human bodies are mystically maintain a position in mid air. Those methods are explained as tricks, illusions, auto-suggestion and unseen forces of nature, usually related to religious beliefs and ceremonies.
In context of this project, “Levitation” is related exclusively to photographic tricks, used to create an illusion of subjects floating in air. Subjects are “caught” while doing usual daily routines, such as walking on the shore, climbing the stairs, picking flowers, playing with plush toys or making soap bubbles. All while levitating.
What does this project mean to me? I’ve started and finished this project as something which gave me a point, a goal and a motivation to learn how to photograph, use available lighting, natural or strobes, working with models, while resulting in unusual photographs different than the rest which can at least pull out a smile from those watching as they say “how did you do this”…
There are two different techniques used to create an illusion of levitation, mostly depending on the subject and its ability to levitate.
First technique was simple jumping in air while trying to catch that “decisive moment” using fast shutter speeds between 1/320 to 1/1000, or when using strobes, 1/200 due to slower flash/camera synchronization speeds.
Second technique requires taking several photographs without moving the camera, using the tripod and a remote shutter release, while holding the subject in the desired position in air. One of the photographs contains the subject with the “holder”, and the second one containing just the scene without the holder and the subject. Often there was a third photograph which would capture the “connecting surface” between the holder and the subject. Combining the two/three photographs we get the wished result: A levitating subject (without the “holder”).
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