US CitySlicker Nicolas: This Isn’t Flying, It’s Falling with Style (A Guide to Levitation Photography)

2012-08-22 14

With every new roll I put into my camera, I always try to do at least one levitation shot. For the past few months, after many trials and errors, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for taking jumping pictures so you guys can do it yourself!

Credits: nicolasesc

Levitation shots aren’t necessarily a new thing in photography. The first time it caught my attention was when I stumbled upon the photos from the Japanese photographer, Natsumi Hayashi, better known as Yowayowa Camera!

Her jumping shots are flawless. She captures levitating self-portraits in what seems like a normal everyday setting, whether it be riding the train or vacuuming her house. Check out her website to learn more about Natsumi and her amazing pictures.

Inspired by her photos, I wanted to try levitation pictures for myself. But of course, I had to do it my own analogue way. My main weapon of choice is my handy dandy LC-Wide. But of course, it’s a matter of preference and pretty much any camera will do the trick. Although I’m still learning and my shots are far from perfect, here are just a few things I’ve learned.

I feel the easiest way to get a supah-cool levitation shot is to have someone help you take the picture. When I’m out shooting, I’m usually on a photowalk with someone. Most of my levitating pictures are taken by my sister micesc or my homeboy j_rad. The other option would be to use a film camera that has a self-timer and to set it on a tripod which I personally think is a bit tricky. You’d need to make sure to have enough time to run back in place and jump!

Credits: nicolasesc

The next thing you need to do before taking your shot is practice! Have it framed the way you want and have someone check the viewfinder while doing a few practice jumps to see if your body will still be in the frame. Some of the things you want to check before exposing the shot are the placement of your arms and legs. Usually when I jump, I have my legs far apart and my arms stretched out. This I noticed from Yowayowa Camera’s shots! It gives it motion and it looks a lot more like you’re really floating above the ground.

Credits: nicolasesc

It’s also important to jump as high as you can so you can give the camera and the person taking the picture enough time. You want to be as high off the ground as possible. With a strong leap, you’ll be in the air longer and therefore you’ll have a better chance of getting your floating shot.

Credits: nicolasesc

Another tip is to shoot with a camera that has the ability to use a fast shutter speed. This is why I love to use my LC-Wide as opposed to a camera like the La Sardina, for example. Shooting with the LC-Wide on a really sunny day, I’m able to take a picture at 1/500th of a second. Basically, the faster the shutter speed, the less amount of blur you’ll see when you’re jumping. It’ll capture the moment faster and really look like you’re free from gravity!

Credits: nicolasesc

Now, it’s your turn! Grab your camera, get a roll of film, but most of all just have fun when taking levitation pictures. Being that we are Lomographers, there really is no right way to do things! Forget about my rules and come up with your own unique styles. Try incorporating props or even shoot multiple people in one shot.

Credits: nicolasesc

I love jump shots because they look so unreal. Many times I’ve felt I wanted to leave the earth and be free in the sky. Levitation photography makes that possible. After all, photographs display a split second that existed in time. With levitation photography, we can truly create and capture the impossible on film.

The Lomo LC-Wide boasts the newly-developed 17mm Minigon Ultra-Wide Angle lens. This 35mm camera wonder is the perfect companion for your photo expeditions. It produces eye-catching splashes of colour with astonishing saturation and contrasts with the added versatility of 3 different formats. Open up to a new photographic experience with the LC-Wide, available in our Shop.

written by nicolasesc on 2012-08-22 #gear #tutorials #art #diy #california #san-francisco #jump #guide #bay #tipster #bay-area #do-it-yourself #city #united-states #us #sf #toy-story #levitation #nico #select-type-of-tipster #select-what-this-tipster-is-about #nicolasesc #nicolas #esc #cityslicker #slicker


  1. jeffr
    jeffr ·

    well done!!!

  2. life_on_mars
    life_on_mars ·

    yeehhh! great

  3. guanatos
    guanatos ·


  4. elletra
    elletra ·

    I love this!

  5. megzeazez
    megzeazez ·

    Excellent!! Looks like so much fun, I'm gonna go try it.

  6. nicolasesc
    nicolasesc ·

    @jeffr @life_on_mars @guanatos @elletra @megzeazez Thanks friends! I want to see your levitation shots soon! :)

  7. j_rad
    j_rad ·

    You should warn them about how tiring it can be to do multiple practice runs in a row! :) But hey, anything for the perfect shot, right?

  8. mochilis
    mochilis ·

    Brilliant! Must try it :)

  9. reminator
    reminator ·

    Awesome will try this mos def!

  10. hollyelizabeth_
    hollyelizabeth_ ·

    Awesome article! I doubt my La Sardina would do jumping shots justice but I'll give it a blast anyway -thanks!

  11. lomonesia
    lomonesia ·

    Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I must try at home

  12. nuo2x2
    nuo2x2 ·

    lot of fun tipster!! nice result photos as well!!

  13. hailkingstewie
    hailkingstewie ·

    Love this article

  14. oskar73
    oskar73 ·


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