With Halloween approaching, the possibilities are endless for costumes, photo's, and events that many people attend. The image above is a behind the scenes prep for a witchcraft style shoot. There are of course several ways that you can set up similar scenes, but here is one approach.
The scene was shot outdoors with the thought of having trees as supports for the books. Books were purchased at a local thrift shop for less than $1 per book. Very thin monofilament line was hot glued to various points on the books. In some cases, along the spines, in some cases midway through the book. The books were fairly lightweight, so the translucent filament was perfect for them.
Trees were important for this concept since the books could be hung from various limbs at different heights to give the illusion that they were actually floating in the air. It was important that the books appeared in different positions with pages open, upside down, and backwards to further give the illusion of levitation.
Camera angle was important here as the 'magic' is coming from the character in the cloak. Several books were positioned around her, but the image was also framed so that some of the books appear as though the character is throwing books toward the viewer with her magical spell. Above you see several books very near the edge of the frame. along with the other books that are still floating around her.
Of course next steps would be to darken down the scene, but not too much, because in order to be believable, there still needs to be some light to showcase the floating books. The 'witch' of course would then assuming a magical menacing pose as through she were actually casting the spell to cause the books to fly. Other objects such as cards, light weight appliances, or many other common objects could have been used to accomplish a similar scene. Depending upon lighting, you may need to erase the lines that are supporting your objects to increase the illusion. The healing tool is great in Photoshop for this work.
Of course, this is just a starting point for a series of other images that could be make for magical scenes. Levitation photo's are popular, so I have also include a reference for those who would like to add this to their holiday shoots or simply experiment with levitation photography is general. The Photo Extremist show us a common technique here Levitation to get thing moving up in the air!
Bob Barford is an award winning photogapher based on Southern Pennsylvania.