Friday, February 8, 2013

DIY - learn to fly

I'm sorry I can't teach you how to fly, but I can teach you to look like flying on a photograph.

the first time I saw levitation photography here I was in love, I just had to do it. So I asked google how to do it and it gave me this roundup. But since I don't have photoshop I had to figure out myself how to do it on picmonkey, the free version. Yes you can still do awesome things with the free version. A few days later I got outside with Tim and took some pictures. you can see the other one's here
And now I'm going to share my findings and thoughts about it with you.
click 'like to see more' for the tutorial.

taking the pictures:

for a levitation photo you need a camera, a tripod and a computer with Internet. Any digital camera will do but I prefer a DSLR because you can set everything manually so there are the least differences between your two pictures. that brings me to the next point:
take two pictures, one of you balancing on a crate, stool or maybe a ladder,
and the other of the background. In my case with the snow you better take the background picture first so there won't be footsteps.
you need the tripod to make sure the pictures are taken from exactly the same angle.


1. open your picture in picmonkey
2. go to the overlay section and select your own
3. open your background photo as overlay.

4. set the fade on 50% and zoom in than make sure the pictures are perfectly overlapping each other.

5. zoom out and select eraser and erase the entire thing, accept for the stool.
first set the fade at 100% again so you can see what you're doing. if you make a mistake you can select the brush to paint your overlay back


to make it more realistic you might want to add a shadow. You can do this this way:
6. add a black rectangle as overlay,
7. erase the entire thing, then with the brush make a shadow in the right shape.
8. go back to the basic options of your overlay and select 'overlay' in the blend modes,
-tip: if the shadow you created is to week right click it and select duplicate layer, zoom in and place it where you want it, now your shadow is twice as dark. Too dark? just fade it.
 9. click the merge layers button (shown above) your overlays are now a part of the picture and you can't change them anymore. Now you can edit the rest of your pic, the colors the exposure etc.  if you do this before merging you'll only edit the base picture and not your overlays.

the rest of the editing is up to you.


-if you have a smaller picture you'll have bigger brushes and picmonkey will work faster
you can resize your picture in the basic edits menu. 
-do not edit the photo before merging the layers
- if you shoot in snow like we did set your exposure compensation on +1, the snow is really bright.
- let your imagination go wild grab a shopping cart or levitate above the water, levitate in groups, fly like a super hero...
- just type levitation photography in Google and you'll get tons of great examples
- if you shoot macro use manual focus to make sure that your background pic has the same focus as your subject.

I hope you learned something and that you are just as exited as I am.
Please show me your results I would love to see them.


  1. Wow! I'm so happy you did this!! It's simply brilliant! and it's so awesome that you did it with PicMonkey! that's the only program that I use, so thank you so much :) I'm so going to try this. <3

  2. Super!!!! The photo on the bridge especially interesting! reminded a scene from Harry Potter)) where Katie Bell flies up in the air.

  3. Thank you!!!
    I didn´t know picmonkey can do such good tricks♥♥

    LOVE your tutorial!!

    xx Barbora♥♥

  4. Thanks! I love this tutorial! If I use it I will let you know :-)

  5. I'm new to picmonkey and I can't find the overlay option. HELP?!?!?

    1. Its at the left, a speach bulb a hart and a star, you can see it at the first screenshot. Good luck

  6. Awesome stuff! I knew how to do this on - but couldn't figure it out on picmonkey. Thanks :o)

  7. That's awesome! I love the colors.

  8. that's so cool! Thanks for posting the tutorial! :)

  9. This is great! The end result is fascinating

  10. WOOW Echt suuuupervet! Hahah dit lijkt me echt heel erg leuk om een keer te proberen!

  11. Geweldig dit! thanks for the share

  12. Oh wow I am new to picmonkey, this is a fabulous tutorial, and I am definitely goin to give it a go, thank you so much,,,, regards Bev

  13. We did a levitation Christmas card years ago, but our friend -- who's an expert photoshop guy -- fixed the picture for us. No WAY did I think I'd be able to do this myself. So cool.

  14. I found this difficult and could not accomplish this feat but instead I used the clone tool to clone over the bench and had wonderful results.

  15. The kids will have fun with this! Thank you. :)