There are some wonderful photographs that have been circulating around the internet lately that I loved so much I just had to share. A young Japanese woman, Natsumi Hayashi, has done a series of “levitation” photos, some of which are at various Tokyo train stations. The effect is created using her camera on a timer, and the camera captures her in the middle of motion, frozen in mid-jump. It is a technique that she very obviously excels at, as her photos are so natural she really does appear to be floating. On the technique she says:
I am actually jumping, but if all goes well, I will appear to be levitating the moment the shutter goes off. But if my facial expression appears to look forced then it will only appear as though I’m jumping. That is why the moment I take off I try to appear as calm as I possibly can.
I exert force just at the start of the jump, then I drain all strength from my body. But this method is quite dangerous. As I come back to the ground I have lost my balance and fallen. But that is fine by me. That’s because the photographs only reflect the moments I’m suspended in the air.
I do have a feeling like I need to copycat this, as it looks like it would be incredibly fun to do. Perhaps the new goal for the Tour of the New Haven Line should be to not only get a panorama at each station, but also a levitation photo at each station. On second thought, maybe it isn’t such a great idea – I’ve had the cops called on me for just taking normal pictures… imagine me taking pictures and jumping around like an idiot. But this too is a sentiment that Hayashi is familiar with:
I get very nervous when I shoot in public places. When I am shooting on a subway platform or famous signt-seeing place and jump over 200 times in a row, nearby people start to whisper. No one speaks directly to me, but in a small voice they will say things like, “Is that girl mentally ill?” or “Should we call the police?”
Anyways, enjoy some of Natsumi Hayashi’s levitation photographs, some of my favorites which are posted below. You can find many more on her blog here. You’ll find photography, trains, and cats… hey, that sorta sounds like me!