"Tokyo's Levitating Girl" Natsumi Hayashi


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AsherGZ
I was recently in a bookstore and saw a used copy of Natsumi Hayashi's book featuring photos of her floating in mid-air. It was still quite expensive, so I passed, but here are some of the photos which are pretty cool.

hayashi2.jpg

hayashi1.jpg

hayashi11.jpg

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Photo trick? Photoshop? Thin ropes, hanging from above somewhere? None of that! The photos are authentic.

Hayashi, who took her first levitating picture three years ago, creates her anti-gravity self-portraits in such a way that makes her look as if she?s floating in the air. She takes shots on the streets of Tokyo, at train stations, in restaurants, on fields and other locations.

As she explained in many of her interviews for the media, each photo is carefully planned out and sometimes it takes her more than 200 jumps before she gets that perfect shot.

How does she do it? As described on her blog, she puts her camera on a tripod and first tries to find the right composition and focus. Then she either uses a 10-second self-timer or asks someone (usually a friend) to press the shutter release button at the right moment. The most difficult is to take shots in crowded public places (which aren?t hard to find in Tokyo!) because the people in the background must look as if they?re going about their business.

The pose is also important, says Hayashi. During a jump, she needs to hold her head high, in the right direction while trying to keep arms and legs in the right position that will give the viewer the impression that she?s really floating.

Why is she doing this? Hayashi explains that with the levitating photos, she can express herself as someone ?whose feet are not firmly on the ground?, who is without bounds and lives outside the accepted standards of society.

 

 

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droolingmonkey

While I can appreciate what an achievement this collection is on a technical level, I've just never really bought this as "levitation". To me it looks like pictures of her jumping, rather than floating. Maybe I'm visually jaded. I bet it's a bloody good workout though, she must have thighs like conan.

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MikeChipshop

I wonder if she's ever thought of using burst mode. Probably going to be a lot easier to get that perfect shot. :p

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Draconian Guppy

While I can appreciate what an achievement this collection is on a technical level, I've just never really bought this as "levitation". To me it looks like pictures of her jumping, rather than floating. Maybe I'm visually jaded. I bet it's a bloody good workout though, she must have thighs like conan.

While I agree, in the end, it boils down to what you know, I've seen/heard people say "wow" over dull photos, she does deserve credit in the sense of timing, composition and locations, but other than that, meh...

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Praetor

I wonder if she's ever thought of using burst mode. Probably going to be a lot easier to get that perfect shot. :p

 

probally it blurs the photo too much.

 

I like them, they are pretty stunning considering that in some of them there's hardly any visible movement at all. And since she's not suspended, it enhances the photos more.

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streetw0lf

Wonder how many times she falls flat on her face?  Some of those moves have to go wrong, hence the 200 shots that are sometimes needed.  I would love to see some outtakes.

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Praetor

Wonder how many times she falls flat on her face?  Some of those moves have to go wrong, hence the 200 shots that are sometimes needed.  I would love to see some outtakes.

Natsumi_Hayashi_4.png

 

yep.

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