October Best in Show
"Altogether on the Downbeat"
by Chad Fenner
The first thing people say when they see this image is “what the heck? . . . how did you? . . .”.
The is a form of photography called “levitation photography” (Google it!). The basic premise is that you take a photo of your background with no subject in it. Then add your subject, supported by some prop – either a ladder, stool, chair, box, bucket, other people . . . whatever, and take a second image. Pull both images into Photoshop as layers with your subject layer in front of the empty background layer. Then, align the layers and using a mask took, mask out the props supporting your subject (and anything else you don't want in the final image) leaving the background layer to show through. The result is your subject “floating” in the air.
I practiced this technique a couple of times on a small scale, but I really wanted to do this on a big scale. I had shot a local Christian Rock band called Drive Thru Society live on several occasions, and had been wanting to do a photo shoot with them. I thought this would be perfect. Once I explained the concept to them, they totally embraced it. While I may have the one pulling the trigger and doing the post-processing, I really do have to thank the band for their creative ideas in the implementation. They are the ones that came up with the theme of “down beat” and how each band member should be posed. I got some great experience on this type of photography - and a winning image, and they got a promotional photo they could never have afforded to pay for at this stage in their career. It was a win-win for everyone.