She is a photographer from Tokyo, Japan who has attained fame for her creative photos in which she appears to be levitating. Meet Natsumi Hayashi, the ‘Tokyo’s Levitating Girl’.
Equipped with her Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Natsumi photographs herself levitating around Tokyo. The uniqueness of her photos is her natural expression and pose, making it seem like she is really in levitation. She doesn’t appear to be jumping…it is like a moment frozen in time.
Taking a “levitating” picture is easier said than done. The camera has to have a very fast shutter-speed to avoid motion blurring. But getting rid of the blurring is not enough. The person who is jumping should appear as if she is flying, and not just jumping. And Natsumi does it just right.
Hayashi’s freedom from the gravity is made possible partially through her persistence. She would set a self timer with her Canon EOS 5D Mark II , and take her own photos with high shutter speed. When she gets a spark of “this is the spot!” she would literally jump there. The illusion of her levitation is achieved by jumping. Repeatedly.
She does this in front of her camera, mounted on a tripod, and continues to do so until she achieves that perfect, natural-looking “levitation.”
“The only way to get a right timing for a shot is jumping a lot. Sometimes I need to jump over 100 times to get a right shot,” Natsumi said.
“I got the idea from an English idiom that says ‘to have one’s feet firmly planted on the ground,” she continued. “In Japan, we have the exact same idiom. But I am not a practical person at all. Therefore, I try ‘not to have my feet firmly on the ground’ in my self-portrait photos to show my true self.”
“I wanted to express myself in the picture as someone free from Earth’s gravitational pull,” Ms. Hayashi said in an interview in February, 2011. “In being free of gravity in the pictures, I am also not bound to societal conventions. I feel as though I am not tied to many things and able to be my true self.”
For a while, Natsumi Hayashi was running a pretty standard photography blog titled “Yowayowa Camera Woman Diary”, filled with pictures of her two cats, food, weird sights from Tokyo and the people in her life.
Then she took a photo she called “Today’s Levitation” which was first posted on her blog on September 16, 2010. It was to become the inspiration for the future masterpieces, opening up a whole new world for her. After that, her blog started to fill up with mind-boggling shots of Hayashi floating in midair in all kinds of places.
Natsumi’s careful composition and the thought she puts into her photos makes them quite inspiring. That’s part of her plan, too: “We all are surrounded by social stress as we are bound by the force of the earth’s gravity. So I hope that people feel something like an instant release from stressful practical days by seeing my levitation photos.”