Levitating Self-Portraits by Natsumi Hayashi

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Natsumi Hayashi (aka Yowayowa Camera Woman) is a Tokyo-based photographer. With her alias she makes fun at herself that she can barely carry her own camera (yowayowa is a Japanese term meaning “weak” or “feeble.”). In 2010 she started her showcase of a series titled ‘today’s levitation’ where she would post photos of herself frozen in mid-air, some shots with simple jumping, while some are action-packed.

How Natsumi Hayashi takes a ‘Today’s Levitation’

Equipments and shutter speed: Camera body: Canon EOS 5D Mk2, Lenses: Canon EF50mm F1.2L USM, EF24-70mm F2.8L USM, PENTAX 67 lenses (with adaptors), Tripods: Gitzo’s rapid-pole 3 steps with ball heads (from 1980s), Shutter speed: 1/500 sec. or faster (1/320 sec. can be used in a darker condition)

With a self-timer: EOS 5D Mk2 has a 10sec. timer as it’s longest timer set up. This means that she can get away as far as 10 second distance from the camera after she presses the shutter release button. First, she gets a composition and a focus manually. Then she presses the shutter release, runs to the right position for a levitation as checking the camera’s blinking red LED counts down 10 seconds and jumps by her intuition. In this manner, she needs to jump over and over to get the right shot.

Ask someone to press the shutter release button: When she takes her levitation farther away from the camera than 10 second distance, she asks someone (mostly her friend) to press the shutter release button. First, she asks her friend to be a stand-in in a proper position to get a composition and a focus, then she goes to the position to levitate, and her friend comes to the camera (they switch their position) to press a shutter release button in time with her jumps.

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

Levitating Self-Portrait

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Author of this postHouke de Kwant is a 24 year old communication & multimedia design graduate from the Netherlands and the creator of Daily Inspiration, which was started as part of his study. He is currently working as a front-end developer at Ivaldi, an internet agency in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.