How to create photos where you fly.
Flying photos are one of those types of photos that are easy to do in theory, but are a bit of a ball-ache to get right and take quite a bit of practise to do so. I’m by no means a professional and still find it hard to actually get them right. So don’t feel too disheartened if it doesn’t look perfect first time, because mine certainly didn’t! There are also many different ways to give the impression of flying – this is just one!
The first thing you have to determine is the position you want to end up when you’re flying. Do you want to be stood up? On your side? Or do you want to look like you’re floating and sitting down at the same time? The position you want to look like you’re in when you’re flying will determine what position you have to get in when you’re taking the photo.
For your first flying photo, I would recommend doing one standing up, where you look like you’re floating above the ground. This is the easiest one to take as you’re not having to balance yourself on a chair and arrange your clothes into a position that matches the flying look. It’s best to do slightly more advanced ones when you’ve got the hang of it!
Therefore, this tutorial is going to be one that gives the impression that you’re floating above the ground.
It’s very important that you take all of the photos in the same location in the same lighting as this will make the photo look a lot more real. I’ve seen many people try and Photoshop themselves into scenes that clearly aren’t real or a photo that they either haven’t taken themselves, or have taken at another time. These photos never look good or professional, and you’ll rarely be satisfied with the results.
You’re going to want to take three different photos, one of the background, and two different photos of you.
Firstly, take a photo of the background that you want to floating on.
The first photo of you that you take is going to be the main position that you want to be in. You have to make yourself look like you’re floating, so I will leave that interpretation up to you. I would recommend standing on one leg, and then bending the other slightly or extending it behind you so that it looks like your foot is off the ground. The second photo will be of your second foot doing the same as the first. Try and take it from the exact same angle as the first photo, it makes it easier when editing.
Once you’re happy with the photos it’s time for some photoshop magic!
Steps to take
1. Open up your background photo in photoshop
2. Open up the first photo of you into photoshop, then click and drag that photo onto your background. Resize and reposition yourself how you want to.
3. Use the eraser tool to erase as much of the background on the photo of you as possible.
4. Then zoom in on your image. This is where it gets a little fiddly. I resize the eraser brush to make it quite small, usually between 10-15px and make sure that it’s on the feathered round brush. Erase the rest of the background around you.
5. You will also have to erase the leg that’s on the ground – this will look really weird, but it will make sense in the next step!
6. Now take the photo of you standing on the opposite leg. Cut out just the leg and click and drag it onto your image.
7. Repeat the erasing method from before.
8. Then reposition the leg layer behind the layer of the photo of you (you can do this by dragging the layers in the layers section of photoshop. Resize and reposition so it looks natural.
9. Don’t forget to add a shadow using the brush tool! (I do this by creating a new layer and then changing to opacity of it so it looks real!)
It can be really hard, time-consuming and fiddly when you first start but keep going – practice makes perfect! If you ever feel a bit stuck, shoot me a message and I’d be happy to help you!