From chair, to air. That’s “all” it takes to make a person seem like they’re levitating magically in the middle of your photo. Of course, I put “all” in quotes for a reason—it takes a lot more work to make this happen than you might think.

And in the Speed Edit video below, photographer and 500px user Franco Roth shows you just how much work is involved:

The actual photo was captured using a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 17-40mm L lens and two AlienBees lights. But as you can see, that was just the beginning. Once the source photos were taken—the scene by itself and several images of the model—it was time to remove that pesky chair.

The final version is the result of hours worth of editing, all to get here:

Pia by Franco Roth on

It’s always cool to watch these images take shape. When we just see the final product, it’s easy to forget how much artistry and work goes into something as “simple” as a levitating shot. Videos like this help shed a bit of light on the matter (pun intended).

Here are a few more of Franco’s levitating photos for your to appreciate now that you know what it took to capture them:

Opera by Franco Roth on

Here in the forest. by Franco Roth on

lift me up by Franco Roth on

If you’d like to see more of Franco’s work, be sure to follow him on 500px. He’s got a lot more than levitation shots on there!

And if you have your own levitating photo to share (or better yet, if this post inspires you to go out and capture one) upload to 500px and share in the comments! We’d love to see how you’ve put your own signature spin on this classic photo manipulation concept.