I wanted a simple concept for this week, and neapolitan ice cream came to mind very quickly. To set up the shot, I tied washers to fishing line, and formed scoops around them. The cone was also on the line to aid in keeping everything in place. I used a tripod and self-timer to get in the frame. Of the couple dozen shots I made before the scoops fell, I prefer the confused expression.

The shot was made with a Canon 5D mk II, and a 70-200 f/2.8 L. Settings were 1/200th, f/10, ISO 100, at 130mm. I used fill flash at -2 stops. Sections of line were removed in Photoshop.
-Andrew Payne

My friend likes to fly on broomsticks so it made this challenge really easy :D

Nikon D3000
55-200mm f/4-5.6
ISO 200
- Anna Albert

Specs: Rebel XS F/4.5 ISO: 400 18-55MM

I was racking my brain trying to think of a creative and original idea. After a few days of drafting and planning, I gave in and hoped that it would just come to me naturally. So this morning when I was eating cereal and I picked up my spoon, it dawned on me. It wouldn't be a difficult shot, but the contrast of colors, the curves, and the angles could be very visually interesting. I think I captured all that had initially inspired me. It has a simple yet intriguing composition. All I did was taped thread to the back of the spoon and connect it to one of my cat's door hanging toys. I photoshopped the string out, changed it to black and white and some increased contrast.

Enjoyed the challenge!
- Asra Hussain

This is my take on the levitation challenge. I suspended the welding mask, gloves, welding gun, and the gun's feed tube with fishing line (from the ceiling and a million other places around and on the car) that I edited out in post process. The hardest piece to get aligned was the actual gun since the tube is so thick it naturally wants to twist its own direction. I ended up using 5 different pieces of fishing line to control it's height, angle, and to get it to touch the area of bare steel that I ground away. The gun's glove has it's fingers tied around the gun and MIG wire shoved inside to make it stand out and not fold. The top glove is held up by fishing line that's taped to the top of the hood and tied on a finger; along with a piece of welding wire that's resting on a line going to the helmet. To get the actual firework show to happen, I ground away some of the primer on the car where the gun was; don't worry, there were already spots in that area that need ground down from filling in trim holes so no harm to the car. I plugged the machine in and clamped the ground cable on the front bumper out of frame. To make it so I could stay out of frame and have it "weld," I wrapped electrical tape around the guns trigger. The actual welder is just out of frame to the right so I would turn it on and when the sparks started flying I'd reach over and push the shutter on the camera. I used a larger aperture to try and separate the helmet from the back of the car since they were roughly the same colors. To eliminate the shadow on the grill of the car I placed an SB-600 on a stand firing into a reflective 32" umbrella that was triggered by Nikon's CLS.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
SB-600 firing into 32" umbrella

Shot Details:
~24mm (EXIF says 32mm but this lense won't talk focal length anymore with the camera after some dirt grinding its way around inside the zoom ring)
1/30s, F3.5
ISO 200
SB-600 was set manually at 1/2.5 and fired with Nikon's CLS through the camera's built-in flash
- Brandon Shuttlesworth

Taken with a Canon EOS 60D. 0.8 second exposure at f/4.5, ISO 100, cloudy white balance.


A challenge indeed. After casting about for some inspiration, I landed on a simple floating objects theme. The vases and plate were raised by books and glasses, took a picture of that, then removed the plate/vases and their supports and took another picture. IN photoshop I erased the supports so that the "no supports" area of the other picture showed through. I had to make a special selection of the shadow cast by the objects and paste that back into the final picture.
- Brian Hall

My shot was done with a friend, who I went out into my local town with to find an interesting backdrop to levitate against. After trying some parks we found a block of closed public toilets, and setup to frame the whole of the front of the building, with the idea that we could stack multiple exposures of us hanging (literally) around it. It was very windy, the tripod nearly blew over, and we found it very hard to jump without looking like you are jumping, but managed it, and this is the result! 5 exposures using a 450D, kit 18-55mm F3.5 lens (with broken AF which meant focusing was interesting) stacked in CS5 using auto-align, as it turned out the wind had moved the tripod very slightly.

Many thanks,
- Chris Elsmore

Camera: Nikon D3100
Lens: Nikon 18-55mm
ISO: 1600
Focal Length: 18mm

Got together with some family over the weekend and my cousin Marissa and I decided to see if we could take a photo that would be decent enough to enter this contest. We snuck (sneaked?) into the basement of my mother-in-laws house and started shooting. Marissa is doing a bridge on a couple of 5lb buckets of drywall joint compound I found in the garage. I am being supported in the corner by a not-so-sturdy step ladder under my right foot. The final shot is made up of those two photos and a empty room shot. I used Photoshop to combine the three images and erase the items supporting us. We had a lot of fun and I'm pretty please with my first attempt at doing anything like this.
-Christian Petermann

Blown Away — This is my first shooting challenge and I was pretty excited about it. This photo was taken in my apartment with me awkwardly balancing on a step stool on the sofa. I setup the camera on my desk opposite the sofa with a 10 sec delay. Nikon D40, 18mm/3.5, ISO 1600, exposure 1/13 sec.
- Christienne Ferreira

My girlfriend and I play a healthy amount of scrabble. You could say that we like to levitate our vocabulary as often as possible. This shot seemed only fitting.


Camera: Canon EOS 30d
Lens: Tamron 10-22
Focal Length: 11mm
Exposure: 1/15 sec.
Aperature: f/3.5
ISO: 100
-Collin Fleck

Equipment is a Nikon D90 on tripod with 18-55mm Nikkor AF-S 3.5-5.6G at 35 mm on remote shutter.

Speed priority mode:
Aperture: f7.1
Shutter: 1/800 second
ISO 200
Auto settings for exposure, white balance set for sunlight.

I really enjoyed this challenge. I posted the notice to Facebook and requested ideas for objects to "levitate". I got: the Millinium Falcon, a whole chicken to throw into chicken soup, and the winner: fuzzy dice. I purchased some fuzzy dice and set up the camera. I twirled the dice in front of the camera and lucked upon the "snake eyes" in this shot. I liked the idea of trying to put more than one object in the lens so I grabbed my LEGO Police Helicopter to observe the dice's action. I used dental floss wrapped around the rotor hub of the chopper to suspend it in front of the camera. I then cut & paste the LEGO chopper into dice. I used a 3rd shot to fill in the areas where the strings were showing. The camera & tripod stayed fixed in the same location for all three shots used in the composition.

- Cory Newkirk

• Equipment/Settings:
- Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR Camera Kit (EF-S 18-55mm kit lens)
- Shot in RAW
- ISO 400
- Focal length: 21mm
- Aperture: f/3.5
- Shutter speed: 1/6
- WB: incandescent
- captured in situ
- edited with PhotoshopCS3

• Story behind the shot: Spent an entire day thinking of what I would shoot. I had so many ideas in my head but not sure how I wanted to execute some of them. I called one of my good friends to see if he wanted to help me by being in the shot so that I could focus on the picture. We battered around a few ideas and after decided that we'll need some props and what not, we met up with another friend of mine. Together… the three of us came up with the idea for this shot (which was inspired from the poker shot in the "bokeh" challenge). And another friend of mine was gracious enough to let us use his real deal poker table from a casino; turning his garage into a photo studio. Unfortunately this shot is not what I wanted to submit for the challenge as I wanted to capture more levitation… but just simply didn't have all the props needed as well as ended up getting crunched for time. As for how this shot was done - all the cards were taped together then backed with bailing wire and looped at each end for the dealer to hold; the dealer button is hung from fishing wire. Only 2 images were used in this particular shot - 1st: with everything & 2nd: removed only floating dealer button and cards.
- Daniel Jennings

I was shooting a dance competition this past weekend and immediately thought I wanted to submit this. This is one of the girls from my daughter's dance team named Carly performing her solo. Carly is so passionate and full of strength and grace, a truly amazing performer who is always a joy to watch. I used a Canon EOS 40D with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L series lens set at f/2.8@ 1/320. ISO was 3200 as the light was poor. I used Lightroom 3.2 to convert from RAW and added a little vignetting to darken the bleacher's in the backgroung.
- David Gasper

found this one difficult to come up with an idea I really liked. I decided to try the levitation technique by mimicking juggling. I propped the weight on a ladder, removed items, set timer ran in front and tried not to look too dorky. I could have done better, I need to stop doing this at 4:00 on Sunday to give me more time. I know someone is going to come up with a great idea that will sorta piss me off that I didn't think of. Looking forward to seeing them though.

Canon 7D
ISO 400
1/50 sec
- David Lantz

Careful with that Banana Peel!

Camera Specs: ISO 100, 50mm, 0EV, f/4, 1/125

Story: I used a couple of pieces of floss to hold our friend sackboy in the perfect "falling" position (I had no string at home, so I had to get creative!), and my cousin Jorge, a master of Play-Doh sculpture, created that awesome banana peel. I later removed the floss strings using the rubber stamp tool in photoshop (Highly recommended nifty tool, BTW!).


Thank you Jorge and Rosanna for the help with this shot. You guys are awesome.
- Diego Jimenez

This photo was shot with a Canon EOS REBEL T2i camera and a EF50mm f/1.8 II lens. That's me up there. And god was it cold! I was standing on a step ladder, but while setting up the apple I had gotten snow all over it. And I ended up walking through about a foot of snow barefoot. The height of the snow ended up taking away a bit from the height of the levitation, but all in all I think it turned out okay.
- Elizabeth Howder

Objects were suspended with string from a coat hanger duct taped to the bottom of my microwave, and the string was removed in Gimp. Shutter: 1/32, Aperture: F4.5, ISO: 1600
- Emily Scott

I composed this shot against a white wall in the downstairs of the Visual Arts Building at my University. Using objects that were just "lying" around the place I arranged this composition with minimal fuss. The book and the briefcase are suspended by aluminum welding wire and the coffee mug sits on the end of a broom-handle that has a table cloth on top of it. I had access to 4 studio floods (mounted to the ceiling) and two portable pot lights. Shot bracketed +2/-2 stops with a 18-55mm @45mm on my Nikon D90 set at f/13 @ 1/30 on a tripod. I really wanted this image to be high contrast and punchy so I took three exposures to compose this HDR image. The wires were edited out using a combination of content aware fill, patch, burn/dodge, and spot heal in CS5. The combination of floating and supported objects gives it a surreal, eerily mysterious quality. I really enjoyed this shooting challenge. I hope to participate more often!
-Eric Lowe

Canon 450D , ISO 800, f 3.5 at 18 mm.

Had a lot of fun taking these photos with my buddies. Couldn't decide which I liked best so went with a shameless self portrait. We decided not to do anything elaborate with wires, instead opting for a straight from camera affair. Hope you all enjoy.
- Gemmel Soussi

Shot With
Nikon D300
2/5/2011 - 4:10pm
Las Vegas
1/2500 sec
F Stop 4.5
Aperture 4.4
ISO 400
Shot at 48mm
With a 18-200 Nikon Lens F 3.5-5.6


My kids and I were at the park and I said to my son "jump up for me, I wanna take a picture" this was his first jump I think it came out great. He did this on his own with out instruction
after this shot I was like could you do that again, he made many other attempts but this was by far the best. I got many other great shots so thanks for that. ( he was jumping over me I was laying on the ground )
- Jason Emeric

This photo was shot by my husband while a friend and I ran a women's only 5k in Winter Park, FL, using my Nikon d60 with an 18-55mm lens. He was waiting near the finish line and I had asked him to get some shots of the runners as they go by and he got this natural levitation shot on the camera's auto mode (f/4.2, ISO 200). I used Photoshop just to crop out the nice ladies' heads to maintain anonymity.
- Jennifer Z. Palmer

Cleaning the Floor

Night before the deadline I set up the shot. I was thinking about all the brooms Micky Mouse had cleaning up in Fantasia.
The biggest problem was finding an isolated wall to take the shoot that didn't show how messy the place really is.


Took several shots getting everything setup just right. Once I was happy with the shot, I untied the broom and dust pan and took another shot to get rid of the strings in Photoshop. Only a limited amount of cloning was needed to get of the remaining string.

Nikon d70s with 18-70mm @ 27mm lens on tripod
f6.3 @ 1sec ISO200
Inside at night with ceiling lights.
- Jim Watters

This challenge turned out to be exactly that. I ran trough a few ideas but quickly arrived at a suspended card pyramid. I had a plan to run two horizontal threads and suspend the upper levels on that. It seemed so much easier on paper but after hours of stacking and re-stacking cards balanced on thread I was forced to simplify my idea. Even then it did not work so I eventually gave up with cards collapsing and thread giving way.


However my wife, seeing my frustration had over night to my surprise re-built it! This time using vertical thread attached to the roof and tape to make the pyramid I eventually photographed!

The pyramid was placed on a table and I photographed it from a low angle using my tripod to see the underside of the cards.

Shot with D5000 kit lens at 18mm, ISO 400 1/3 Second on a Tripod
- John Kilmister

Get a Grip.

So, when I saw the photo challenge for the week, I must admit I was not sure if I could pull it off. I've never tried this type of shot before, and I'm not very versed in Photoshop either, but I figured the only way to get better was to actually try! So, after much thought about what to do, I got a friend to help me out. We tried a couple different shots with both of us in the air, but while standing there I thought this would make a great shot. I titled it "get a grip." for obvious reasons. We got plenty of awkward stares in the stairwell, but it was well worth it. I think for the first time trying this it worked really well. My friend is "thrashed (as he calls it) against the wall, and I'm the one holding him up. We used self timers to get everything to work.

1/20 f5.0 ISO 800, Tripod Mounted Canon Rebel XSi, Manual Focus
-Jonathan Britt

Canon 550D
50 mm

A couple buddies and I went camping this weekend near Cache Creek, CA. Along a trail we found an old barn with some awesome lighting. No photoshop or trickery was used for this photo. Just pure speed and timing...and a magic pocket knife.
- Joshua Bort

This is my first submission for the photo challenge. Ever since I got my camera for Christmas, I've been dying to submit something, but fate has worked against me every week. When this week's challenge was presented, I immediately knew what I wanted to be my first subject, my new Tardis cookie jar. Naturally, it would need to also be a forced perspective picture. I tied the Tardis to a broom using fishing line and had my husband hold it while I held the camera. I needed the quick shutter speed because the Tardis would not stop spinning in the wind. It actually looked pretty cool. If, of course, you ignored that I was standing in a neighborhood sidewalk taking pictures of someone swinging a cookie jar on a stick. My Oklahoma neighbors must think we're nuts.


I used my Nikon D3100 with an 18-55mm lens, shot at 55mm, shutter 1/1250s, f/20, ISO 3200 (or possibly higher, not sure). I did adjust the color and contrast because everything looks so depressing and dead now that the snow is melted.
- Katie Woods

I wasn't going to enter this weeks competition since work has been super busy last week. I was at a super bowl party at my boss' house and was taking a few pictures for them. I remembered that their dog, Avery, would jump through a hula hoop if you held it up. So we called her out to the living room at I began taking pictures of her. I really like this picture, because it's not super over the top creative, but simple and feels homely. The guy in the back pointing is my boss, he was telling the dog to jump, and that dog is fast. The kid in the blue is my little brother, he was having a hard time understanding how to hold the hoop still so my boss' wife helped him. There's nothing complicated with this shot, just set the camera to automatic mode and shot away.
- Kyle Harvison

Shooting Summary

I was toying around with ideas for objects to levitate and decided on some kitchen items. I shot each item individually, tossing them up in frame and them pieced them all together in photoshop afterwords. Shooting with a panasonic GF-1 and panasonic 14-45mm lens mounted on a tripod, aperture 5.0, ISO 100, SS 125 with an external flash for fill light.
-Mike Barnard

So I actually did this for realz as a child of my parents deck (did not work). This however was done with with my son sitting on a ladder and me below with a leaf blower trying to fill the sheet with air. Wanted to try and emulate Calvin and Hobbes although trying to stay safe, hold the blower, remote trigger etc., made adding a stuffed tiger and toy ray-gun too much to try and manage all at once.

1/40 sec
+ 1.3 step exposure

Thank you,
- Morgan Grimes

"This was my Superbowl party - folding and stringing a mass of paper
airplanes for the shooting challenge. Go sport! With the help of a
buddy, we hung them up with nylon string that the camera hardly
recognized. This was one of the funnest challenges for me so far. It
sort of helped that he could already levitate, too. Shot was taken
with a Nikon D90 (18mm, f3.5, 1/80, ISO 500), and an off-camera Sb-900
flash (1/16) through an umbrella reflector."
- Nick Sprankle

Was enjoying the Superbowl sunday in Santa Cruz..where i saw these natural Leviations being done :). The bird in the front has be overthrown from its Throne

Used my Canon T2i with EF-S 55-250 lens.
- Nischal Ramgopal

For this picture I used Nikon D80 with a nikon DX ED 18-200mm lens

Story: After the intense few weeks of never ending snowfall up in Massachusetts we had about 4 feet of snow accumulation on our roof. My dad and I used a ladder to get to the roof and shovel everything off. When it came time to bring the ladder inside, we found out that it was stuck. All the snow we shoveled off the roof had completely covered the bottom of the ladder. I tried to pull it down and then noticed that it could support my weight. I quickly called for my mom to run up to my room and take a picture from my window. It seems unreal how the ladder is staying up without being supported by anything.

In the picture: Me age 16
- Ori Ramon

These were shot with a Canon Rebel Xsi. The lense was a EF18-55mm. Focal length was 18mm , iso 800, exposure 1/1000 sec at f/3.5.

My daughter is a gymnast and I had her do several jumps on her trampoline. She did several split jumps but everyone liked this one where she looks like she is floating. Her feet were very cold before we got done.
- Paul Hunt

At first I wanted to do this shot with normal marbles, but those didn't like to stay on the mirror. To get the beads to float I set my camera on a two second timer and right before the shutter went I jerked up on the mirror and then pushed it back down, leaving the beads up in the air and the mirror a few inches below (in theory). I made quite a few attempts before I got this one, most of the time I jerked the mirror too early and just had a shot of the beads bouncing on the mirror. For the set up I had a mirror from a broken rear projection TV, a blanket for the background and my flash above. The flash (SB-800) was set on manual at 1/16 +2/3 and it bounced off of a reflector. My camera was on a box that put it about two inches off the ground and pointed slightly downwards. The only editing was straightening and cropping.
Nikon D50
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
1/500 sec
ISO 200
-Quentin Swager

Spent the day in the park with my friends messing around with this
challenge, ended up trying to recreate a bike crash...and here's the

Nikon D5000
1/200 sec
- Ryan Smith

Photo taken with a Canon EOS 20D, shutter speed 1/500sec, f/5.0, ISO 400. Got a friend to jump whilst trying to stay relatively stiff. It was quite windy..
- Sam D'Cruz

Taken with a Nikon D5000 using a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8; exposed at 12mm for 1/1000 sec at f3.5 and ISO 800.


I was focused on technique when I saw the challenge this week, and spent some time on a yoga levitation that came out pretty well (flickr:http://goo.gl/DWqJD). That was until yesterday, when I was walking through Chicago and encountered almost 2 feet of untouched snow. I happened to have my camera and took a few test shots (flickr: http://goo.gl/e4Pir), and couldn't resist going back out again today to do the same. The parking garage next to my apartment had a ton of snow and an angle that let me drop out the foreground, giving it more of a flying effect. The shot's obviously dynamic, but feels like flying to me! In the end, I chose what I thought was the more interesting picture over the "pure" levitation effect. Thanks for the great challenge, this was a fun one.
-Seth A. Moser

This shot was taken with my Canon Rebel XSi using a glass and plastic cutlery to hold up the banana, and scotch tape to hold the knife up at an angle. With some post process to remove the tape and the glass.
- Seth Porter

Shooting Summary:
Canon EOS 20D
ISO 400
Shutter Speed 1/60 sec
Lens Aperature F3.5
Focal Length 24mm

I was shooting for an ordinary round-the-house kind of still life with something out of place.
Miniature Millenium Falcon on my desk was suspended from my desk lamp (for the shadow) with fishing line and then photoshopped out.
Not too elaborate but the shot is pretty fun.
- Steve Hassler

For this challenge we had hoped to get a shot of various pool balls up in the air after a good break shot but found that a lot harder to replicate than we thought. Instead we went for a simple scoop shot and thought that the 3 ball would have the best contrast to the 8. With the rear curtain flash we got a great shot of the 3 ball with a nice blur of the travel. The shot took nearly 80 tries to get this shot just right since each jump was so fast and there was no trigger on this except my finger. (My son was shooting the ball and we worked out a great rhythm). This shot has only minor enhancements to contrast and exposure in Lightroom 3.


Camera Settings:
Nikon D3000
1/20 sec.
ISO 100
Rear Curtain Flash
-Steve Petrucelli

I had many ideas of things i could do for this entry but one word used in last weeks featured entry "Obligatory" by Adam Wolf got my wheels turning. What word?.. "Explodey" Since having our first child, I haven't got to use my pool table for much over the past year. (except folding laundry).. so it was nice to get the cover off of the ol' girl and rack em' up. I began producing this shot by racking the balls as they would be before a game. I then used some low test fishing line cut to approx. length from the ceiling to the table. Using about 1" of clear scotch tape I could stick the fishing line to the top of each ball and then
use push pins to anchor each ball to the ceiling above. One by one i raised the balls into position. 150' of line, 3' of scotch tape, and MANY string adjustments later... EXPLODEY. (awesome word btw) I used coins to prop the cue chalk and rules book for effect. The cue stick is held in place by the rack and the end rail. The dude taking a "mach speed" 11 ball to the rib cage... thats me. My personal goal for this shot was to do it all in 1 try and only use photoshop to remove the lines. After getting my camera set up exactly how i wanted i set it to a 5 second timer and quickly positioned myself in frame. As far as "trick shots" go (pun intended) this one turned out pretty cool.. Enjoy!

Camera: Canon 40D
Aperature: F/3.2
Focal Length: 32mm
Exposure: 0.8 sec
ISO: 100

Photoshop to remove fishing line.
Post in Lightroom.
- Tanner W. Priddy

"Droid Does"

Nikon D40
1/30 sec.
ISO 800

I spent hours trying to capture myself jumping from a chair with no success. I was about to give up on this challenge when I realized I could also "levitate" objects. I grabbed a thumbtack, some string, and my phone and headed up to my room. My Droid X was hung from the ceiling, approximately 15cm from my monitor. The contrast between night and day, I thought, would make a nice shot, so I displayed Times Square during the day on the monitor and a night shot on the phone. The photo was then lightly touched in Photoshop to remove a little bit of the string that still came up.
-Thiago Fernandes

It took me a full 24 hours to finally get what I wanted with the lighting. After taking everything down the first day, I reset things up for another go.
I had over 100 pictures to choose from when, I noticed a nice blue coming from the partially open blinds and had to shoot for a third time. In this case it was the charm.
I dropped the picture in photoshop where I spent a good 15 minutes carefully smudging out all the fishing wire.


Shot with a canon T2i, 18-55mm lens with a polarizing filter, 20 seconds, F 22, EV +2, ISO 400 and, a tripod.
The materials used where lots of fishing line, tape, yarn and a glue gun.

Looking forward to the next challenge,
- Tracey Bram


This was a really hard shot to take, not so much the set up, but the photoshopping for me was a challenge. In the end the tutorials on Flickr helped a ton and I'm glad to have picked up a new technique.


I got the space invaders ice cube tray awhile back and never did the little guys justice. And who better to pair them up with than the greatest captain of outer space (in terms of dealing with space invaders).

16-35mm f/2.8 L
ISO 100
Shot at 31mm
1 second at f/4.5
-Will Phan

Camera:Sony a330
Exposure time:1/20
Focal length:24mm
I entered the Gizmodo shooting challenge because this really was a challnege, although I did get lazy and waited till the last minute. But this was what I wanted the result to be so I am happy I took this.
- Willy Vela