One of my favorite visually-wonderful photo essays of all time:
(please click the link below)
Not Just a Jump, But Levitation a project by Natsumi Hayashi
From Lens in The New York Times:
Ms. Hayashi took her first levitation photo in September 2010. She had been drawn to colors in the scene — the yellow of the sunflower in her friend’s hand, the blue of the toilet paper packaging and the pink of his socks. “I asked him to bend over in order to put everything in good composition,” she wrote in Japanese via e-mail. “But at the moment I released the shutter, he suddenly jumped.”
The image, she thought, had an accidental weightlessness. She decided to keep shooting, calling out orders: “Higher! Relax!”
“In many cases, I never give up and keep jumping until I’m satisfied with my photo,” she said of the self-portraits that make up her oeuvre. From five shoots, each with 200 to 300 frames apiece, she usually uploads only one photo. Because the project is a diary, she focuses on the people and places she sees in daily life, seeking good light and the coveted decisive moment. While she no longer posts every day, she continues to post in the style of an imaginary diary, chronologically, as if no time has passed.
So why does she do it?
“People often ask me, ‘Don’t you tumble?’” she said. “But I have never been asked, ‘Why are you doing this?’”
Ms. Hayashi said she has difficulty thinking “like a grown-up.” She has fantasies of escaping from the confines of gravity. “I wanted to express myself as an honest person ‘whose feet are not firmly planted on the ground’ by shooting myself being free of the gravity of the Earth,” she said.
“When I am free of the gravity inside the picture, I feel free of any obligation to the society and live without being bound to many things.”