UMD is finally opening after closing campus for five days because of the snow and today is the first day of the spring semester! It's so weird having just graduated this past semester, I feel like I should've still signed up for classes and I'm going to wake up everyday in a panic thinking I overslept and missed class. While I'm going to miss college not being in school definitely has its perks though. I finally had time to finish editing a special project I started in October 2015 but had to stop working on due to school and life events happening.
A little background on this project:
I had found some tutorials on levitation photography online, where basically you take an image of someone balanced on an object, and another image of just the background and then use that to erase the support that person is using. At the same time I found this beautiful video on Facebook when someone shared it on their timeline. I was mesmerzed by the flowing cloth and the randomness of the shapes it created, and wondered what it would look like if I could put a dancer in there with the cloth. And while we're at it, why not show some school spirit and add some Maryland flags?
With the help of some friends I was able to find 8 large fans, polyester China silk, and a few Maryland flags. We set up the fans in a circle, were able to use the lights in a dance space to create the circle on the floor as well as some side light from the booms, and bam! It took awhile to figure out the best way to do it, a lot of times the dancer's or the fabric would end up blocked by the fans, in which case I couldn't use them. Or if they weren't their shadows were partially blocked so I had to get really creative and figure out how to put them back in during post production. I remember my first attempt I finished in five minutes and was so proud of myself then realized there was no shadow and it looked completely fake haha.
In the end the fabric was a tad too heavy to really catch the wind from the fans so we ended up doing a lot of jumping and throwing and the wind would slow the descent, but we never really got the effect shown in the video above. I think a lighter fabric definitely would have done the trick. We also tried angling the fans in different directions, and it seemed angling them up or down slightly while pointing directly toward the center worked the best.
I hope you enjoy the pictures! To see more of them check out my Facebook page. Also make sure at the end of this post you check out the gif showing a sped up version of how I created the image!
A special thank you to the dancers Terra Bergamy (left on the image below) and Bella Hayes (right on the image below), Aidan Walsh and Rex Hsu for helping me with the lighting and setting up the fans, Tyler Gunther for the fabric, Yi Chen and Jake Ripley for the flags, and Ann Chismar for lending us the fans.
GO TERPS! Have an amazing first day everyone!