As if by magic, Natsumi Hayashi can “levitate” virtually anywhere she goes--in a train station, on the road and even at a funeral home--in her photographs.
The picturesque 29-year-old Tokyo photographer has been posting photos on her blog of herself appearing to be flying, creating a sensation in the Net world.
Hayashi said her works mirror her complex feelings that she has yet in life to set her feet firmly on the ground.
“I feel I have become able to think positively about my immaturity,” she said.
Hayashi shoots the photos with her digital camera mounted on a tripod, using the timer, when she makes her leap. She has been releasing them as artwork under the title "Honjitsu no Fuyu" (“Today’s Levitation”) since January last year.
She said she got the idea when she took a photo of a friend of hers who was leaping in the air.
The next month, Hayashi’s unique photos were introduced at an overseas art website, followed by appearing in the electronic versions of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ in-flight magazine and a women’s magazine in China.
Hayashi shoots “levitation” photos at a wide-ranging number of places--at a train-station ticket gate, in front of a shop and in the middle of a crowd as well as on a nearby mountain. She even "jumped" at the funeral hall where the ceremony was held for her grandmother, who died in July last year.
Hayashi said that when she jumps for a photo, she relaxes her body in the air and pays attention to the angle of her arms and legs and even the direction of her eyes. Those help create the impression that she is actually floating in the air, she explained.
She said she has jumped as many as 300 times for one photo. She has been injured, when she fell on landing, and also has been treated as a suspicious person and questioned.
Her blog has clocked 4.5 million views and received many comments from various parts of the world. A poster in South Korea asked how Hayashi makes her landings. Another poster in Kuwait described the photos as the art of an angel.
She said she felt she has links with people across the world when teenage girls spoke to her in Italy, saying they saw her photos on the Web.
She also said she feels comfortable with tools that allow further development of her craft, such as the digital camera and her blog.
Hayashi works as an assistant to a photographer, her teacher as well. Recently, she has embarked on taking 3-D photos, with the help of her teacher.
She will publish a photo book titled “Today’s Levitation” that includes 95 works. It will be released in June.
To see “Today’s Levitation” photos, go to (http://yowayowacamera.com/).
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