For a while, Japan's Natsumi Hayashi was running a pretty standard photography blog, filled with pictures of her cat, food, weird sights from Tokyo and the people in her life. Then she took a photo she called "Today's Levitation" (the first picture in our gallery below), and that appeared to open up a whole new world for her. After that, her blog started to fill up with mind-boggling shots of Hayashi floating in midair in all kinds of places.
So, how's she do it?
"The only way to get a right timing for a shot is jumping a lot," Hayashi said in an interview with the U.K.'s Daily Mail, dispelling our hopeful illusions that she's the first human being who can actually fly. "Sometimes I need to jump over 100 times to get a right shot" She does this in front of her camera, mounted on a tripod, and continues to do so until she achieves that perfect, natural-looking "levitation."
"I got the idea from an English idiom that says 'to have one's feet firmly planted on the ground," she continued. "In Japan, we have the exact same idiom. But I am not a practical person at all. Therefore, I try 'not to have my feet firmly on the ground' in my self-portrait photos to show my true self."
For what's a collection of photos of a girl taking pictures of herself simply jumping, Hayashi's careful composition and the thought she puts into it makes the whole thing oddly inspiring. That's part of her plan, too: "We all are surrounded by social stress as we are bound by the force of the earth's gravity. So I hope that people feel something like an instant release from stressful practical days by seeing my levitation photos."
Unfortunately, it looks like Hayashi stopped updating her "Yowa Yowa Camera Woman Diary" — "a feeble camera woman's diary" — back in April. Did she float away? Hopefully not: the success of her blog in Japan could be the start of what's hopefully a fulfilling photography career for her, and she's worked part time as an artist's assistant for the last two years.
All images by Natsumi Hayashi.