Defying gravity: Tokyo photographer 'levitates'

Natsumi Hayashi makes flying look easy. But the self-portraits that seem to show the Toyko photographer levitating above the ground are actually the result of a lot of hard work. "Sometimes I need to jump more than 300 times to get the perfect shot," Hayashi told Hayashi blogs a levitating picture-of-the-day each day on her website, (Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience )

After seeing an old phone booth in a Tokyo suburb, Natsumi Hayashi was fascinated by the idea of using it in a photo. "I was inspired by the beautiful pale blue color of the glass windows to take the shot," Hayashi said. (Photo credit: Natsumi Hayashi/

"This vacant lot reminds me an open space where I played often when I was a little child," Hayashi said. "Everything in this shot perfectly matches to the memories from my childhood." (Photo credit: Natsumi Hayashi/

"Most buildings in Tokyo are new or clean," Hayashi said. She was inspired to take this photo at an old, abandoned building. (Photo credit: Natsumi Hayashi/

"I prefer to use backlight instead of using direct light," Hayashi said. "This shot was taken in that manner." (Photo credit: Natsumi Hayashi/

"When I take a 'levitation' photo with a crowd of people, collaboration with passersby is the most important part," Hayashi said. "Kids are always very cooperative." (Photo credit: Natsumi Hayashi/

"I love seeing graffiti by kids," Hayashi said. "In this shot, a boy's name and a girl's name are written under one umbrella, which means they are in love." (Photo credit: Natsumi Hayashi/

"This shot was taken at a tiny amusement park built on a roof of a department store," Hayashi said. (Photo credit: Natsumi Hayashi/

“Most train stations in center of Tokyo have huge steel structures," Hayashi said. "I took this shot under a steel bridge of a platform." (Photo credit: Natsumi Hayashi/

"I didn't plan to have this man in this shot," Hayashi said. "Then I noticed he had a bag from a famous camera store in Tokyo. As he passed by, I suddenly came up with an idea about 'levitating' towards him. "'Please show me what is inside your bag'' was the line I imagined." (Photo credit: Natsumi Hayashi/