As promised, here are the student pieces from the Levitation photography project. This project came from the fact that the students wanted to do more photography specific assignments as well as from my own goals of scaffolding photoshop skills and keeping up with trends in photoshop "tricks."
The students had no formal tutorial that they were following for this project and the rendering process they used was informed by both previous experience/tutorials as well as their own understanding of how photoshop works. I urged them to approach this project such that their images yielded a surreal feel to it and we looked at samples of both levitation photoshopped images as well as surreal artwork. Each piece was evaluated not only for seamless rendering but also use of color, placement of lighting and shadows, and of course creativity. I offered them in class time as well as photography assistance for getting their pictures taken since it's always an advantage for this type of work to have greater manual controls over the functions of the camera when you are taking the picture so as to yield the most accurate exposure and shadows. You can always add those things in photoshop but getting it right in the camera will always be better.
Overall the students did very well. Some of them attempted to create very surrealistic type depictions while still maintaining the natural backgrounds while others completely conceptualized fictitious environments for them to be levitating within.