Camera Toss photography by Jens Ludwig / QuakkauQ

Camera Toss – HowTo



If you want to try camera tossing you are doing this at your own risk. Don’t blame me if something goes wrong. Be aware, if you don’t catch your camera it can be damaged or destroyed.


What do you need


A P&S digital camera (but don’t use your very expensive camera) and a light source. If you don’t have a digital camera but a mobile phone with an integrated camera, you can also us it.


Choose a light source


You can use every light source you can find for example: your  TV, the display of your DVD Player, a neon sign, your computer monitor…


If you do an indoor camera toss it would be good if the room is almost dark except of your light source. The same applies for outdoor tosses if your light source is for example a neon sign do this at the evening when the sky is almost dark.


How To toss the camera:


First, camera tossing means you throw your camera into the air, if you throw it high or low it doesn’t matter, but your camera must be free in the air and not attached to something like your hand or a strap.

If you move your camera with your hand or swing it with the strap of your camera, a rope or something else, it will not be a camera toss. I say this, because some think that doing it this way is also a camera toss, but it is definitely not a camera toss.


Use the self timer


I think almost every camera has a self timer, so set up the self timer of your camera, point your camera towards the light source and press the trigger. If the self timer is almost elapsed toss your camera in front of the light source into the air. Don’t toss it to high - it’s enough if you toss it about 20 to 40 cm into the air. While you throw your camera the lens should aim towards the light source.The very important thing now is catch your camera. Congratulations, you have done your first camera toss! Now, the best take a look at the image. If the image looks great, Yeah! try the next toss. If not don’t be disappointed it will need a little practice to get great results and not every toss look beautiful. Sometimes you toss your camera up to 50 times and you will only have 2 or 3 good result, sometimes less or more or nothing.


Press the trigger at the moment you toss your camera


The other method is to press the trigger at the moment you toss the camera.  You can do it this way:Point your camera towards the light source, and when you start to toss it press the trigger. If it won’t work for the first time try to set e higher exposure time. If your camera don’t support manual settings for exposure time try to use the “Night Mode” of your camera.


Camera movement while in the air


You can manipulate the movement of the camera while in the air, if you give your camera a slow/fast spin, toss the camera horizontal or vertical. The result of the image also varies if the camera has a left or right spin. This depends on the position of the lens on your camera. Play with different ways of manipulating the flight path of the camera and you will get different effects.

Exposure time – Exposure modes

You can also set a higher exposure timer or try the different exposure modes of your camera. With a higher exposure time you can catch more light, but be careful the image can be overexposed.


Safety Devices


To be on the safe side you can use some kind of the device, in that case you won’t catch your camera and it will crash on the floor. You can put some thick blankets or a mattress on the floor, so your camera can land softly.


Different Camera Toss categories


Indoor toss


This is the best environment for tossing, if you have a light source. In a almost dark room or when it is darke outside you can get all the light, colors and brightness on the image.

 Camera Toss
 Camera Toss

Camera Toss samples

 Camera Toss

Daylight Toss


In this case you toss your camera only with daylight.

 Daylight Camera Toss
 Daylight Camera Toss

Daylight Camera Toss samples

 Daylight Camera Toss

Mobile Phone Camera Toss


The results of the mobile phone camera toss can vary to the results if you use a normal digital camera.  For example if you toss your mobile phone during daylight you will get a totally different result as if you use a normal digital camera. The effect you can see on the image of the mobile phone is called “Rolling Shutter”.


You can find a explanation of the Rolling Shutter effect here: (in German)


Flickr forum discussion about the Rolling Shutter effect:

 Mobile Phone Camera toss
 Mobile Phone Camera Toss

Mobile Phone Camera Toss samples (Rolling Shutter Effect)