Yoga, photography, and the sun all went down on Cedar Run Dock Road last night. I sprinkled in some comfort zone stretching people shooting with the familiar task of landscape marsh photography. In need of fresh content for a forthcoming issue of Bay Magazine, friend and entrepreneur, Adam Binder of Aperion Yoga, sought assistance from my girlfriend Rose and me. Rose would provide the modeling and yoga talent and I the camera.
With good natural light, a fresh breeze, and warm temperatures we had ideal conditions for what amounted to a near 45 minute photo shoot. We wasted little time and worked through a dozen or so different partner poses, and I made a total of 162 frames all with my 35mm lens. I was shooting wide open at f/1.4 to shorten depth of field and bring the sharper focus to our yogis. I’m satisfied with how this strategy played out. Of course my inexperience was showing when Adam requested coaching and direction on posing, facial expressions, hand position, etc. Being a novice to photographing people I had little to offer, but things still worked out well enough.
Adam’s basic requirements consisted of producing a vertical photograph with an 8.5 x 11 crop factor, his yoga mat visible—they are beautiful, by the way—and “pop.” With that, I did my best. Tonight, I am posting what is easily the most abstract of the poses photographed. All credit to Rose and her creative inclination to line the mat up along the double yellow road lines, where she entered an L shaped handstand while Adam was in downward facing dog behind her. While in the pose Rose rested her feet upon Adam’s hips. It is fascinating to look into this pose low to the ground and head on, it’s difficult to puzzle out the positioning. The presence of hands and feet leaves the viewer curious, wanting more. It brings interest into further exploring the photograph to piece together how their shared alignments works.
Beyond the mystery of the partner pose there are things to discuss about composition. Dominating the frame, Rose’s asana creates a tall isosceles triangle. This mirrors the Aperion logo, an equilateral triangle, seen along her black waistband. More than that, however, is the sense of place framing our models. The road surface, its double yellow lines moving through the pose and jogging ever so gently to the left, flanked on each side by marsh grasses grounds the yogis in nature. Further backdropped by late day light moments before sunset. Rose’s pastel pants atop the frame make a perfect counterbalance to the well matched pastel yoga mat at the bottom of the picture. Rose’s array of tattoos build another layer, with the Sanskrit tattoo running vertical down her back connected to the top of the photo to the bottom. Despite everything going on here simplicity and balance still somehow win the day. This is the kind of paradox that makes art so fascinating and enigmatic.