I was reminded on this trip just how much I enjoy photographing people practicing asanas. Yoga Flow, in Tucson, was a beautiful space designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, but it posed a number of photographic challenges. The circular shape of the space was lovely, and it had skylights and windows all around, but many of the materials used for the interior were industrial and not very photogenic. It was winter and the sun was at a low angle so the natural light, which most likely floods the space in the summer months, was dimmed. My practice of photography is more and more geared towards natural/existing light, because I don't want the overhead and the psychological distraction of having assistants running around doing lighting. Natural light frees me and demands that I be AWARE-not controlling, and to really see and understand how light is expressing the environment. I love soft images, but I also want total clarity at the focal point. With this image I was using my Nikon 85 1.4 at 1.8 at a 50th of a second hand held...the shutter speed was really much too slow for being hand held... However I was already at 400 ISO and did not want to increase that ISO to 800 (0r 1600) despite the light level being so low... I was lucky! Her eyelashes are tack sharp. It was a quiet moment and I was able to handle it. Probably should have used the tripod I had right at hand, but I don't like using tripods much. I love using my arms and wrists and hands-what incredible flexible tools they are! And I try to slow my breath at moments like this to steady myself. As a photographer I'm at my edge, and at the edge of my tools; where I always like to be in my work and on the mat!
This Image "Deep Low Lunge". Elena Ray Copyright 2009.