Balance – Yoga Shoot at Horsetooth Reservoir

Andrea Bilderback does Eight Angle pose or Astavakrasana on top of the Gill Pinnacle near Fort Collins.
Andrea Bilderback does Eight Angle pose or Astavakrasana on top of the Gill Pinnacle near Fort Collins.

A while ago I was bouldering at Horsetooth Reservoir at the Rotary Park area and I ended up sitting on top of the Gill Pinnacle. That in itself wasn’t a big deal, I’ve climbed it and sat on it a bunch of times, but this time when I was sitting on it I looked around and it occurred to me that it would be a great place for a yoga shoot. The top is a little smaller than a yoga mat, and decidedly less even, you could easily call it bumpy, but it seemed like it was possible. When I got down I took a few photos of it, and then used the Helios app to figure out when the sun would be setting behind it. That was back in mid June, and it’s now October so sunset times have changed a lot, but I finally managed to get a shoot organized with my friend Andrea. Knowing how uncomfortable I had felt trying to balance one legged on it I had zero expectations of what she would want to do on it, but I hoped we could get something good. Not that I doubted Andrea at all, she teaches Yoga at Old Town Yoga in Fort Collins, and also rock climbs, but I hate putting pressure on shoots with preset ideas.

 

Andrea Bilderback demonstrates a yoga pose on top of a rock pillar near Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins, CO
Andrea Bilderback sinks deep into Warrior II pose on top of the Gill Pinnacle near Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins, CO

Balance is incredibly important in our lives, on so many levels. From balancing work and play, to eating a balanced diet, to simply having good physical balance, most of us are constantly striving for it. Physical balance is not something that we often think about, most of us spend our lives solidly on two feet on even ground, or seated at a desk or in front of a screen. Riding a bike takes balance, but most of us learned that one at an early age. While we were creating these images, Andrea and I talked a bit about balance, mostly related to her position up on top of the rock, 15-20 feet off the ground. While her balance shouldn’t really be any different because of where she was, some poses were a lot more difficult up on the rock than they were on the ground. It’s also far from flat, which just makes it that much harder. I though about how it’s not until we’re trying to do a familiar thing in an uncomfortable place that we realize how much we take balance for granted, and I resolved to always keep trying to improve my balance.

Balance in Photography

Thinking about balance also got me to thinking about the balancing that I was currently doing with my images, and I realized that in all of the posts I’ve done about composition, I’ve never really talked much about balance. So it’s time. Look for a fresh composition post in the next month or so, going into balance in a little more depth.


Lighting

I used my Elinchrom Quadra again on this shoot, shooting the HS head with the EL Skyport Plus HS transmitter to get my Sony A7rii to sync with it at 1/1000. I’m getting more and more comfortable with the flash and transmitter and how they work with the Sony, now I just need to get another one so I can start doing some more creative lighting instead of just using it as fill. What do think of the lighting? Let me know in the comments.

Complete Gallery

 

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