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mysore yoga shala photos
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through the bars
Pattabhi Jois is one of the very few people I've ever met who, even when you're holding a camera, will look you right in the eye through the lens, rather than just looking at the camera.
waiting on the stairs
These photos were taken in Pattabhi Jois's yoga shala in Mysore between November 2001 and February 2002 during my first visit to Mysore.
If you're in any of them and you'd like a print to impress your [mum / yoga students / prospective marriage partner / other], please email me and I'll be happy to send you one. Note that the black and white prints will be very grainy - more so than is apparent from the images on the web - and the colour ones don't really print very well at all, although you will be recognisable.
Please also email me if you're in any of the pictures and for whatever reason you don't want your picture to be on my website - and in that case, please also accept my apologies in advance.
UPDATE 13.08.2005: Some of Govinda Kai's lovely yoga asana pictures were taken in the old Mysore shala too.
technical notes for the camera-obsessed
It's dark in there (about EV4) but I didn't want to use flash, mainly because it's extremely rude and distracting for the people who are trying to do their yoga practice. (Some people did use flash on a few occasions - and I suppose it's just-about-ok for a few pictures, but for a whole roll of film it would certainly be completely unacceptable. I even felt obtrusive every time I pressed the shutter of my mechanical Nikon without flash, and wished I had one of those lovely super-silent stealth Leicas.) In any case, I prefer to try to take pictures using available light if at all possible, and I enjoy the challenge of trying to do that in poor light - don't use flash out of respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn't any (Henri Cartier-Bresson). Wandering around inside the practice room with a camera is also out of the question, so the the choice of vantage points for pictures is also extremely limited - basically either through the door, or through the grille on the stair window. And there certainly isn't room to go setting up a tripod in either of those places (I did use a monopod for a few of the pictures). So I was trying to shoot handheld, without flash, in very low light - which clearly means very fast film. The black & white pictures were taken on Kodak TMax 3200 pushed to 6400 ASA; the colour ones, which didn't work nearly as well, are Fuji NHG II (800 ASA) pushed to 3200.
All the pictures were taken with a Nikon FM2, with 24mm, 50mm and 100mm lenses. (And anybody who wants to spend their time working out from the perspective which picture was taken with which lens is free to do so. I was far too busy to take notes)
Pictures & text ©2001-2002 Alan Little