Azulejos

The walls in the vestibule of the Institute Menezes Braganza building in the heart of Panjim (capital city of Goa) are decorated with exquisite Azulejos. The scenes depicted are taken from the poem Os Lusíadas by the Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões. For more on Azulejos, see this.

Photographing the Azulejos in Panjim presents two challenges. One is the lighting – the only opening for natural light is through the main door in a direction parallel to the walls, and this results in highly uneven illumination across their length. The interior lighting is not helpful, since it consists of a tubelight which does nothing more than reflect blobs of specular highlights from the walls. Without an elaborate secondary lighting set-up, the only recourse is to correct for and balance the illumination in post-processing.

The second difficulty is the narrow width of the passageway itself, which leaves little room for backing out. A standard ultra-wide angle lens will take in the entire scene but render the vertical lines convergent. This issue was presently addressed through the use of the magnificent TS-E 17L lens.

A quick rendering of a couple of Azulejos is presented below. As can be expected from the asymmetrical illumination, the tonal and colour balance show variation across the two frames as well as within each frame.

Azulejo at Institute Menezes Braganza building in Panjim, Goa

Azulejo at Institute Menezes Braganza building in Panjim, Goa
5D Mark II, TS-E 17L

 
Azulejo at Institute Menezes Braganza building

Azulejo at Institute Menezes Braganza building
5D Mark II, TS-E 17L

 
Old building housing the Institute Menezes Braganza<br>5D Mark II, TS-E 17L

Old building housing the Institute Menezes Braganza
5D Mark II, TS-E 17L

 

This lady – she said she was from the village of Uccasaim – hovered in the background and after I was done shooting, insisted that I take her portrait.

Maria Fernandes, outside the Institute Menezes Braganza building<br>5D Mark II, 24-105L

Maria Fernandes, outside the Institute Menezes Braganza building
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
 
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