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Roof Panorama of the Saigon Post Office

Impulsive Photography

Roof Panorama of the Saigon Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office Panorama
Saigon Central Post Office Panorama

This is a panorama of the roof of the Saigon Central Post Office

This picture was shot during our holidays in Vietnam. It is the Central Post Office in Saigon (Bưu Điện Trung Tâm Thành Phố); A grand 19th century post office in the middle of the center of the Ho Chi Minh city. It is situated near the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, the city’s cathedral. The building was constructed when Vietnam was part of French Indochina in the late 19th century.

Ho Chi Minh city was one of our last stops in Vietnam in January 2014 and it was hot there, really hot! We tried to enter all buildings that were open for public. When we entered this post office, it was like we were thrown back 100 years back. Where do you find such post offices nowadays? It had some nice telephone boxes installed and there were a couple of big maps hanging on either side of the entrance. The roofing intrigued me from the start and I wanted to visualize it. However… how to do that?

I walked to the middle of the post office and grabbed my Canon 1100D and started -from the hand- shooting one side with three shots, turned around and shot the other side also with three shots. In post I only had to add all three six shots together. Well, with a panoramic shot like this it is always a challenge to get all six shots alligned, especially when it is shot out of the hand.

The focal length was 18 mm and I used an Fnumber of 3.50. At that time I always used the lowest value possible for the aperture, as I was of the impression that that was better. Nowadays I know better, but at that moment in time, the holy grail for me was to go as low as possible. The camera was set on aperture priority, something I also do differently nowadays… always on manual nowadays because then there is no difference between the photos.
As you can read, it was quite a struggle to get all photos aligned.

In post, I had to tinker therefore quite a bit to get al artefacts in allignment. And I had to cut off the sides because of the white space that is created due to the panoramic effect. In the end, it worked out quite well, especially taking into account all the manual settings and tweaking.

So, the picture was not entirely made on the spot, it was created during the post processing. But it was taken without any fancy settings. That made this shot a great photo!

Camera settings:

Camera Model Canon EOS 1100D
Lens Model EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Accesoires used None
Exposure 1/32 seconds
F-number 3.5
ISO 125
Focal Length 18 mm

Location