Brahma Kumaris – Jagdamba Bhawan shoot

About Jagdamba Bhawan architecture

Archicon Design, Pune are the architects for the Brahma Kumaris meditation center called “Jagdamba Bhawan”. This center is located in Undri Pisoli, Pune. This retreat is a focal point for all year round activities of the followers of Brahma Kumaris in Pune.

View the architect’s website here:

The shape of the building is derived from the Brahma Kumaris logo. The logo is like the sun, the source of energy with the rays radiating positive energy in all the directions.

The building is made in such a way that it feels like the sun has descended from the heavens and settled down on this beautiful terrain. The facility is designed with a circular main meditation hall in the center. While the wings house all other amenities such as prayer rooms and mini auditoriums. To enhance the radiating effect, corridors, spaces between the wings and the terraces are thoughtfully landscaped with trees and greenery.

The terraces provide natural day light and fresh air into the building. A corridor goes around the meditation hall having large windows. It is specifically designed to be at a distance from the wall of main hall.

The main meditation hall is designed to accommodate a large number of people for meditation and other events. The interiors are thoughtfully designed to ensure the best acoustics.

The open amphitheater that can accommodate approximately 3000 devotees is located behind the main building. It is the highlight of this complex. It is wonderfully landscaped with steps for seating. The center stage is designed such that it is visible from all corners of the amphitheater.

Tips for photographers:

Understand perspectives

  1. It is important to understand the creative vision or intentions behind the architectural design so that it is reflected in the pictures. Have conversations with the architect to understand the intention and perspective of specific design elements. The details might be obvious for the architect, but dive deeper with questions before you finalize the angles to shoot from.
  2. Understand the perspective of the people using the space and the angle from which they will be seeing it.

Preplan the shoot

  1. Before the shoot, study the location and direction of the building to decide the time of the day for the shoot. The sun can cast hard shadows on the building and hide a lot of details.
  2. Plan for evening shots to highlight any external light effects on the building.

Carry the right equipment

  1. Preferably use a wide angle lens. It could be 24mm or wider on a full frame camera to capture a wider angle.
  2. Use a tripod so that you can reduce the shutter speed. It is also required so that you can take multiple exposures and do bracketing.
  3. Flash or a strobe, if you want to add in more light in some area.
  4. Circular polarizing filter to reduce the amount of reflections.
  5. Tilt shift lens – if you have one, which can help in removing the distortion.

Correction in post processing

  1. When we take architecture shots, the vertical edges of a building or a room appear to converge. This distortion has to be corrected in post-processing using tools such as Photoshop. There is a higher degree of distortion when a wider lens is used.
  2. When shooting indoors, the camera will not capture objects outside the window because it is too bright. It requires multiple exposures to be taken using techniques such as bracketing, to get the required outside view so that the pictures can be merged later to capture the interior as well as the outside view.
  1. Bracketing helps take multiple shots of the same object with different exposures – one under exposed, one over exposed and more, so that they can be merged in post processing later for the right effect.
  2. While shooting buildings, the surrounding areas may have several unwanted objects and these need to be cleaned in post process. A keen eye for detail and cleanup is required. All objects that do not add value or create a sore look need to be removed.

Here is an example – can you spot the differences?

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