Kinkakuji in Summer: HDR Photography of a World Heritage Site in Kyoto

Golden Pavilion Temple 「金閣寺」

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Kyoto looks beautiful in all seasons. In summer, the bright green trees shine to provide great contrast against the cities temples and shrines.

Kinkakuji in Summer

Kinkakuji in Summer: HDR Photography of a World Heritage Site in Kyoto

Panasonic DMC-LX3 (5.09mm, f/3.2, 1/500 sec, ISO80)
The typical tourist shot… in HDR.

But there’s a downside to summer in Japan… it’s known in Japanese as mushi-atsui 「蒸し暑い」 which means humid-hot.

After leaving Kinkakuji in the morning, I picked up a bicycle hired across the road from Kinkakuji, then rode on to Nijo Castle and then the Kyoto Imperial Palace. By the end of the day all my clothes were drenched in sweat. But you know… it’s the best day I’ve ever had in Kyoto.

The Journey of Photography

As I learn more and more about photography, and in particular HDR photography, I find myself revisiting old photos. I’ve already written about how I photograph Japanese shrines and temples, get a great shot and process a HDR photo.

On the journey of photography, you have to acknowledge that when you started out, you were probably terrible at it. But when you take a great shot, you need to give yourself the credit you deserve. Compare this re-processed HDR photo of Kinkakuji to the original version I processed in 2011. My initial reaction looking back at this photo was “how could I have released this to the world!”. But on a journey, the mistakes you make transform you into the person you are today and will be in the future.

I hope to continue to make mistakes, and continue to improve my photography and post-processing.

Location of this photo:

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View this location – Map coordinates: 35.038982,135.728798.

Read the full travel article about Kinkakuji in Kyoto (which still has many of my old crappy photos).

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