The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan

By | 2013-12-14T17:05:19+00:00 October 4, 2013|Categories: Asia, Japan, Photo of the Day, Unesco World Heritage Sites|Tags: , |12 Comments

golden pavilion Kyoto JapanProbably the most famous temple in Japan, the gilded Golden Pavilion of Kyoto (Kinkaju-ji in Japanese,) was intentionally burned to the ground in 1950 by a deranged monk. (This incident provided the story line of the most famous novel of Japan’s arguably greatest novelist, Yukio Mishima.) The temple was rebuilt in 1955, and recovered with gold leaf in 1987.

It was a cloudy day, and again I was too lazy to lug the big DSLR on our long walking tour of one of the temple areas of Kyoto. So, I used the Canon S110. This took some enhancement in Lightroom, mostly darkening the overcast sky with a gradated filter, and juicing the clarity and presence functions to provide more definition. I also pulled the color temperature down a bit to make the whole thing a little bluer. I brightened the whites to give more definition in the clouds and their reflections.

For more info about the equipment and software I use, see this page.


  1. Gary Arndt October 4, 2013 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Everyone has almost exactly the same photo because there is only one spot you can really set up your camera 🙂

    • Tom Bartel October 4, 2013 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Yup, me and about 500 people got one sort of like it today. Mine was the one without a Japanese person holding up two fingers. (And that had a framing foreground. And, I was also the guy who came back around then the sun peeked out just for about two minutes and hit the pavillon. The first time through, the lighting was completely flat and the sky pure overcast gray.) I got another two I sort of liked from the walk around the grounds, too. What I’d really like to do — and one of these days I will — is get permission to get in very early morning to some of these tourist sites and get to shoot uninterrupted with the right light. A guy once told me to get the real good landscape shot, you had to be willing to go back to a place 25 times to get the light just right. One day I’ll have the opportunity, and the patience, for that.

  2. Janet Hogshead October 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Go back 25 times for this Picture if you must, but this shot is BEAUTIFUL!

    • Tom Bartel October 5, 2013 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Janet. Gary’s sort of right, though. They don’t offer you a lot of choices where to shoot from. It’s almost as if the Japanese who built this hundreds of years ago were intentionally trying to create a beautiful picture.

  3. larry Berle October 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    That is one beautiful photo Tom—- I am leaving for Israel on Wed– goin to Eilat, Petra Jordan etc– baclk on 20 Oct

    • Kristin Henning October 7, 2013 at 3:09 am - Reply

      Have a great trip, Larry. We hope you’ll post some pictures on Facebook.

  4. noel morata October 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Great job even with the S110, lightroom or other applications can do so much to accent the deficiencies in an average picture, thanks for linking up today.

  5. Rachel M October 8, 2013 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Beautiful shot, the gold color is striking

  6. Lawrence Michaels October 8, 2013 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Wow that temple is absolutely beautiful. I love the reflections in the water, great shot.

    • Tom Bartel October 16, 2013 at 4:15 am - Reply

      Thanks, Lawrence. It was a beautiful scene.

Leave A Comment