The picture above is of the Toshogu Shrine in the Konchi in Temple grounds in Kyoto, Japan. Due to a bright overcast cloudy day the underside of the roof is very under exposed and there is no detail of the wooden rafters that are hidden in the darkness. The grey tiled roof is over exposed and washed out for any colour, the original photograph has too much overcast sky in the picture which is often bad for exposure. I compensated down a couple of stops for the light sky which blew out the roof detail but still wasn’t enough to give the wooden beam detail I was after under the roof.
The door to the Toshogu Shrine is open but it’s much too dark to see clearly inside, but after taking a series of pictures for HDR, I can get good contrasts with the available light as in the picture below. The HDR photograph really brings out all the detail and colours, producing a much more interesting and life like picture. I decided to do an HDR picture more as an afterthought as it didn’t look that inspiring at the time, but the result turned out much better than expected.
The dragon design on the ceiling of the Shrine is work by the artist Kano Tanyu and the Toshogu Shrine is the only example of Gongen-style architecture from the Edo period (1603-1868) in Kyoto.
The Konchi in Temple is only a 5 minute walk from Kyoto’s famous Nanzenji Temple.
You can see more photographs from the Konchi in Temple here