The Temple of Heaven

Webinar Class Soon – Need your help!

Can you help by filling out this survey? I’d like to know what you would want to get out of a photography webinar. What post-processing and HDR skills do you want to learn? How can I help you out?

I’m planning on this being a 3 week live online course. It will be 9 classes, one hour each. I’ve already got a lot planned, and I look forward to seeing what interests you the most.

What is a Webinar? It’s a live online class and all you need is internet! You’ll see me on video, I’ll share my screen, and it’s a very fun way to learn. And you’ll learn how to do photos like this…

Daily Photo – The Temple of Heaven

One too-early morning brought me to this very important place for the Chinese called The Temple of Heaven. It’s the most important Taoist structure in all of China and millions flock to it every year, especially during the National Holiday. It was built in the early 1400’s during the reign of the Yongle Emperor.

I was lucky to get private access in the morning during the sunrise. After waking up in the dark at the hotel, my driver took me out to the location, where I met one of the directors while members of the military let me inside the giant doors. Since it was a special celebration week, there were throngs of people waiting to get inside. I’m sure they were wondering what in the heck some white dude was doing busting through the doors with a giant tripod! I nodded to them all in a mysterious way before I went through the doors.

(btw, a few questions as to whether or not I photoshopped the moon there. The answer is no… I’m not one of those guys that will “photoshop in” something major like a moon.)

HDR Photo

  • Whoa. Dude. I feel like I have completed come into total grok harmony with this one. I mean, the intermingling of intelligence between Thelonious and this structure has affected both the observer and the observed.
    Seriously bro. I been groked.

  • Ummm.. Wow. Now I feel stupid. Is that really the moon perfectly lined up right over the Taoist ueber building? How cool is that? Answer? Really cool.

  • GORGEOUS!! Lovely image! 1 in a million. Umm… did you do any post processing changes to get the clouds to do that amazing surrounding the building thing? Everything about this is so well lined up… Yep. Incredible.

  • Thanks!

    Yes that is the moon there… I’m not one of those photographers, btw, that will take a moon from another photo and paste it in… that is too lame I think. That is the real size too…

  • Patrick Ahles

    I was wondering just the same. The moon? Perfect! And the clouds emanating from the temple… There must be a deeper meaning! 🙂

  • nice to have friends in high places 🙂

    great picture, amigo.

  • Trey, The beauty of wide angle, love how u have used it in sync to get the effect on the clouds. Love it. Awesome capture …. (p.s : wonder how u get those private access 😉 can u share the secrets )

  • Wow, that is a great photo.

    The webinar sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately, I’ll be without consistent internet by then. But definitely a great idea and I’m sure it’ll be a wonderful learning experience for everyone who participates.

  • Excellent composition and processing.

  • This photo is epic and I’m glad others asked about the placement of the moon and clouds. The alignment is perfect, I’d be considering that auspicious. It’s kind of sad now that we all know enough to have to ask whether it’s a composite and I’m thinking for landscapes that I’m happy to mess about with colour and texture but I don’t really want to pretend things were there when they weren’t. Trey it’s a magnificent capture and I’m glad your ‘status’ got us all this little bit of heaven.

  • Simon Morris

    WOW, this is incredible Trey – the detail is stunning, just love the clouds too – they look magical in a way, yet spooky at the same time! I’ve gazed at this image for ages – it’s so well processed that I can almost feel the early morning humidity burning through my 27″ iMac 😉 As for the moon – completes the image perfectly!

  • How lucky you are to get solo access to this site! I remember being there several years ago and having a hard time finding an empty frame!

  • Dan

    This is a download for sure! Just pure awesomeness :).

    I think I found my own processing ‘technique’ yesterday, Ever since I applied this new ‘process’ my images have come out allot better than others. I’ve learnt allot whilst here :). P.S Can’t wait for the webinar. Will they be downloadable a tall?


  • Gail in Montana

    Great photo of the temple in Beijing!!! Hard to believe it was built in the 1400’s!! Thanks for sharing, enjoy your day. 🙂

  • The photo lives up to it’s title – absolutely terrific!

  • J. Lopez

    I found your site this morning from a link to it in an article posted on the Facebook Fan pg of vCopia, that took me here: The first paragraph mentions your influence on the author and then shares info on another HDR photographer whose work, to me, was tailored after your own.

    Had never heard of HDR “anything” before, but I sure know now and will be back again and again. So glad this vCopia dude linked to ya!

    Dr. Jorge

  • karl reiner

    the webinar sounds great, will it be free???

  • Susan

    Awesome shot Trey – and yes, the moon is lined up perfectly! The webinar sounds super good and like fun too!

  • Thanks everyone!

    Karl – No it won’t be free. It takes too much work, preparation, and there is only a limited number of spots available. But I’ll continue to post daily photos up with tips and tricks every day of the year, as is the usual…

    Sathya – yes as far as geting private access, it’s hard to say. I’m both very lucky and I try hard to find the right person to help out. It makes the most sense when all our interests are aligned, and my presence is more of a net-positive than a drain on all the associated parties.

  • Amazing shot Trey. I am truly mesmerized by it. And that moon aligns so perfectly 🙂

  • Another awesome capture, Trey. Crazy BTW: You need to find you another Nikon-using photographer for the mostly photo guest spots. The two against one Nikon hate gets old 🙂

  • Very cool shot and I have to agree with you on the adding components to an image…not to my personal taste.

  • Ted

    How impressive picture of temple and the MOON! Awsome!!

  • Excellent! One of my favorites to date. I don’t know exactly why, but this image really hits home. Nicely done.

  • Yongle Emperor?

    Dang Trey, I saw that and figured you must be pulling my leg. I studied Chinese, the language and the history, and don’t remember a “Yongle Emperor.” But sure enough, I look it up, and there it is! Sorry I doubted you!

  • An awesome photos, I love the way the clouds seem to radiate out from the top of the temple, way too cool!! I love history and it’s great that these ancient buildings still exist for us to see, love the architecture.

  • Rich

    The best historical paper I wrote in university had a big section on this temple.

    What a great picture, this is the best photograph of the temple I have seen.

  • tim burgess

    People stopping you taking photo’s Over-zealous police and private security guards.and people who want you to pay. takes the fun and enjoyment out of photography.

  • Hi Trey!,Happy Easter to you! I know that You’ve heard that before but I also have to say that you have an amzing talent! Also It’s very generous of you giving away your CS5 and I would like to be considered for this prize. Thank you and keep up your great work and continue inspire people like me:) Happy Easter!!

  • Jesse Houle

    That’s amazing! Almost looks like the temple is splitting the clouds. You’re work is spectacular.

  • Hey Trey. Enjoy the site and the HDR adventure. AND WHO COULDN’T USE a copy of Photoshop CS5!!! Thanks for the generosity.

  • Wow your pics are amazing Trey. Sorry for the spammy name, just trying to get some pub for my site. I am truly impressed with your work though. I could use some pics like this for some of my before and after shots of different pools I have worked on. Very artistic and look forward to more coming in the future.

  • Liu Joe

    Proud of it

  • Pingback: Embracing the Crowds | Chasing Light Photography Blog()

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