All Gold Everything | Yangon, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda is the central and most famous Buddhist temple in Yangon, Myanmar.  From anywhere in the city this amazing pagoda can be seen as it towers above the city.  During my morning visit the temple was so calm and peaceful.  Monks and locals made their walk around this 60 tons of gold and began their morning rituals.  This was the first time that I have ever encountered Monk women and children, with their shaved heads and pink robes.  The people of Myanmar make this country, during my visit to Shwedagon I was offered food and asked to join an English class in town.  SInce tourism has just began in Myanmar the people are so intrigued and happy to have you in their country.  So far it has been such an amazing experience in this country, I suggest you get here as soon as possible before it changes.  

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Technical Stuff: 

CAMERA:    Sony A7R

LENS:    Zeiss 16-35mm f/4 - Shot at 16mm

TRIPOD:    Really Right Stuff TVC-24L w/ BH40 Ballhead

HARDWARE:    11' Macbook AirWacom Manga Tablet

SOFTWARE:    Capture One 9 - Photoshop CC 2015 - Nik Color Efex Pro 4


Single Exposure - 2 sec at F/8  - 5:52 AM


TAKEN:    July 17, 2016

TECHNIQUE:   Since there was not much dynamic range I was able to capture this image with 1 exposure.  The main things that needed to be addressed were the distortion, pulling detail from the sky, and removing the light post which was a major distraction.  WIth CapturePro the keystonning was cranked to the max to fix the distortion, this was still not enough.  Manual distortion was increased even more using Photoshop to ensure that the pagodas were completely straight.  To pull as much detail as possible, I used tonal contrast in Color Efex Pro and pushed the midtones as far as I could. This brought out all of the detail that was in the sky but just wasn't visible from the initial RAW.  Contrast with Color Efex Pro and dodging and burning were applied last to ensure the image had pop.

TIPS:     Shooting wide will introduce alot of distortion.  If you are shooting buildings or structures you will have to correct the distortion and ensure the buildings are straight.  When shooting make sure to shoot a bit wider or step farther back to compensate for the distortion.  During post processing you will have to correct this and portions of the image will have to be cropped.  So always give yourself a bit more room to play with.