Temple of Heaven, Beijing China (中國北京天壇)

After many trips to Beijing as a tourist, as tour guide, and for work I surprisingly never visted the Temple of Heaven. Aside from Summer Palace, this is my new favorite historical site in China's culturaly rich capital city. Constructed from 1406-1420 by the Yongle Emperor (永樂) who also constructed Beijing's famous Forbidden City. During the reign of the Jiajing Emperor the complex of Taoist buildings were renamed Temple of Heaven.  The temple was later occupied by the British-French alliance during the second opium war, and the Eight Nation Alliance during the Boxer Rebellion.

Since 1918, the temple has been a park open to the public as a celebration of it's masterful architectural and landscape design. It is this combination of nature and larger than life architecture which draws my attention to both the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace, as they are utilized by Beijing locals as public gathering spaces as well as popular torist destnations. 

This photograph is a combination of HDR techniques and Photoshop retouching, with a motion blur filter applied to emphasize the movement of the crowds around the temple, but also to direct focus to the architectural design of the temple.  My goal was to create an image that feels both photographic and like a graphic llustration.