When I arrived in Minamisanriku less than two weeks after the devastation, the immensity of the loss was staggering, impossible to comprehend. In my few spare moments between live TV work, I wandered through the ruined landscape, trying to make emotional sense of what I was seeing. I knew then that I had to try to use images to convey not only the pain and sorrow, but also the wonder and the awe that flowed through me as I looked upon the aftermath of this terrible event.

These photos use a technique called “high dynamic range,” which allows a much wider range of tones than conventional photography.

Toby Marshall has worked for ZDF German TV in Tokyo and Beijing for 17 years as cameraman and video editor.