The Taj Mahal is an extraordinary example of Muslim art and a worthy New 7 Wonders of the World. Of course it’s no wonder that this white marble mausoleum is one of India’s most photographed sites, but it can be difficult to get a great photo. Intrepid’s Graham Stanley helps with some good Taj photography tips…
“1) Time of day: it doesn’t really matter with the Taj Mahal, because the aspect of the sun enables a reflection off the front almost all day (except for the dying minutes of sunset). Sunrise is great because you see the colour of the white marble change as the sun gets higher in the sky. Try to go before 9:30am so the sky is a little bluer with less smog, because brilliant white marble against a bright white sky can make your photos seem washed out . Also the crowds start to arrive from around 9:30am, so getting in early has its benefits.
2) Cross the river: from the other side of the river you can see uninterrupted views of the Taj with no people in your way. Take a taxi – will cost approx 100 rupees and take about 30 minutes to get there, so time it right for sunset. If the water level is high enough you can see an amazing reflection in the water.
3) Make people a feature: The Taj Mahal attracts plenty of tourists, including local Indians who are travelling in their own country, so there are a lot of people wearing colourful saris and suits. It’s difficult to avoid people in your shots, so with a little patience you can make these flowing outfits form part of the picture with the Taj in the background. It makes great contrast and shows off the wonderful local dress of India.
4) Aim for the sides: in the morning head to the right of the Taj Mahal and in the afternoon head to the left. The sun will be in the perfect position to get pictures from the sides of the monument and there are a lot less people congregating on the sides than at the front. I have a photo taken at 10:00am in the morning with nobody in the picture!
5) Head for the trees: there are some lovely gardens in front of the Taj so head along the paths around the gardens and take photos through the trees. You can find some colourful flowers to create interest in the foreground and you can use the trees as a frame around the Taj.
6) A different view: if you go to the structures at the side of the Taj Mahal (particularly the one on the left as there are always less people) you can take photos under the arches to frame the Taj.”
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* photo by Graham Stanely.