10 Tips for taking perfect photos of this world icon
The Taj Mahal is one of the most photographed structures on earth… for good reason. From a distance, its absolute symmetry is picture-perfect; but the true beauty lies in its intricate, mind-boggling details.
KidTripster Tip: If you’re serious about getting the very best photos with least number of tourists, plan to arrive at the crack of dawn. The East and West Gates open at 6 a.m.; you’ll want to be in the foreign visitors’ queue by 5:15 a.m.
Once inside the gates, consider the following advice to capture the monumental and memorable Taj Mahal.
1/Get the iconic shot first
If you want the iconic shot of the reflecting pool with the Taj Mahal in the distance - and you want it with as few people as possible - make a beeline to the top of the pool as soon as you enter. There’ll likely be others trying to capture the same shot, so be patient.
KidTripster Tip: Don’t bring a tripod. It’ll either be confiscated or you’ll be charged a professional photographer fee. And don’t bring extra camera batteries as they’re prohibited.
2/Wait for the sun
Being one of the first people through the gates means that you won’t have to fight the crowds. However, the best light may not come for another hour or two, so remember to revisit some of the key vantage points later in the day.
3/Look for detail
Much of the Taj Mahal’s beauty lies in the intricate and delicate carvings and the semi-precious gem inlays, as well as the inscriptions from the Quran around the archways. Zoom in for a closer look.
4/Change your perspective
Be looking for ways to capture the monument from unique and unexpected angles. For example, don’t be afraid to lie down on the ground and shoot up.
5/Frame shots strategically
Utilize the many archways and doorways within the Taj complex to capture the scene in a more creative way.
6/Reflect the experience
Use the pool to your advantage by reflecting the Taj in the still water. Or try reflecting the mausoleum in your sunglasses.
Photo courtesy: Mikaeel Adam @MyTravelRULES
7/Wear bright colors
If you were ever looking for an excuse to wear a sari, this could be it! At the very least, wear bright colors so that you and your family stand out against the white background. Your photo will be holiday card-worthy. And look to capture other visitors wearing colorful saris, as well.
8/Hide the scaffolding
No matter when you go, there’s likely to be some scaffolding up to facilitate cleaning or restoration work. Try to position people or trees to hide the unsightly structures.
9/Capture black-and-white photos
The Taj Mahal can look truly stunning in a black-and-white photo. If you forget to take a few, you always can manipulate colored photos in editing.
Photo courtesy: Alvin Varghese
10/Shoot outside the complex
If you have the time, go across the Yamuna River to the Moonlight Garden, or Mahtab Bath. Here you’ll capture the rear of the Taj Mahal complex. Or follow the nature trail as you exit the East Gate for additional vantage points.
Editor Shellie Bailey-Shah is married to a first-generation Indian-American. This trip was the family’s first opportunity to connect with their Indian heritage.