How to Snap an Icon
The Taj Mahal is a Wonder of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s also one of the most photographed monuments on the planet. As the ultimate tribute of love from a man to his wife, India’s ‘crown of palaces’ is an iconic building that you’ll want to make sure to capture. To guarantee a hassle-free visit and some stellar images, we offer these simple photo tips.
Image: The Taj Mahal at dawn, Agra, India; John Haslam, Flickr
Plan for the Fog -- The dry season is notorious for early-morning fog. If you arrive in the thick of it, plan to wait a few hours before entering.
Expect Crowds -- As the day wears on, more and more people arrive. Everyone, it seems, is angling for the same shot overlooking the reflecting pool. Have patience. Be nice. Or, plan to arrive early in the day.
Consider Your Vantage Point -- When you arrive, scout out your location. Consider your direction, the angle of the sun, and unique ways in which you can frame your shots. One of the best view points for capturing the entire complex is from across the Yamuna River in the Moonlight Garden or the Mahtab Bagh.
Go Wide -- To capture the massive structure in its entirety use a wide-angle lens.
Forget the Tripod -- Use of tripods is not permitted at the Taj Mahal, so it’s best to leave yours behind and save yourself the hassle of lugging it around.
Pin-It -- Social Media offers a treasure-trove of photography ideas for this iconic monument. Search for lesser-known areas, unique photos and different angles to try. Flickr is a wonderful resource.
Hang A Right -- The east side of the building offers the morning’s best light so make a beeline for the entrance on the right to capture the best photographs.
Wait For It -- The light in Agra is an illusive temptress. The shadows that shift throughout the day cast different hues on the pristine façade creating a variety of images. Avoid using up all your shots early in the day and save some for later, when the sun has burned through the haze and the structure is lit in that other-worldly light.
God is in the Details -- Don’t forget to zoom in on the delicate filigree, scrollwork, and precious gemstones inset into the building’s white marble.
Dress Accordingly -- The Taj Mahal is a religious site, so visitors should dress conservatively with shoulders and knees covered. You’ll be glad you did if you choose to also visit the exquisite mosques inside the complex.
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