People - So here’s the Elephant in the room. Whatever your planning, time of arrival etc etc there’s going to be A LOT of people around and at all the ‘iconic’ locations each & every person will want their selfie, their family, their individual shot and will want to try that hugely hilarious and oh so original ‘holding the top of the roof’ shot! Oh and there’s the ‘I want to look like Princess Di’ ... Unless you are a member of royalty or can utilise advanced Photoshop techniques you’re going to have some people in your shots. But be patient, courteous (some one will need to be) and employ the occasional elbow/body check and you will get into that perfect spot, be prepared to shoot quickly but also hold your space, don’t be intimidated. Some people just expect you to move out the way so they can get all their unobstructed shots of each of their extended family but be confident, forceful but respectful and there’s no reason you won’t get the shots you want.
In fact I enjoyed watching and photographing the people around The Taj Mahal, as always they add energy, movement & interest to photos. Tip - spend some time watching the people and think about how you can incorporate them into your images. Studying how people move and learning to anticipate them is a great skill for a photographer - keep an eye out for bright colours, ladies in brightly coloured Saris make a great addition to your photos.
explore other angles & how the light changes as you move around the gardens
a combination of the translucency of the marble and atmospheric conditions meant there wasn’t really a silhouette against the sun
the extensive gardens are a delight to stroll through and an opportunity to escape the selfie hungry crowds
Detail - We know The Taj Mahal so well from the iconic views we see regularly but there is so much more to it. Viewing it close up you see the detail and the attention to detail that went into it’s construction - the fine pinstripe designs accentuating the recesses and the fine Koranic script which defies perspective due to its expanding size as it rises up and around the arches. We’d read that the interior was something of a anti-climax compared to the exterior but I think this is a little unfair - you may not appreciate being herded around the tomb like cattle but the interior perfectly demonstrates the translucency of the marble and the simple but beautiful design, it’s very peaceful & tranquil. Tip - take a small pocket torch and use it to inspect the marble, nothing to do with photography but it gives you a real insight into how and why the exterior reacts to light. Photography is banned inside.
Access to the river bank itself is fenced off and on my visit there was a 'security guard' who appeared from nowhere to enforce access limitations. For this photograph I've walked along a wall to get as close to straight on as possible, you can't quite get it perfectly symmetrical at this point but for free what more could you want!
By walking back into the park you can get a perfectly symmetrical view but with some of the surroundings in the foreground. You can see the top of the wall I walked along for the above photo, under the tree on the right hand side.
Here's the view across the Mehtab Bagh garden as I left