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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We're Out!

Welcome to the final installment of our exploration of the Taj Mahal.

Have you ever seen it taken from this angle? I know I certainly hadn't and surely would have missed it if I hadn't remembered to look back. It was a grab shot. I was on my way out hurrying to somewhere else, turned around and quickly snapped it. If I had the chance to do it again I definitely would have sat around and waited for the people to be in a better position but that's often the sacrifice you make when you're travelling. There's never enough time!

I wanted to show how you actually enter the Taj complex - or in this case exit the complex. You pass through these huge stone gates and it just sort of magically appears in front of your eyes. This vision that you've seen a million pictures of - but always from the same angle.

The next day we headed to the Red Fort - another famous Agra icon. From here you get a very unusual view of the Taj and its position on the banks of the Yamuna River, which is bone dry during a drought.

The view is particularly interesting when you realise that it is the only view of his creation that the builder of the Taj had in the last years of his life.

The Taj was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in honour of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal., who is buried within. In his later years the Emperor was actually overthrown by his son Aurangzeb who then imprisoned him in Agra Fort for the last eight years of his life. This was the view from his cell window. Knowing a bit about the history and culture of the regions you visit can help add a dimension to your pictures.

Going back to our hotel for our final night in Agra we decided to head up to the roof to write our diaries and watch the local kids flying kites from the rooves of the surrounding houses. Little did we expect to run into the Taj yet again.

A farewell photograph and it was time to move on to the next destination. I hope you enjoyed our in-depth coverage of the Taj and I hope it has given you some ideas of how to cover your own travel destinations.

Next time we'll get back to our regular channel!

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