Want to take perfect shots of your island escape? From the importance of depth to polarising filters, these essential tips will help you to capture this natural paradise.

No destination can conjure up images of tropical luxury quite like the Maldives. Set in the heart of South Malé Atoll and spread languidly on the archipelago’s biggest private island, the recently opened Ithaafushi — The Private Island perfectly captures this destination’s exclusive atmosphere. The estate — the latest addition to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort — offers complete seclusion and uninterrupted relaxation for up to 24 guests. National Geographic Traveller (UK) photographer Richard James Taylor shares five tips to help immortalise every moment in this unique setting.

1. Add depth to landscapes
The island’s 24-hour personal concierges are on hand to organise exclusive excursions and help guests find stunning vistas. To best photograph these views, be sure to create a sense of depth in your photographic landscapes, drawing the viewer into the scene from front to back. Including some foreground interest in your composition — think rock formations on the beach or palm trees around the edge of the image — helps to produce a more dynamic shot. Leading lines create a similar effect; if you take advantage of the various boating activities available, from sunset fishing and dolphin cruises to excursions on Princess Yachts, featuring elements like jetties or prows will help to draw the eye out into the scene.

2. Capture the islands’ colours
With their palette of silvery beaches, cyan lagoons and green fronds, the tropics are fantastic locations in which to play with colour. To do justice to every hue, try a polarising filter — it screws on to your lens and helps to reduce reflected light, which can cause glare and make photos lose contrast and colour intensity. With a polariser, the sea will appear crystal clear, allowing the aquamarine tones to punch through, and twilight shots will also be much improved. With uninterrupted views of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean, the island’s three standalone residences, and especially the two-bedroom overwater villa, offer plenty of opportunities to experiment.

3. Explore underwater photography
The resort’s private reef, a sunken garden of coral formations and colourful marine life, calls for some below-the-waves action. A few practical tips: test underwater housings — now available for most camera makes — in advance; keep the aperture at around f8 to ensure the image is sharp; and maintain the ISO as low as possible to reduce noise. Clear, calm water is crucial, as is good light, so stay close to the surface and go when the sun is at its strongest, typically in the early afternoon. The resort’s dive centre, which offers activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving, can advise you on when conditions are best.

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Source URL: National Geographic

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