The Taj Mahal is a truly exquisite piece of work. For all its size and decoration, somehow it still manages to stay understated. Part of it is the light color, and part of it is the overall simplicity of its elements, with the interplay of roundness, rectangles and lines. Taking the perfect photograph of the Taj, though, is like pouring the perfect bowl of corn flakes it's there for you already, with not a lot to do. There are only so many places to stand, and all the angles have been covered. After taking the "beautiful" pictures, I tried to capture smaller relationships, and to work against the symmetry.
These photos are also grainy. I was running out of film, and bought the local brand of Fuji, labeled "For Indian conditions" (lack of grain, I would guess). I was furious when I got the negatives back, but now I'm happy with the result, since it makes the photos look more like paintings.
|The Taj Mahal at 7 AM
Dawn, with symmetry almost full-on.
Morning on the Yamuna river
This was taken from behind the Taj, whose back faces the river. Agra is a living city, and life goes on, no matter what the proximity is to a world-famous monument.
Out of perspective
|A bit of bulk
The Taj may be graceful, but it's a huge building. Everything is solid.
From a Soviet realist perspective
From a Salvador Dalí perspective
|Pool in front of the Taj|
|The Taj, as seen in the pool|
|Detail: stone carving|
|Detail: Koranic inscription
The word as art
|Detail: roof vaulting over the front entrance
If Gaudí worked for the Mughals...
|Detail: inlaid semi-precious stones|