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Photo Destination – Maldives

| May 9, 2011 | 6 Comments
Maldives, is one of the top travel destinations for honeymooners. Its beautiful blue lagoons, lush wildlife, and gorgeous sunsets provide one of the most romantic settings known to man, and maldives weather is almost perfect throughout the entire year. It is an ideal destination where you can enjoy a little bit of solitude with that special someone in the middle of the lush tropical paradise. In short, maldives honeymoon is something you will remember for the rest of your life.

Choose wisely when you pick an island resort in maldives, as in most cases, this is where you will spend most of your time. There are several organized tours that will take you snorkeling, visiting other islands and sailing activities, but the concept of island hopping is really not so popular there, and it is hard to even obtain a permit just to disembark on another island on your own.

Given the fact that maldivian islands are rather small and private (300-800m in size), do expect that you will have plenty of time to relax, and enjoy the natural beauty of these wonderful islands. Also, Maldives are a perfect location to shoot a bunch of yaw-dropping maldives photos. In this photo destination guide, we will cover what is worth shooting in Maldives.

1. Beach Maldives

Beach is one of the first subjects that comes to mind when you think about maldives photos. The beautiful white sand, turquoise water, and lush green vegetation are hard to resist. To be honest, when i first saw beach photos from the maldives, i thought they were photoshopped, but seeing that in person, it truly is heaven on earth.

A Morning in Maldives

A Morning in Maldives

Few tips when making beach photos in maldives.

– Always have a polarizing filter with you, as it will help saturate the scene, and remove unnecessary reflections, especially if you will take photos during the day when the sun is high up in the sky. That little piece of glass is a life saver. Just remember that the polarizing filter will stop light about 0.5 stops, so make sure you compensate by dialing exposure compensation 0.5 stops up.

– Check your exposure – white sand from the beach, can play tricks with your exposure, in attempt to get the beach to look grey (due to the way the light metering system works). In order to avoid such effects, dial exposure compensation 0.5-1.0 stops up, depending on the scene.

2. Maldivian Flowers

Maldivian flora is very rich and colorful making it an ideal subject for shooting amazing flower shots. Typical flowers there include orchids, hibiscus, ginger among others. If you find yourselves in Maldives during the rainy season, you are in for a treat, photography wise (thanks to maldives weather). Orchids look amazing after the rain, when the first rays of sun show up, and this is a photo opportunity that is not to be missed. In general, all Maldives flowers stand out for their vibrant colors, and interesting shapes.

Purple Orchids in Maldives

Purple Orchids in Maldives

Here is some advice when shooting maldives flowers

– Consider your background – vibrant colors of the maldives flowers are best shown on a monochromatic background. Whether it is green from the surrounding leaves and plant-life, or blue from the sky or the sea, compose your photos that one of them is included as a background. This will make the flowers stand out even more.

– Use shallow depth of field – by blurring the background you will put more emphasis on the flower itself

– Get in close, and go crazy with the colors – maldives flowers are all about vibrance. This is not a place to be shy or moderate with your composition. Get in as close as you can, and remember, the stronger colors, the more the appeal of the final photo. So go crazy.

3. Maldivian Wildlife

Although it may seem at the first glance, there is not much wildlife to shoot in Maldives, you would be surprised. Starting with fish, which are a real treat for underwater photographers seeking colorful photos of the coral reef wildlife, maldivian fish are colorful and varied. When snorkeling in maldives, you can go for color diversity of the smaller coral reef fish, or decide to shoot elegant and awe inspiring manta rays, up to numerous small coral reef sharks that can be found there. Other wildlife include geckos, crabs and if you are very lucky, a bat.

Dragonfly Close-up

Dragonfly Close-up

Different animals pose different requirements for shooting, but regardless of the subject, expect that shooting wildlife will be an exercise in patience.

4. Sunsets in Maldives

Maldives feature some of the most dramatic and awe inspiring sunsets I have seen yet. If you come during the end of rainy season (end of November), you will get a chance to witness a dance of the colors ranging from orange coming from the setting sun, mixing with dark blue clouds, setting the stage for some of the most awe-inspiring sunset maldives photos.

Maldivian Sunset

Maldivian Sunset

When shooting sunsets, you might want to consider

– use ND Grad filter – the ND Grad filter evens out the exposure between the sky and the ground, significantly improving the tonal range

– use a tripod and a remote release – lower light photos imply the use of the slower shutter speed, meaning your camera will be more prone to camera shake. To fix that, make sure you mount your camera to a sturdy tripod and fire it off using either a timer or a remote release.

– play with the White Balance settings – if you want to accentuate the colors of the sunset, it might pay dividends to play with the WB settings. In Example, if you set your white balance to cloudy, or even shade, the orange colors of the sunset will be much stronger than if you used the daylight WB setting.

5. Island resort maldives

Island resorts in maldives are a treat in their own right, and they fit perfectly into their surroundings, which makes them great candidates for some nice landscape photos. During my stay there i was in paradise island resort maldives, in one of the beach bungalows. There were also some water bungalows on the other side of the island, should you choose to have your own entrance in the water. Paradise Island maldives is a resort situated on a 800m by 200m island. Interesting subjects to shoot there were a bar (situated directly on a beach), a jetty leading to the italian restaurant, a spa resembling the garden of Eden, a beach club, and many island pathways.

Paradise Island Maldives

Paradise Island Maldives

My attention was caught by a swing, just in front of the bar. As you can see from the photo, i have used stones in the sand as a sort of lead-in lines.

Another island resort maldives worth visiting and shooting is Bandos maldives. This is a small island not far from paradise island resort, and there is a tour that will take you to visit it. On Bandos I have shot some of the most amazing photos from the whole trip. Bandos maldives truly is a paradise on earth, and it does not take too much skill to take great photos there. They just pop in.

Bandos beach scene

Bandos beach scene

6. Boats

Traditional maldivian boats (Dhoni) are very interesting subjects to shoot due to their characteristic curved bow. The traditional dhoni is one of the oldest known sea vessels in the Maldives. Many of these traditional sailing vessels were, of necessity, built using coconut palm timber. The sailing dhoni was used in earlier days by Maldivian fishermen. Now they are usually used to ferry goods and tourists between the islands.



A tip i would give you regarding shooting boats, is look for detail to shoot. The boats really look appealing, but sometimes it is not necessary to shoot everything. A part of the boat hints the rest and leaves watcher guessing. Think about it.

I hope that this guide has provided you with some ideas what to shoot in Maldives, just remember to also leave your camera and appreciate the beauty of the environment on its own. It’s definitely worth it.

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Category: Beginners Photography, Photo Locations, Travel Photography

About the Author (Author Profile)

Alan Graf is the editor and founder of Digital Photography Student. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and is also editor of – a Croatian wallpaper archive, and his own photo gallery at

Comments (6)

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  1. Enjoyed this article, it looks amazing there!

  2. BENCY says:

    Real heaven in this world

  3. Anusha says:

    Thanks for this article! Going to visit Maldives in March and already looking forward to it.. 🙂

  4. Alan Graf says:

    March is to my understanding just before the rainy season, so you should have nice weather. I recommend take excursions from the hotel, as there is no much moving around once you are there otherwise. Also, excursions are worth it.

  5. Alan Graf says:

    It’s awesome. If you liked it, I can also recommend Mexico, Yucatan. I visited it in January 2012 and it was also great. Something like Maldives, yet different.

  6. Great article thanks. Looking forward to photographing the Maldives very soon!

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