This shot is definitely one of my favourites from India. It was a pure stroke of luck, a small wad of cash and a very alert guide that got me this.

Tripods are forbidden in the Taj Mahal and a astronomical sum needs to be paid to bring one in. Unfortunately the allowance to bring one in expires when one enters the grounds itself. I was pretty furious when I was stopped from using one despite paying and was told I could only use it in gardens outside. The gardens I exclaimed! One could not even see the Taj Mahal from there so what's the point of it all?

Frustrated, a guide approached me and from previous knowledge, I knew he was one of the unofficial ones but I took his offer and he brought me around. He knew the grounds like the back of his palm and stopped at a specific spot and pointed at where I could grab a shot.

I was soon tired of that and told him I wanted to enter the mosque. In we went and I promptly dropped the tripod on the floor, framed the scene up with the 17 TSE lens and exposure bracketed 3 images.

"Quick quick!" the guide whispered and he promptly grabbed the tripod as some security had entered the mosque for a spot-check.

In the end, he costs USD20 which is way too much but his effort was appreciated.

When post-processing the images, I realised this shot did not have anyone visible in the frame! There were literally hundreds of people in the grounds before us and none were in! Stroke of luck and a wad of cash got me this image.

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