Neil Dankoff • Photographing the Maldives

When thoughts turn to what paradise looks like, these Arabian Sea coral reefs should immediately spring to mind. Neil Dankoff tells us how a recent trip provided beautiful opportunities for landscape shooting

When I was first commissioned by the newly opened Joali Maldives resort, I figured I knew what I was in store for. I had previously photographed locations such as Bora Bora, all of the Hawaiian Islands and assumed this would be a similar experience.

The 45-minute seaplane ride from Malè to Joali let me know that I was mistaken. What a spectacular sight to see all of the circular islands that appear to float above the Indian Ocean. The Maldives consists of approximately 1200 islands (not all inhabited) in 22 separate atolls. Joali is a tear-shaped island located in the centre of the Raa Atoll. The resort has 73 water and private beach villas (I spent half my time in each). The water villas extend over a kilometer out from the island.

My job for the following week would be to capture the natural beauty of the island and surrounding area using both...

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