No destination can conjure up images of tropical luxury like the Maldives. Located in the heart of the South Male Atoll and languidly spread out over the archipelago’s largest private island, the recently opened Ithaafushi – The Private Island perfectly captures the exclusive atmosphere of this destination. The estate – the latest addition to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort – offers complete seclusion and uninterrupted relaxation for up to 24 people. National Geographic traveler (UK) Photographer Richard James Taylor shares five tips for capturing every moment in this unique setting.

1. Add depth to landscapes

The island’s 24-hour personal concierges are on hand to arrange exclusive excursions and help guests find breathtaking views. 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 prominent interest in your composition – think rock formations on the beach or palm trees around the edge of the image – helps produce a more dynamic shot. The starting lines create a similar effect; if you take advantage of the various water activities available, from sunset fishing and dolphin cruises to excursions on Princess yachts, items such as jetties or prows will help to catch the eye on the scene.

2. Capture the colors of the islands

With their palette of silvery beaches, cyan lagoons and green fronds, the tropics are fantastic places to play with color. To do each tint justice, try a polarizing filter – it screws onto your lens and helps reduce reflected light, which can cause reflections and cause photos to lose contrast and color intensity. With a polarizer, the sea will appear crystal clear, allowing aquamarine tones to pierce through, and the twilight shots will also be much enhanced. With stunning views of the sunset over the Indian Ocean, the island’s three self-contained residences, and in particular the two-bedroom overwater villa, offer plenty of opportunities for experimentation.

3. Discover underwater photography

The resort’s private reef, a sunken garden of coral formations and colorful marine life, calls for action under the waves. Some practical tips: test in advance the underwater cameras – now available for most brands of cameras; keep the aperture at around f8 to make sure the image is sharp; and keep 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 set out when the sun is strongest, usually in the early afternoon. The resort’s diving center, which offers activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving, can advise you on the best conditions.