We set out early in the morning heading for the Maldives. It was my first time visiting this part of the world and I was excited to see if the photos lived up to reality. It started differently to usual holidays when we took a sea plane to the Island - South Ari Atoll. Despite flying on countless helicopters and planes, I still find flying irrationally scary at the best of times, so I was little anxious about this sea plane. However, it turned out to be absolutely fine and landing on the water at a tiny beautiful island was an amazing experience.
I was travelling with my friend Ali (@nikon_photography_) which helped to capture some great shots. As for equipment, I shot with a canon 1dx mark II and used the following lenses: 16-35mm F2.8, 35mm F2.8, 24-70 mm F2.8. This allowed me capture both great photographs and create my travel video of the island.
As soon as we arrived at LUX resort, I was blown away by the natural beauty. The water was crystal blue surrounded by white sand. We spent the first two nights at LUX beach front villas and the next three at the classic Maldives water front villas. My personal preference was in fact the beach front villas. I felt the novelty slightly wore off the water front villas and nothing beats waking up by the beach. Having said this, I'm not being fussy and they were both of a very high standard.
We spent a lot of time shooting and chilling on the beach. However, we did do some pretty cool activities. Most mornings, I would wake up and waterski which Ali filmed on his phantom 4 drone. I learnt in Jamaica but waterskiing in the Maldives was so flat, as can be seen in the shots. I also had a phantom 4 but accidentally knocked it in the water. A bit of an error. I tested it the next day and caught some footage of it going a little crazy. Happy to say it has recovered and works perfectly now. I am used to water sports but fly boarding was a first for me. I was pretty confident going in to it, thinking waterskiing would help me. It was genuinely so difficult but luckily I eventually got the hang of it. I definitely wouldn't claim to be a pro at fly boarding but the trick is the balance of your ankles and then it becomes much easier.
Whilst I felt we were creating some great content, it needed a little extra spark. As good as me and Ali were at getting the shots, we aren't the greatest models. Luckily we bumped into a couple through Instagram. Alda (@aldapajor) made contact with us and with her help we captured some fantastic shots. We also tried to see some whale sharks, whilst we were out there. I was pretty excited to see these animals and capture them for my video. Unfortunately, we had no luck. A whale shark was not to be seen. You win some, you lose some. We did, however, get some great shots of water turtles and swam with them which was quite an experience.
To finish this blog, I'll talk a little bit about the hotel. Honestly, it was stunning. I thought I may get bored in the Maldives, being so isolated on a tiny island. I underestimated how picturesque it was going to be though and would love to go again. We were given privileged access to see LUX resort's new villa. It was called the LUX villa and it was crazy. They had a see-through floor in the lounge so you could see the sea-life below. Maybe an unnecessary feature but so cool nonetheless. It had an amazing view of the incredible Maldives sunsets and anyone who had the opportunity to stay there would consider themselves very lucky. The resort had 7 restaurants but the Japanese was my favourite. The local sushi and sea views were a perfect combination. So, thank you to LUX resorts for letting us stay, I would highly recommend the resort and the Maldives to anyone thinking of going.