A few years ago, while travelling through Bangladesh on our yearly photography tour and workshop, we experienced one of the most fantastic time in the tea plantations of Sreemongol in Sylhet area, North East Bangladesh. I’d like to share some images I took on that morning.
This was the first time that we encountered so many great photo opportunities, as we met a man working by himself in the early morning when the light was still low on the horizon.
It was my 4th time in the area. We always come very early morning to capture the morning mist rolling over the hilly tea fields, which is stunning. Never before though had we meet someone working in the fields that early. We spent about an hour taking photos and chatting, following the man in his slow walk through the tea alleys.
Later on, while driving through the tea estates, we met a group of women picking up tea leaves near the road. We spent about an hour taking photos, chatting with them and joking with the men who were keeping an eye on the workers.
Even though the women were quite shy at the beginning we managed to melt the ice and got a few smiles out of them.
This is a problem you may face when travelling and taking photos in the area. Because of the bad press, some of the tea estates got after being exposed by journalists for underpaying their workers and not treating them properly, the owners of these places are now worried when they see photographers. They also told their workers to say no when a photographer comes, fearing that they are photojournalists working on an article about their working conditions.
After chatting with them for a while, and explaining that we were just happy tourists, things were much more relaxed.
If you are travelling to Bangladesh I highly suggest you spend some time exploring the area of Sylhet and Sreemongol! These are some of the most chilled out areas in Bangladesh, and people are extremely friendly.