Another year, another successful photography tour in Bangladesh, a place that remains for me the best country on the planet for people photography. From the bustling streets of Dhaka to the peaceful countrysides of Bogra and Dinajpur, and the tea estates of Sylhet, this tour is an intensive 10-day people photography workshop that will surely help you improve your people photography skills.
This year’s tour has achieved the optimum itinerary, offering the best photo opportunities with the best logistics. Therefore I have decided to keep the itinerary for the 2019 tour the same.
In order to capture the busy riverside of Dhaka under the best light, we start our tour very early and head to Saderghat, where passenger ferries arrive from other parts of the country. If you thought Dhaka has road traffic jams, it also has river traffic jams. This hectic activity offers us great photo opportunities with the rising sun.
After a cup of tea, we cross the river and head to the shipyards, where men work very hard to cut, weld, and fix boats. A great location to start working on photographing busy situations and layering information to tell better stories. We have an amazing local breakfast there, before shooting in the narrow streets of the old Dhaka and work on the light.
We then cross the river again and head back to the hotel for a rest. After lunch, comes the time for our first photo review, where we can assess your strength and weaknesses and continue the tour with fresh updates on composition.
Later that afternoon, we head to Kerwan bazaar, one of the biggest vegetable market of Dhaka, which is lit at night with a multitude of colourful lights.
In the morning we drive to another part of the riverside of Dhaka to witness one of the most incredible scenes you will ever witness in your life. Hundreds of people there are busy unloading boats with sand, rocks and coal, coming from other parts of the country. A great place to layer our subjects for striking compositions.
After breakfast and numerous teacups, we visit our first brick factories, getting familiarized with the process of making bricks. We also witness the working conditions in which the people work, an eye-opening and humbling experience.
On that morning we flew to Rajshahi, a city located in the West, very close to the Indian border. We spent the afternoon strolling along the riverside, where locals come and relax after a day at work. We also took the opportunity to jump on a local boat and go capture fishermen in action, right before the sunset.
Later on, we visited a part of Rajshahi market and photographer the fruit, vegetable, fish and meat seller at night.
Before driving further North to Bogra we explored another part of Rajshahi market, extremely busy with vegetable farmers bring their products from the countryside. A great location to play with the shutter speed and capture the busy action of the people carrying the good.
Instead of driving straight to Bogra, we spent some time visiting its countryside and its chilli fields. We also found a great little river for the sunset, where people were ending their day of working in the field.
On that morning we headed to Bogra central market which is located on the railway. A real busy place which becomes even more hectic as the train drives by. It is also one of my favourite locations to search for shafts of lights in the spice grinding workshops.
Later that afternoon we headed to one of the biggest river in Bangladesh, the Brahmaputra river, capturing the countryside life in the late afternoon. Farmers, villagers and of course, cricket players. This very remote part has some of the friendliest people I have ever met.
Time to explore Bogra vegetable market where eggplants, cauliflowers and other vegetables are brought from the fields.
After the market, we drove further North to reach Dinajpur, a real country town. We stopped on the way when photo opportunities arose in the rice fields.
Dinajpur area is well known for being very misty in the early morning, which we surely didn’t miss to capture on our way to the airport. We also stumbled upon more brick factories and were able to capture the activity in the best light.
We later flew to Sylhet, the last destination of our tour. On that afternoon we visited a village along the river that I particularly love, where the children get very excited about having foreigners visiting them! It is also a great location to capture the sunset along the river.
Another day, another market. Sylhet vegetable market, located in the heart of the city and at walking distance from our hotel offers great photo opportunities given the fact that it is half indoor and half outdoor. People unload the trucks with the goods coming from the fields in the countryside, while sellers are busy arguing over prices. We loved this market so much that we decided to go back on our last day.
We spent most of that afternoon doing our final photo review at the hotel, which remains the best learning experience for everyone: seeing what everyone captured is really inspiring.
Buzzed up on coffee, we headed into town for some night photography and the best Indian food I have ever had!
That day was devoted to go and explore Sreemongol and its tea plantations. After a morning through the misty tea fields, we headed deeper in the countryside and found even more brick factories in action.
After a long day, we managed to find the best location to capture farmers picking up tea leaves at sunset, a fantastic day!
We headed back to our favourite vegetable market, applying techniques we discussed during the previous photo review. A great opportunity for everyone to get better images of an environment they are already familiar with.
Later on, time to fly back to Dhaka and end our tour with yet another splendid dinner. Diet will wait!
For the 2019 Bangladesh photography tour, the itinerary will remain unchanged.