Back in October 2015, on an evening trip to Old Dhaka we were stopped by the police. Since two foreigners had been killed recently we were told we must be escorted everywhere. At first this was a pain having a policeman follow us, but in hindsight it was sensible. The police presence was quite strong that evening as it was a Hindu festival and very busy.
One of the aspects of photography I wanted to experiment with in Bangladesh was shooting from the hip. This is of course not an unexplored area in photography, but I wanted to find a way to break the compositional habits I’ve accumulated over the past several years. Alongside that I’ve found that many happy accidents occur with longer exposures, so I shot on program with low ISOs and let chance decide for me – I’d just click the shutter and point the camera roughly in the right direction.
I was hoping to put together a series of these, but I never got around to shooting this as much as I wanted.
It’s been a very long time since my last post about the leprosy exhibition, which went very well. In October I went off to Bangladesh, and stayed there for the next 6 months furthering my photographic practice at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, a school for photography that has produced many fine artists over the past two decades. It was an intense time, but a superb opportunity to experiment and improve through critical feedback.
I’m now processing the experience as well as the 30,000+ photos I took there. As I begin to put together a couple of stories I’ll put up a few photos every now and then on here and get back into the habit of regular blogging.
Here are three portraits from Jaflong, a stone-mining town on the northern border with India. Taken on my Rolleiflex with Kodak Tri-X.
I always have my camera ready when I’m being driven around in a car or on the back of a motorbike. You never know what events might unfold in front of you.
Triptych of boys fighting. Rangpur, Bangladesh 2013