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.
Similarly to the last one… but this time I was stuck in the back of a covered pick-up truck on a ride through Yangon. I faced a literal window into Yangon after dark. The car lights were the main form of lighting.
Sometimes you can spend hours trying to get a particular photograph but are never really satisfied with the result. And then you take a couple of single shots out of the window of the moving car that are far more appealing. Both these were taken while driving through Nepal last year.
A man washes the dust from his body on the busiest road going out of Kathmandu. Nepal 2013
Evening sun illuminates grasses in the Terai. Nepal 2013
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
Occasionally the light is so beautiful it dictates what you photograph. When I arrived at this market several miles outside of Janakpur in Nepal, I was photographing a woman for American Leprosy Missions. As I was finishing off the shoot I realised that the light coming through the tree at the other side of the market was beckoning…
So, I’m finally beginning to go through work from Nepal and Bangladesh, while I’m at the end of my stay in Myanmar. I tend to shoot a lot whether I’m with the subjects of my assignment or at the end of a 9-hour drive on the way back from seeing them… like this shot was. I leaned over the guy next to me and stuck my camera out the window of the car. He was used to it by this time.
My favourite photographs are the ones that have plenty of details and lots going on.
Recently I was walking along the riverside in Richmond, looking for such a photograph. It was about 29°C, and for once no-one seemed to feel the need to wrap themselves around their smart phone.
Click on the picture to see a larger version.