August 23, 2009

I’m a self-taught photographer living in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I love shooting people and I shoot what I like. I prefer natural light source and natural elements in my subjects. My favorite color is black. Old vintage black & white photography attracts me a lot. Monet’s ‘Impression Sunrise’ and Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ are two works of art that I find very captivating.

Bangladesh is a heaven for photography. You will find a diversity of subjects packed in a small area. It’s easy to run out of memory cards than subjects. Best part of Bangladesh is, no one minds getting their picture taken. People are friendly in front of the camera no matter who they are and what situation they are in. But discovering Bangladesh is a challenge rather than a pleasure trip.

-SHABBIR FERDOUS, 2009

All photographs are copyright of SHABBIR FERDOUS.
Accompanying text provided by photographer. 
His photographs are available for purchase at gettyimages.
To view more of SHABBIR FERDOUS’ photographs, visit his Flickr Photostream here.

This image was inspired by Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major. It’s known as the Pastoral Symphony and was completed in 1808. One of Beethoven’s few works of program music, the symphony was labeled at its first performance with the title “Recollections of Country Life”.

GPS coordinate for this picture is 24°58’1.50″N, 91° 7’49.90″E

Tangor Hawor is a place where its gets flooded during monsoon creating a huge lake formation. Its size is enormous and makes interesting landscape since its floods. You will see trees standing middle of ocean like lake or electric poles … or a figure of a bridge or tiny island of houses. Communication is only possible by boats and people enjoy fishing at this time. After the rainy season, water level drops and people do agriculture on the fertile land turning this massive area into a green agro zone.

About this picture, we were camped in a small island; there was a tiny bazaar (market) there. It was very hot, there wasn’t any wind, I was sitting near the lake side and listening to music. I saw these people fishing. Their net was extended and covered a huge area. They were fairly close to me and it wasn’t possible to shoot them without wide angle lens. Presence of me also attracted a crowd, they all wanted to be photographed.

It took them an hour to close the net by slowly pulling it. The guy in the water was making sure the net closes properly. They were so concentrated at their work that they forgot about the rest of the world. The fading sun came out one last time for the day and I took this picture with the music of Beethoven in my headphone.

Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: Tangor Hawor, Sylhet, Bangladesh
 

Under the beautiful sky…. old shot from my Tangor Hawor series.

Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: Tangor Hawor, Sylhet, Bangladesh 

Shifting DUNES….. imagine there were people to takeaway our memories.

Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: Sunamganj, Sylhet, Bangladesh

There weren’t any tall trees for miles, only those three standing in grand
style. The cows are chilling nearby and faraway you can see the Indian
mountains. I saw this in the riverside from my boat. This is a single raw
file HDR with 4 different textures.

Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: Tangor Hawor, Sylhet, Bangladesh 

Beach ANGEL  – she was saying “you can’t shoot me, I am running away”. We all laughed as she ran passed in front of me. Original picture came out tad dark as the sun was behind her, so in the preview she was a dark figure. She said I have a bad camera which made her look even darker. We all laughed again.

She had the most beautiful smile ever; any toothpaste company can hire her as their model without any need of digital enhancement in post process.

Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: St.Martin Island, Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula, Bangladesh 

Beach BOYS – they came to me and asked if I could take a picture of them. I didn’t have to ask them to be informal while posing, they animated themselves into one of the best smiles ever. I couldn’t ask for more. I promised them when I come back again (most certainly I will), I will give them a copy. They showed me where they lived, the island is small and, hopefully, it won’t be a problem to find them again.

I asked them what they want to be when they grow up, one of the little one replied he wants to be a photographer just like me!

Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: St.Martin Island, Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula, Bangladesh 

A Brand NEW DAY – it’s the only coral island in Bangladesh and this is the last end of the south-east corner of Bangladesh.

It was my first time in that island and it impressed me with blue colour. The day was sunny and warm; the beach water felt very soothing if you decided for a dip. I was hanging around the dock area in the afternoon and was surrounded by curious kids. It was an awesome day for photography and one of my favorite ways of time pass which is taking portraits.

The island is tiny and lacks most modern items; it will give you a feel of a ship wrecked island.

Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: St.Martin Island, Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula, Bangladesh 

The JUMPING CANVAS – don’t feel depressed, these boys are still having fun even though they are dead poor compared to you and me. Celebrate life like there is no tomorrow.

Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: St.Martin Island, Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula, Bangladesh 

BANGLA NEW YEAR 1416 – another year has passed and this is 1416 in Bangla calendar. This year I have celebrated it in Paril Village in Manikgonj instead of Dhaka. In the capital city, Bangla New Year is observed with great festivity and enthusiasm along with rest of the country. Apart from the very hot summer day, everything went perfectly planned.

Two days long activities started with releasing Fanush (Lantern Balloon) the last night of year 1415 and welcoming the new year of 1416 wishing for peace, prosperity and unity among the people of the world.

Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Location: Paril Village, Manikganj, Bangladesh  

A Mro tribal woman from the remotest part of Bandarbans showing me her tongue instead of her smile when my translator asked her. Her son was so shy in front of me that his mom couldn’t take his hand off from his face for a picture. They are very amazing people with a friendly smile.

Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: Bompara Tribal Village, Bandarbans, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh  

The HOUSE I really belong too…. a tiny island and an outpost of heaven.

Lens: EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Filter: B+W 67mm Top Polarizer (Linear) (MRC) Multi-Resistant Coating Glass Filter
Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Location: Rangamati, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh 

 WALK OF LIFE – we are just a moment in time, a blink of an eye… a dream for the blind.

Lens: EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Location: Rangamati, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

 

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CREDITS
images: all photographs are copyright of SHABBIR FERDOUS. His photographs are available for purchase at gettyimages.
graphic design & layout: Labiba Ali for creativeBangladesh.

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August 9, 2009

When I first saw the bungalow of Amtali Nature Resort, it reminded me of Rudyard Kipling’s jungle stories, both vestiges of our colonial past. The elephants at the nearby Lawachara National Park completed the picture from The Jungle Book – only Mowgli seemed to be missing. It could even have been a scene from Somerset Maugham’s Malay short stories. What a great place to bring nature, literature and adventure together. And all within 3 1/2 hours drive from Dhaka!

I can see myself walking through the green tea gardens in the morning mist and coming back to the bungalow for a cup of hot tea and biscuits. In the evening I can put up a hammock on the front porch, watch the sunset and read a delightful book. And I am told that at night you can get a campfire going and have your dinner cooked outside right in front of you. 

Amtali Nature Resort is the brainchild of my dear friend Mubir Chowdhury. We met exactly ten years ago in the corridors of Dhaka University, where we were both students of IBA and spent much of our days addafying outside Modhur canteen or singing songs in the gardens of TSC. (and, of course there were those days when a group of us would skip class to watch cricket at the stadium or runaway to Savar on Premium Bus.) 

Mubir’s family has owned Amtali Tea Gardens for over 25 years. His father established the tea garden, buying one hill at a time. Mubir, himself, is an avid traveler and adventurer. Every now and then he sends me his travel photographs; hiking up Keokradong, the highest point in Bangladesh; trekking in Bhutan; swimming in the blue waters of St. Martin’s. He is now planning a hiking trip through Lawachara National Park, which is 20km from Amtali. Sadly, Lawachara is quickly losing its trees, another victim of deforestation and greedy loggers. As Bangladeshis, it is our responsibility to save our trees and respect our natural resources.

Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the Malayan Giant Squirrel, is nearby and those looking for high endurance trekking, Rema-Kalenga is the place for you. For a cultural experience, you can visit Khashi Poonji, the village of the Khashi indigenous people (but only after getting permission from the village headman). There are numerous places to explore while you are staying at Amtali: Baikka Beel, Madhavpur Lake, Jaflong, Satchari National Park, and Neelkantha Tea Stall, famous for its seven-layered tea at Srimongol town – a definite must-see!

As you tour Amtali through these gorgeous photographs, take a moment to breathe in the fresh air, feel the texture on the green tea leaves, and hear the songs of the tree birds.

Let  your senses come alive….

Labiba Ali, 2009

 

AMTALI NATURE RESORT
Srimongol, Sylhet
For Reservations, email: amtalinr@gmail.com
Or, call: 01713-177766


 

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CREDITS
images: all photographs are copyright of AMTALI NATURE RESORTS / MUBIR CHOWDHURY, except for photograph of Madhavkhundu from bangladesh-tours.com
graphic design, text  & captions: Labiba Ali for creativeBangladesh

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July 12, 2009

I’m a self-taught photographer living in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I love shooting people and I shoot what I like. I prefer natural light source and natural elements in my subjects. My favorite color is black. Old vintage black & white photography attracts me a lot. Monet’s ‘Impression Sunrise’ and Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ are two works of art that I find very captivating.

Bangladesh is a heaven for photography. You will find a diversity of subjects packed in a small area. It’s easy to run out of memory cards than subjects. Best part of Bangladesh is, no one minds getting their picture taken. People are friendly in front of the camera no matter who they are and what situation they are in. But discovering Bangladesh is a challenge rather than a pleasure trip.

– SHABBIR FERDOUS, 2009

[images: all photographs are copyright of SHABBIR FERDOUS]

NIRVANA – this is one of the rarest sights of my life. Lord Buddha was passing through the tiny channels between islands in Rangamati Lake. His procession was musical with sounds of boats splashing water. Passing wind bringing the hint of rain and in the distance the black pile of falling clouds carried the imminent sign of it. There was a glow in the sky; there was a glow on the river. I was watching it from the edge of a small hill. The golden statue of Lord Buddha sitting in front of the procession led the way. Devotees were excitedly following the Buddha’s boat as he will be placed in a newly built temple.

Lens: EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Location: Rangamati, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Kalir Char was named after the hindu goddess KALI, she is a popular goddess for those who are more into the darker side. This area was famous for the pirates and they used to sacrifice humans to Ma Kali. This range gave me the creeps. It had a horror look to it and it was surrounded by a jungle which was an ideal place for the tigers to hide. The forest guards lock their guard house after sunset on a regular basis. There is a pond at the back of their house for drinking water and washing clothes. That pond also attract tigers to come and drink sweet water from it.  We had arrived late, almost at sundown. We had to refill our water supply and use their toilets before hurriedly getting back to the boat. Later that night, we had some excitements and panic related to tiger watching.

Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: Kalir Char Range, Sundarbans, Bangladesh

Found this tiger foot print in the jungle; the guide told me it is very fresh. Tigers are mysterious, especially in the Sundarbans. Every tiger is a possible man eater. Nowhere else in this planet do the tigers behave like this. The mud you see in this picture is very sticky. The more you stand on it, the more you will sink. It’s extremely difficult to walk on it. Only way you can walk is to walk or run as fast as you can. Judging the pugmark on the mud, you can guess how fast the tiger walked, distributing its weight evenly.

Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM +2.0x
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: South Talpatti Island, Sundarbans, Bangladesh

This is one of the favorite places I would love to visit more often, a terracotta Hindu temple from the northern part of Bangladesh. This lady was with her family; all were with her the 1st couple of mins. The people who built this temple were Muslims. In appreciation, the Hindu king made them a mosque with similar design which still stands near the temple. However, I have never been to that mosque. The surface of the temple is exquisitely embellished with terracotta plaques which depict flora and fauna, geometric motifs, mythological scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, contemporary social scenes and favorite pastimes. The idol of Kantaji is kept in the temple’s ground floor. It takes 7 hours bus journey to reach there from the capital city of Dhaka. However, there are a few village roads nearby for a nice hike through Bangladeshi rural life which makes this journey even more interesting.

Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Location: Kantanagar Temple, Dinajpur, Bangladesh

Dreams can be contagious! Inspired by MINT ICETEA’s Dreams Set.

Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Location: St.Martin Island, Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula, Bangladesh

These were Chakma kids who actually took me to this place by the lake. Without them I wouldn’t have had any clue about that amazing place.

Lens: EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Location: Rangamati, Chittagong, Bangladesh

This picture made me laugh and think at the same time. French photographer Erwan and I  had stopped at a tea garden for the usual lookouts (for subjects ofcourse!) and this old man came out from the house and stood like that. In a flash I took this shot while Erwan took mine. Though Frenchman apologized for being behind the subject, I think his presence made a big difference in this composition.

Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Location: Srimongal, Moulovibazar, Sylhet, Bangladesh

During the fading sunlight, I asked him if I could take a picture of him. He nodded, and I took this shot. This old man sells papar with his family (you can see his daughter making papar in the background) in front of the Dinajpur Raj-Bari Mandir (King’s Temple) to the local visitors. He doesn’t make much money, hardly $10 or $20 per day, and I doubt he has any formal education either. But the real life discussion he had with me gave a glimpse of the wisdom he had acquired in his life, which is no less valuable.  I was discussing with him the Hindu Muslim relations in the area. His answer was “Hindu Muslim bhai bhai”, which means Hindu & Muslims are brothers. This is a common slogan in Bangladesh regarding Hindu Muslim relations; so far we don’t have any extreme religious clash unlike some parts of the world. I, myself, grew up in a Hindu surrounding and it deeply impacted my views towards religion. None of the majority religions of the world instruct anyone to suffer in life and make others suffer. They guide human beings on how to live a life according to the wishes of its creator and find peace both here & in after-life.

Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel XTi
Location: Rajbari, Dinajpur, Bangladesh

Portrait: When Love Dies…….darkness prevails! A tree stump turned rock solid & white. It’s not fun watching dead trees, especially when global warming is breathing on our neck. Ninety percent of Bangladeshi forests have been lost and the rest of the survivors won’t see sunshine for long. Absence of greenery can change the surroundings dramatically and I tried stitching all sorts of chaos in this photograph. We love the forest, when the forest is gone, we will have to march along with it to the darkness too…..

Lens: EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Location: Rangamati, Chittagong, Bangladesh

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Part 2 of travelBangladesh with SHABBIR FERDOUS will be posted in the coming weeks, so stay TUNED for more gorgeous photographs of Bangladesh!

[images: all photographs are copyright of SHABBIR FERDOUS]

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