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Bangladesh

The Children

This is one of a series of small portfolios taken from my January, 2005 shoot in Bangladesh.
These photographs will form part of a gallery exhibition to take place in Toronto
in March, 2005,
together with a collector's print portfolio, which will be made available at that time.


Boy and Rooster. Natori Rajburi. January, 2005
Canon 1Ds Mark II with 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens at ISO 400

A Maharaja's palace from the 17th century lay in ruins, but an orphanage on the premises meant that there were children everywhere, some playing cricket in the courtyard, others following us around as we photographed the architecture.

But I found the children themselves the more interesting of the two, and yet wanted to find a shot that showed both together.

Nothing more needs to be said about this photograph, one of my favorites from the entire two weeks in Bangladesh. All that was needed was for the roosters running through the doorways to cooperate, and in this one frame all of the components came together.

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Pinching a Snack. Dhaka, Bangladesh. January, 2005
Canon 1Ds Mark II with Canon 70-300mm f/5.6 DO lens at ISO 400

Our ship was moored alongside a ferry that had just docked, and we were watching the passengers stream off. I noticed this boy pinching a snack as the food vendor passed by on the gangway below. A classic moment.

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Mustard Field and Kite Flyer – Bangladesh. January, 2005
Canon 1Ds with 70-300mm f/5.5 DO IS Lens at ISO 400

Though child labour is a sad reality of Bangladesh, as it is in many third-world countries, there is nevertheless a beauty to this country's children that belies the hardships that some of them bear. This young boy was seen running though a mustard field with his kite, along the road from Sonagoran to Dhaka.

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Girl in Ruins. Sonagoran, Bangladesh. January 2005
Canon 1Ds Mark II with 24-70mm f/2.8L lens at ISO 1250

We were exploring a very old ruined building in the ancient capital city, Sonagoran, and were followed quietly by this young girl. She said nothing, didn't smile (as most of the children did), and always stood unselfconsciously, with her hands behind her head.

Here, framed against an open parapet on the second floor, she seems nothing less than a timeless entity in a timeless environment. A B&W rendition seemed the most appropriate means of conveying how the scene felt at the time.

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Child in Doorway. Sonagoran, Bangladesh. January 2005
Canon 1Ds Mark II with 24-70mm f/2.8L lens at ISO 1250

The location, in the ruins of Sonagoran, was the draw, but again the children were what captured my attention. I had framed the architecture, but kept my eye on the open doorway below as various people passed by. Then a child, with what appears to either be a kite or a toy gun, appeared for just a moment.

This was a case of deja-vue for me, as anyone who recalls my photograph of a child in a church doorway in Iceland, taken in the summer of 2004, will recall.

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Concepts: Childhood, Full-frame digital SLR, 17th century, Canon EOS DSLR cameras, Boy, Child, Canon EOS-1Ds, Third World

Entities: Canon, Bangladesh, Iceland, Maharaja's palace, ISO, Michael Reichmann, Sonagoran, Natori Rajburi, Mark II, cricket

Tags: 1ds mark ii, 17th century lay, old ruined building, ancient capital city, Natori Rajburi, print portfolio, roosters, classic moment, B&W rendition, sad reality, toy gun, church doorway, timeless entity, appropriate means, food vendor, third-world countries, child labour, open doorway, open parapet, mustard field, young boy, timeless environment, young girl, various people, Bangladesh, kite, photograph, architecture, Maharaja, gangway, orphanage, favorites, Dhaka, premises, smile, interesting, stream