Photographic Adventure
October 27 - November 07, 2009

The Adventure will only accommodate 8 participants

About the October 2009 Photographic Adventure

This year, the Photographic Adventure will be led by Moumina Dorgabekova with the active support of Pierre Claquin behind the scene

Tajikistan-born Moumina Dorgabekova-Claquin is a medical anthropologist who studied the Mru (one of the ethnic groups of the Chittagong Hill Tracts) between 2000 and 2002 and then again in 2003 and in 2009. She is also a photographer. She created the Image Djin agency in 1999
Her pictures of Bangladesh, India and Afganistan have been bought by USAID, the Melinda and Bill Gate Foundation, among others. She spent seven years in Bangladesh and is familiar with the cultures and the geography of the country. Last but not least Moumina was trained for a year as a tour facilitator by the famous USSR national agency Inturist

Pierre Claquin is a French medical epidemiologist who discovered Bangladesh initially in September 1972 and has lived and worked for several extended periods of time (15 years in total) in the rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. He has been seduced by its people and by its sceneries despite the adverse conditions and the poverty. Bangladesh is a country of dignity, resilience and is vibrant with socio-economic struggles, innovations and blossoming art, music, literature, painting, movies and photography. ( www.chobimela.org ) The names of Dr Yunus of the Grameen Bank, of Amyrta Sen and of Rabindranath Tagore, all Nobel laureates, are well-known. Bangladesh is a country where the lives of its population lives is rythmed by the rivers and the rain and sometimes by cyclones. In January 2009 He returned again to the primary health care program for the deprived populations of the Chittagong Hill Tracts that he had started in 2004. He is also a photographer ( www.ventsdest.net ) with several exhibitions and a book on the circuses of Bangladesh.

Following the successful photographic workwork Pierre had co-organized with Michel Reichmann (www.luminous-landscape.org) in January 2005 in Bangladesh, he did organize another with his Bangladeshi colleague of 30 years Jagandindro Majumder at the end of November 2008.

The lessons learned from both successful experiences are at the origin of this new episode that will take place between October 27th and November 7th.

The photographic adventure has been organized to provide you with unique opportunities to visit and document photographically many different aspects of the country. You will visit one of the longest beach of the world,

participate in a religious ceremony of a still-neglected tribal group of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (the last frontier),

see the mangrove forests of the Sunderbans (a UNESCO heritage),

observe life on the rivers of the delta,

discover the Hindu terracotta temple of Kantanagar,

the tribal life in Dinajpur, the urban chaos of Dhaka.

We are passionate about the many fascinating aspects of the life of the Bangladeshi people (despite the overwhelming poverty) and of the country.11 days is of course not enough to explore and discover everything but it has been our repeated experience that guided exposures provide qualitative insights (and good pictures).

This is not stricto sensu a workshop: there will be no tutorials, no thematic daily structured theme, no organized review and critique of the catch of the day. However Moumina will organize and facilitate the many photo opportunities (nature, sceneries, people) and will prime you on your hunts. Enough time will be provided to go at your own rhythm. Technical support will be provided whenever needed. You will be reminded that the early bird catches the worm, that being up at 6 am is  a good idea and that the “hour of the cow” between 3 and 5 pm is the only time to use the golden light of the dust.

Our program together

27 Oct’ 09 (Tue)
Upon arrival meet our representative at Zia International airport at Dhaka and transfer to Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. Lunch at hotel, afternoon sightseeing on a boat along the river Buriganga until Sadarghat waterfront. Diner at Sonargaon hotel and overnight at Dhaka.

28 Oct’ 09 (Wed)
Early breakfast at hotel for a 7:30 drive to the old part of the city. Visit Lalbagh Fort, Star Mosque, Armenian Church, Dhakeshwari temple. Packet lunch while traveling to the old capital of Sonargaon (golden city), 27km to the east. Back to Dhaka in the late afternoon, dinner at hotel and overnight at Pan pacific Sonargaon hotel, Dhaka.

29 Oct’ 09 (Thu)
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to domestic airport to catch the flight to Cox’s Bazar. After arrival lunch followed by a leisury stroll in open jeeps along the beach, watching boats, fishermen and sunset. Dinner and stay at Motel Saibal.

30 Oct’ 09 (Fri) 
After breakfast drive to Alikadam Upazila of Bandarban, Visit a Mro village and its traditional annual ceremony. Packed lunch (and local strong drinks).In the afternoon drive to Chittagong in our A/C bus . Dinner and stay at Hotel Agrabad.

31 Oct’ 09 (Sat)
After an early breakfast drive to Chandpur; at around 12:00hrs board the boat M. V. BHELA and start cruising towards Sundarbans forest. Overnight on boat near Pirojpur.

01 Nov ’09 (Sun)        
The boat will resume its journey towards Sundarbans forest though different rivers & canals. In the afternoon arrive at Kotka wildlife sanctuary. Country boat ride through the narrow channels to observe wildlife.  Overnight on boat at Kotka forest.  

02 Nov’ 09 (Mon)   
Early in the morning another country boat ride through the channels. After breakfast start cruising towards Dubla Island. Arrival at Dubla island visit the fishing village. After diner visit the worship place (Rush Mela) at Dubla and overnight on boat.

03 Nov’09 (Tue)       
Early in the morning visit worship place and observe the yearly coconut floating ritual (to wash away the sins of the year) at Dubla beach and back to the boat for breakfast. Start cruising back to Khulna. Reach Khulna  and overnight on boat.

04 Nov’ 09 (Wed)   
After an early breakfast board the train for Dinajpur. Observe life in the train and in the stations. Reach Dinajpur by evening around 18:00hrs dinner and overnight at Dinajpur Parjatan motel.

05 Nov’ 09 (Thu)   
Breakfast at motel and visit Raj Bari, Museum, lunch at Motel and drive to Kanta Nagar visit Kantajee temple, tribal village & tribal cultural show. Back to the motel in the evening dinner and overnight at Dinajpur

06 Nov’ 09   (Fri) 
After breakfast drive to Dhaka, on the way visit Mahastangarh. Lunch at Sirajganj, upon arrival at Dhaka check-in to Sonargaon hotel for dinner and overnight.

07 Nov’ 09   (Sat)
Breakfast at hotel and fly to next international destination.

Who is this photographic adventure for?

The photographic adventure is for avid photographers. Proficiency in photography techniques is taken for granted as well as quality equipment (telephotos). We shall get up early to catch the first light and will seize every opportunity to have “keepers”. Thousands of shots will be taken by each of us because the opportunities will be constant. But it will be your call to seize them.
Even if the photographic adventure is centered on photography it should not deter your significant other to join (with a pair of binoculars, a hat and a smile). There will be many daily exciting occasions to watch and learn.

Michael Reichmann wrote a useful report on " what worked and what did not" upon his return from the January 2005 photographic adventure  http://www.luminous-landscape.com Even if you do not shoot Canon cameras you will find it fascinating and it is a good start.
Long lenses (at least 70-200 range but up to 300 mm ) are a must. They should be preferably with vibration-reduction  because of the vibration of the boat’s engines and also because of the pictures of birds  and wildlife. A monopod will be handy to bring if you have one A wide angle fixed lens or zoom (24mm minimum) will be useful for building, markets, etc . Remember that Bangladesh is one of the most crowded places in the world and that people will surround you often (in a friendly way). Dust should not be a problem but take with you a sensor-cleaning kit, in case. 
Two camera bodies are safer in case one dies on the spot (it happens each time).

Binoculars are a must to enjoy the sceneries and identify from far away what looks like a crossing tiger….
On the boat there will be electricity available several times a day for you to unload your shots, charge the batteries, run your computer, etc.
An external drive or storage (like Epson, Jobo, etc.) of large capacity is a must for the essential backup of all these RAW files.

The Cost

The cost of this all-inclusive trip is U.S. $ 4980  per person (but not inclusive of airfare to Dhaka, Bangladesh). The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography or not. This fee includes all in-country ground, river and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation for 11 nights (double occupancy) and all meals and alcoholic beverages.

Accommodations are two person to a room. If you will be traveling alone and would like a private room there will be a supplementary charge of $650.
A deposit of U.S. $2,500 (per person) will be required when you register, and the balance of $2480 will be due no later than September 1, 2008. If you need to cancel before September 1, you’ll get a full refund (less $500). After September 1 if you need to cancel you’ll receive all of your money back except $500, but the refund will be possible only if a replacement for you can be found.

If we have to cancel the trip for any reason you will receive a full refund.


  • All airport / train station transfer
  • All road journey by reserved tourist coach
  • Domestic air tickets (Dhaka – Cox’s Bazar 
  • Train journey from Khulna to Saidpur
  • All a/c accommodation on twin sharing basis (except in the Sundarbans  where non A/C individual cabins will be provided)
  • Exclusive cruiser for Sundarbans forest
  • Forest fees and revenue for Sundarbans forest
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • Mineral water as needed
  • All sightseeing and activities as per itinerary
  • Necessary permit and fees as per Itinerary 

PRICE EXCLUDES:                                                                   

  • Any International air-ticket
  • Airport tax
  • Items of personal nature
  • Item(s) not included in the above inclusion list.
  • Tipping

Liability Limitation

Pierre Claquin and Moumina Dorgabekova  aim to provide every participant a safe, educational, and enjoyable experience. We act solely as agents for you regarding accommodations, special activities, and travel, by any means, and assume no liability for any act, error, omission, injury, loss, delay, mishap, or damage to persons or property arising from any cause during the course of the photographic adventure or in transit thereto. We can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in the services to be provided. We reserve the right to change our arrangements should conditions necessitate, or to cancel any aspect of the photographic adventure due to exceptional circumstances. In the event that we deem it necessary to cancel the photographic adventure we will provide a full refund, which the participant acknowledges as full and final settlement.

As there is always an element of risk in any adventure associated with the outdoors, participants must read this form carefully. This liability release will certify that the participant is physically fit and capable of participating in outdoor photography exercises in field locations, and is fully and completely aware of any associated risks created by field locations and weather.

By joining this photographic adventure I acknowledge that I have read the above information concerning responsibility and release Pierre Claquin & Moumina Dorgabekova, their guides, instructors and any cooperating agent from any liability. Pierre Claquin  & Moumina Dorgabekova will assume no liability for injury, illness, or loss of personal property or expenses thereof associated with photographic adventure participation.
Your registration will automatically confirm to us your acceptation of the above.