Bangladesh Photographic Workhop
November 29-December 11, 2008

The workshop will only accommodate 10 participants


About the Workshop

Following the successful photographic workshop I co-organized with Michel Reichmann in January 2005 and my following visits of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and of the Sunderbans between 2005-2007 I have been hoping to organize another one in 2008. The opportunity is now there, just on time, thanks to my 30-year old friend and colleague Jagadindra Majumder (Bappi).

I discovered Bangladesh for the first time in September 1972 and have lived and worked for several extended periods of time (15 years in total) in the rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. I have 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 ( http://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 is rythmed by the rivers and the rain and sometimes by cyclones.

The workshop has been organized to provide unique opportunities to visit and document many different aspects of the country. We shall see the mangrove forests of the Sunderbans (a UNESCO heritage), life on the rivers, the Hindu terracotta temple of Kantanagar, the Buddhist vestiges of Mainamati, the tribal life in Dinajpur, Modhupur and the Chittagong Hill Tracts,  the urban chaos of Dhaka. Despite the conflicting holidays of Eid we shall try to visit the ship-breaking sites of Sitakunda.

You can find my photographic biography in the Introduction of my web site www.ventsdest.net  I am a medical epidemiologist and a public health doctor who spent his professional life in Africa and South, South East and Central Asia. I have had several photo exhibitions : "Borrowed faces" (Dhaka- October 2000; Chittagong Feb 2001); "The Eastern Gallery of the Berlin Wall" (Dhaka April 2001); "1972-2002: The changing faces of Shariakandi" (Dhaka and Shariakandi - April 2002); "Surviving Dreams: the struggling circus of Bangladesh" (Dhaka Chobi Mela II - November 2002). My book of 120 black and white photographs on the circuses of Bangladesh and its accompanying text was released in October 2003.
Bappi Majumder is a survey specialist born in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. He has an extensive knowledge of all corners of the country and of its cultural aspects. He was part of the January 2005 photographic workshop organised by Michael Reichmann and Pierre Claquin.
This workshop is open 10 participants along with Pierre Claquin and J Majumder .



Bangladesh tour 12 days


29 Nov’ 08 (Sat):

Upon arrival meet our representative at Zia International airport at Dhaka and transfer to Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel for check-in. Rest. Late afternoon sightseeing of Sadarghat  waterfront. Diner at Sonargaon hotel and overnight at Dhaka. ner at Sonargaon hotel and overnight at Dhaka.

30 Nov’ 08 (Sun):

After breakfast checkout from hotel and transfer to domestic airport to catch the flight for Jessore at around 10:00hrs. Upon arrival at around 10:45hrs drive to Norail by private a/c tourist coach; the drive will take about 1 hour. Upon arrival board our boat and lunch will be served. In the affternoon explore the otter fishermen’s village and their activities, then move towards Sundarbans forest. Dinner and overnight on boat near Daingmari forest station.

01 Dec’ 08 (Mon):  

Early in the morning, leave for Kotka wildlife sanctuary. Arrive Kotka around 1400hrs.  In the late afternoon hiking in the Kotka forest area to see wild life and forest. Back to the boat in the evening. Overnight at Kotka on the boat. 2 people might want to spend the night in the watching tower.

02 Dec’ 08 (Tue):

Early in the morning we cruise through small creeks and canals by country boat to see the wildlife closely. After breakfast an opportunity to walk through the forest trail to the beach  will be offered.  By noon  start cruising towards Kochikhali wildlife sanctuary; upon arrival jungle walk near forest office. Overnight on the boat at Kochikhali

03 Dec’ 08 (Wed):

Whole day explore Egg Island, Kichikhali tiger point etc. lunch and Bar – B- Q dinner on boat.  Overnight on boat inside the forest.

04 Dec’ 08 (Thu):

Early in the morning, another cruise through small creeks and canals by country boat. Around 0900hrs, leave Kochikhali for Khulna.
Arrival Khulna in the evening; after dinner disembark from the boat and catch the train “Sheemanto Express” at 20:45hrs for Dinajpur.
Overnight journey 

05 Dec’ 08 (Fri):

At around 06:00hrs in the morning upon arrival at Saidpur transfer to Dinajpur Parjatan motel for check-in and breakfast. Sightseeing inclusive of Kanthajee temple (the famous terracotta temple), Ramshagor & Rajbari (old zamindar house).
Cultural evening in tribal village with songs and dances. Lunch, dinner & overnight at Parjatan MotelDinajpur.

06 Dec’ 08 (Sat):    

After breakfast drive to Madhupur via Mahasthangar, Bogura and the
spectacular bridge across the Bramaputra river.Lunch break at Aristocrat
highway inn restaurant, Surajgonj. Arrival at Madhupur in the afternoon. Sightseeing
of tribal village and meeting with tribal leaders. Dinner and overnight at Madhupur.

07 Dec’ 08 (Sun):   

After breakfast drive to Dhaka. Upon arrival check-in to Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel. Shopping in the afternoon. Dinner & overnight at Sonargaon.

08 Dec’ 08 (Mon):

After an early breakfast transfer to domestic airport to catch the flight for Chittagong, upon arrival visit of the Sitakunda
ship breaking site. Transfer to Bandarban and check-in to Parjatan motel

09 Dec’ 08 (Tue):

After breakfast visit of tribal areas. Night halt at Parjatan motel.

10 Dec’ 08 (Wed):

Drive back to Dhaka via Comilla Mainamoti, Buddhist archaeological ruins dating back to 8th-12th century. Lunch at the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development. Later visit Sonargaon, the old capital of Bengal. Back to Dhaka in the evening around 18:00hrs and dinner at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel , overnight at Dhaka

Who is the workshop for?

The workshop 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.

Even if the workshop 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.


Long lenses (at least 70-200 range but up to 300 mm ) are a must. They should be preferably with vibration-reduction  because we shall be often on boats (engines) and also because of the pictures of birds, otters and wildlife. A monopod will be handy to bring if you have one A wide angle fixed lens or zoom (24mm) 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.

Binoculars are a must to enjoy the sceneries and identify from far away what looks like a crossing tiger….

Bappi and I will always be ready to provide technical photographic assistance whenever needed. 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.

Michael Reichmann wrote a useful report on " what worked and what did not" upon his return from the January 2005 workshop  http://www.luminous-landscape.com Even if you do not shoot Canon cameras you will find it fascinating.

The Cost

The cost of this all-inclusive trip is U.S. $4,350  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 10 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. $2,200 (per person) will be required when you register, and the balance of $2,150 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 – Jessore and Dhaka – Chittagong)
  • Train journey from Khulna to Saidpur
  • All a/c accommodation on twin sharing basis (despite Sundarbans)
  • Cruiser for Sundarbans forest (exclusive)
  • Non-ac accommodation on boat inside the forest
  • Forest fees and revenue for Sundarbans forest
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • Three dinners at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel 
  • Mineral water for drinking
  • All sightseeing and activities as per itinerary
  • Necessary permit and fees as per Itinerary 


  • Drinks- hard & soft                                                                                
  • 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 J  Majumder , 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 workshop 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 workshop due to exceptional circumstances. In the event that we deem it necessary to cancel the workshop 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 workshop I acknowledge that I have read the above information concerning responsibility and release Pierre Claquin & J Majumder, their guides, instructors and any cooperating agent from any liability. Pierre Claquin  & J Majumder will assume no liability for injury, illness, or loss of personal property or expenses thereof associated with workshop participation.