Dhaka, Bangladesh x Hipstamatic

I guess many of us has an iPhone ? Many people i know do…..I hate to admit it but the iPhone sure dominates many minutes of my daily life. Why is that ? Because of apps like Hipstamatic.

I carry my camera with me wherever I go, but sometimes, I just feel that maybe I can take better pics with my iPhone and with this app. They are both wide angle lenses camera but with Hipstamatic, i can choose to be more creative without thinking too much, it does the thinking for you.

First of all, it has a small view finder, so you cannot really see what you are taking. Just point at the subject and snap. Then it has the habit of throwing things around off center, so you are not really taking what you are pointing at. Get what I am trying to say ? Argghhh…..it cost USD 1.99. The cost of a cup of coffee for the basic setup, go get it, they explain everything better 🙂

Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh, a megapolis with a population of 18 million people and ever growing. That also means the traffic is the craziest among all the cities I have been. No proper traffic lights, cutting in and out of lanes and drivers blare their horns like no one’s business. In fact, if you don’t do it, you are considered weird.

I can tell you that the Bangladeshis have the friendliest of all smiles, I enjoy conversations with them and sharing that little bit with them about our lives. In case you are wondering, its not really a place for holidays, except for the adventurous.

The disparity between the rich and poor is also the widest i have ever seen. I know there are poorer people else where but comparing the sheer number of the newly rich and the poor………Hmm, let me try to showcase the gap. Minimum wage is USD 36/month vs USD1,000 for the most expensive concert ticket if a top notch Indian movie star comes into town.

Below is a set of pictures taken with Hipstamatic using the Americana Lens and US1776 film. This combination makes the pictures black and white, contrasty and grainy. Hipstamatic gives you some basic lens and films but they provide add ons, charging each set at USD0.99. Thats another cup of coffee.

I must say that i did not meant to capture images of Dhaka this way. It just happened 🙂 There are many happy people here and a lot of them are highly educated. Dhaka has at least 22 public universities and 49 private ones !

Streets of Dhaka and shoe shop BATA is here as well. Someone tells me BATA means “Buy And Throw Away”….Gees..

Thats your telephone lines, internet lines and electricity lines all weaved into one complicated mess. If anyone can work as an electrician here, he can work as an electrician anywhere.

Buses like these still exist. I suppose they found a new life when they arrive in Dhaka.

This is a 4 stroke engine Taxi. Sure looks safe to ride in one next to the buses, the SUVs and the huge trucks along the highway with no traffic controls. 🙂

Walking on the streets is not an easy thing to do. Many poor or the disabled, upon seeing a foreigner will walk up to them immediately, touching you so slightly and begging for money. Persistent is the word.

Quite a few children roam the streets. This young chap was trying to sell me some nuts to chew on.

Turning into the corner, we reached the shopping districts of Gulshan. Lots of shops selling gold, pearls and antiques. Marine equipment, furniture ripped off from ships, well, the sea port of Chittagong is known to be a place where old ships come to die.

If anyone cared for a roast chicken….. A word of advice from me…….eat only from the restaurants.

Or getting a nice hair cut and this trendy hair dressing salon. They give you a good scratch on the head after the hair cut, followed by a quick dash of lime juice on top of the head. I tell you, the feeling is quite exquisite. I learnt that lime juice is a good disinfectant !

Manpowered rickshaws for a short ride. A very unstable experience ! I wonder how the guy next to us manage to pull 3 passengers in his rickshaw !

Gotta show this again, you see the 2 signs hanging among and along the wires ? They are advertisements……”Pay Less for Internet with Our Fast Connections” and so it says….

Time to head back 🙂

Nah…..i still think i take better pictures if i am using my camera. 🙂 but Hipstamatic is really fun ! Gotta try out the other lenses and films soon.


  1. As Chase Jarvis said, ‘the best camera is the one you have with you’! Nice pics though. The combination you’ve chosen makes some of them look authentically old. Nicely done.

  2. Thanks for the rec and examples of an iPhone app! I’m going to check out Hipstamatic! Love your photos, as always. You capture so much through your lens! The electric lines remind me of when I went to Vietnam – I remember being awed by so many wires! I did ask for a camera for my birthday (not a professional level kind but one that has a better zoom than my Canon Elf, and one that I can force a flash). 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. hey radjams, i was just overawed with the mess of wires, how it all still works despite the mess…amazing. If you have an iPhone, getting the app could means having a brand new camera !! arch…0.99 ?? now ?? *grumble

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