For many years I was longing to get to know Iquitos, the Peruvian outpost before the huge expanses of the Amazon. I had seen some intriguing and mysterious images taken by other photographers. I had a gut feeling that it had to be a special place to photograph. When I finally went I found the place fascinating. I really loved being there; taking pictures and simply let the atmosphere of the place sink in. It has opened new uncharted territories in my Latin American photographing probing.
Founded in 1757 by the Jesuits, Iquitos has a very special charm retaining something of a frontier feel. While walking around you’ll get a definite sense that you are in a very unique place, you will feel a distinctive atmosphere of having stepped back into a sort of XXI century Far West. The people are very friendly and welcoming and love to be photographed.
Our first meeting will take place in Iquitos the very first day of the workshop. It’s advisable to arrive a day earlier especially if you are coming from Europe or the US.
We will be staying in Iquitos for the first few days taking pictures of daily life in this fascinating city and some of the outlying villages. The very fist morning I’ll review each student’s portfolio in-depth. Then we will begin our exploration of this amazing town.
Each morning we’ll go out shooting on the streets of this fascinating town. I’ll take you to the unique waterfront district of Belèn. Besides its spectacular floating markets, I’ll take you to meet some of the locals. We might have the opportunity to get into people’s houses and delve more into their life.
Other fantastic shooting locations are some of the harbors where hundred of people are daily loading and unloading products from the many boats that travel along the Amazon. It’s an incredible spectacle and a very special photographic opportunity. We will be able to get onto the boats and also photograph the passengers preparing their hammocks for the long river journeys to Brazil and Colombia.
One of the main aspects of this workshop will be to show how globalization, modernity and many other factors are contaminating people’s life. I feel that contamination is part of the evolution process and it’s unavoidable, although it’s not necessarily all-negative from my perspective.
I’ll take you to visit the Boras ethnic group that is going through a process of readjustment. Forced out from their original land in Colombia because of the current war, they have gone through several stages of resettling in Peru.
We will visit one of their communities where for a small fee they perform some traditional dances. When I was there, I had the opportunity to engage myself in very interesting conversations about their ancient roots. By being with them for a while, they started treating me more as a visitor rather than just a tourist. I still have vivid memories of the experience and I look forward to sharing it with all my students.
On a daily basis, we will walk together around the corners of this palpitating city; we will photograph the flow of life unfolding before our very eyes in Iquitos and in the surrounding pueblos full of mystery and magic.
Then we will take a fast boat (6 hours) to a small outpost deep into the Amazon and we will be spending several days exploring daily life in this unique part of the Peruvian Amazon.
During our exploration we will explore the village and several outlying indigenous communities. By looking at the students’ gallery you will be able to see the many beautiful images taken by my students that will give you a good sense of the diverse photographic opportunities in store in this remote region.
We will take the fast boat back to Iquitos where we will spend the last day of the workshop and we will doing the final edit of each student’s work and we will also try to create a sequence of your best images.
During the workshop I will show you my work from my Cuban trilogy and other different bodies of work from Latin America. We will have the opportunity to analyze and critically discuss all of them.
Every day, we will have communal editing sessions in which the whole class will discuss many photography topics such as framing, composition and content within the context of individual images.
For those of you that have already had the opportunity to take a workshop with me, I’ll only add that you are in for another great learning experience, we’ll be sharing both photography and life.
As in all the other workshops I teach, my ultimate goal is to help each participant create an appealing body of work with personal strong individual images. Each student will be encouraged to develop his or her own photographic language and to search for the invisible thread that ties a story together. I’ll help you to improve your ability to see and create new photographs, and to discover your hidden potential. It will definitely be a valuable educational experience where I’ll teach you to develop the skills to look at your own work more critically, and also to appreciate and discuss yours and other people’s work by learning a new visual vocabulary. Our final objective is to produce a series of revealing, lasting images that will display a sense of the place and of its people. You will return home with a new commitment to your work and your creativity.
All my courses are open to digital photographers. Just make sure to bring your own laptop to view and edit all your images on a daily basis. EB
I rely on your attendance to organize many of the workshops’ logistics, so if for any reason you decide to no longer attend the workshop, please notify me at least 60 days before the start of the workshop. At that time I will refund your fee minus $200 cancellation fee. If you cancel between 30 and 60 days before the start of the workshop I will retain $250 as a cancellation fee. If notification is made less than 30 days before the start of the workshop no monies will be refunded to you.
Please note that in case of exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances such as hurricanes, earthquakes, major floods, tsunami, a war or governments’ change of policies in the countries I teach courses, BazanPhotos will only offer as a refund a new workshop in any of the other venues where workshops are taught during that same calendar year. No other forms of refunds will be available.