No Bull Shit Gallery
Tlacotalpan, Mexico 2007
® Bob Cocozza
Mexico was my fourth workshop with Ernesto. Once again, it was an inspiring experience. A chance to hone my photographic skills, experience life for ten days with a great group of people and run like hell whenever a totally enraged bull would attempt to make me his next victim.
Having successfully dodged the bull‚s horns, I was granted another day of life. A day, I happily spent with Ernesto while he worked his photographic magic. I am still amazed at how E manages to gain access to restricted events, turn the corner at just the right moment, gain access to a person‚s home and even coax a local shoemaker into bringing out his stuffed Armadillo.
In addition to being a wonderful teacher, Ernesto is often the catalyst leading to a very special photographic experience.
® Bruce Hall
Not having much experience with photographic workshops, I was a bit reluctant about wiring money to an account in the name of a person I’d never met. As it turned out my worries were in vain. Ernesto is not only a great photographer, but also a good person, and the time spent with him and the other photographers was a very worthwhile and often inspiring experience.
The days of wandering the streets of Tlacotalpan will always be a special memory for me. The constantly changing weather combined with the variety of festivities was intoxicating. The photos from this time often fail to capture its essence, yet the vivid memories remain. I’ll never forget the 1500 lb. black bull rising out of the Rio Papaloapan like some mythological creature, almost a vision of impending apocalypse. Realistically only a situation I wasn’t quite emotionally or physically prepared to deal with. At any rate, I survived and will forever have those adrenaline-fueled moments of time etched into my consciousness.
I learned from Ernesto the importance of always paying attention to the whole frame and how difficult it really is to make an image that is both meaningful and with broader appeal.
In the time since, I’ve found myself remembering and trying to utilize these things in my subsequent photographic wanderings. Ernesto’s commitment to his own work and his confidence and sensitivity in dealing with his subjects were a revelation to me. I’ve often had mixed feelings about intruding into the lives of others with my camera. Watching him work, I realized the importance of believing in yourself and the value of your work, while maintaining a deep respect for the lives and cultures being affected.
It was a very positive and enlightening experience and my deepest thanks go out to Ernesto and all the great people I met through him. Bruce Hall
® Chad Anderson
“Pandemonium”, that’s the word my airport taxi driver used to describe Tlacotalpas’ Candelaria. Perhaps it was “complete pandemonium”. Fireworks, bulls in the streets, bulls swimming in the river, fireworks on “bulls”, nonstop fandango music, dancing, and a holy procession with beautiful displays of faith and adoration of the people. Yes, complete pandemonium fits. My second workshop with Ernesto, it was even more important than the first: a time to apply and reevaluate the things I’d learned in Peru. So many beautiful moments fill my viewfinder a few even translate to the film; fewer still will survive the edit. I am pleased. Chad Anderson
® Dorothy Richardson
The celebration of the Virgin of Candelaria in Tlacotalpan has to be seen and heard, to be believed. In the course of about 5 days there is a running of bulls through the town, a religious procession, and a music festival. Not to mention fireworks, parades, continuous dancing, and wassail. Ernesto is not only a fantastic photographer- he is also a gifted teacher who can explain why an image “works” or does not “work”. It was altogether a wonderful experience. Dorothy Richardson
® Juan De la Cruz
The meeting is imminent. The monster watches us, for him there aren’t losers and winners. He knows that the only path to get to know him is living my solitude. Going through the wall of my fears. Once again, the day will come in which the monster will wrap us up and looking inside our eyes we will know that our passions are the food of his soul. We will understand that the things that mark our lives never come neither late nor alone.
Dear Ernesto I thank you again for having given me the opportunity to be a crew member of this amazing trip. Juan de la Cruz
® Keith Prue
So, once again, the maestro excels himself. This, my forth workshop, was preceded by a three month hiatus from shooting. After a couple of days, the old magic returned, inspired by Ernesto’s enthusiasm and encouragement. This group, the most harmonious yet eclectic so far, helped inspired me to move a little forward. With a full and open heart, Ernesto, I again thank you and everyone for a wonderful extravaganza amongst the charging bulls and exploding fireworks of Mexico. Keith Prue
® Sonia Raymund
This workshop with Ernesto was my first ever and I can only say that my learning experience did not stop with the technical aspect of photography. I was totally intimidated by the newness of it all and by the fact that my peers were all seasoned photographers. I was lucky enough to have Ernesto guiding me all the way through, teaching me not only how to shoot my pictures, but also how to see the field with the eyes of a photographer. I also lucked out with my peers who were happy to help out every time I asked and gave me encouragement when I felt frustrated. Thanks to everyone for all your support and to the Maestro, you are the best teacher I have ever had. Sonia Raymund