Beautiful Photos Beleza Gallery
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2008
® Chelsea Berger
Looking back on the past nine days, I have come to realize that the best experiences are the ones that are the most uncomfortable. Throughout my short experience as a photographer, I have stayed with in my comfort zone in my style, concepts, and subjects. This workshop has enabled me to step out of my boundaries and step into once in a lifetime situations. Everyday there was something new to be learned. Without the advice of Ernesto Bazan, my photographs would be too forced and too far away. Now, I can confidently say that I captured the moment.
® Evelyn Hoffmann
Working with Ernesto has made me learn more about the art of photography, critiquing photographs, and about myself as a photographer. The first critique with Ernesto definitely made me start out strong; because that day I thought I had received good images, but while others received one or two images the first day for their portfolios, I received none. At first I was harsh on myself, but the next morning the criticism I received from Ernesto the night before gave me the strength and momentum to work harder to get that perfect moment in the photo. I really enjoyed how Ernesto critiqued our work, because you could always count on him to be honest without hurting your feelings. He gave you the right instructions so that the next day you would be able to take a better picture. I want to thank Ernesto for this privilege. I truly loved this trip and will always carry the advice and memories with me forever.
® Grace Curatola
Moments are all around us, but most go unnoticed. Throughout this workshop, Ernesto Bazan has helped me to take advantage and be more conscious of the important moments in life. We have been going to some of the most interesting places, and I have seen things and had experiences that I never could have imagined without Ernesto. I treasure every minute spent during this workshop and would do it again in a heartbeat. Looking at the photos that I brought with me, in comparison to my final portfolio today, I fully realize how much Ernesto has helped me to improve my photography.
® James Caputo
Salvador offered many great opportunities for shooting. Whether we were at a beautiful beach, the chocolate factory, or a landless people’s camp, everyone was very friendly and pleased to have his or her picture taken. It was amazing to see a different part of the world and how these people are living. No matter how bad their conditions, everyone was happy and greeted you with a big smile. None of our photographs would be as interesting if it were not for the connection between photographer and subject. The people we encountered allowed us to truly get a glimpse of everyday life in Salvador– the perfect content for our photographs.
® Karina Srb
During this workshop in Salvador, Brazil, I have gained more knowledge on how to take a good photograph, but also have received a new perspective on how I see the world through a photographer’s eye. Ernesto Bazan taught us that taking random snap shots are just ways of registering reality, but capturing actual moments, is what makes a great photograph. Coming into this workshop, my goal was to capture a minute part of reality, and to better hone my skills on composition and framing. Ernesto has taught me more than I could ever ask for, making me more aware of distracting elements in my photographs and pushing me to get as close as possible to my subjects to try to see every detail. Being able to shoot in Brazil was an amazing opportunity, but what made it even more inspiring, were the people who lived here. I loved interacting with the children at the abandoned chocolate factory. When we went back the second time, we brought them prints of their photographs and they were so happy receiving them, which shows how far a simple gesture can go. There is no comparison with my portfolio I came to Brazil with and the one I have now, and I have Ernesto to thank for that.
® Lindsey Schwartz
During this Brazil workshop, I have learned to step out of my boundaries and have gained a more critical eye for photography. With Ernesto, we are given the unique experience to visit places and communities that most people would never have the opportunity to see. Though street photography can be uncomfortable and intimidating at times, it is also a chance to understand different lifestyles from a different perspective. Ernesto has influenced my ability to capture the essence of that lifestyle within a frame, creating an image that is more than just a good composition. More importantly than the techniques of photography, we are given the opportunity to give back to the people who have opened their homes, communities, and daily lives to us.
® Sydney Dratel
This trip has been amazing in many different ways. One thing that I really loved about it is all of the amazing opportunities we have had. If we were here alone as a group of New Yorkers, we would have just done very touristy things such as looking at historical sites, going to lots of churches, etc. Since we were in this workshop with Ernesto Bazan, though, we got to look at Brazil in a totally different way. Meeting people with basically nothing materialistic in their lives really opened my eyes. Just by giving them a couple pictures that we printed out, their faces lit up and they were so happy. This shows that just by giving people small, simple things, it can really make an impact on their lives and the way they think of you. Another thing that we did was to give (almost) each family basic food necessities, such as beans, rice, and oil. We had to do this subtly to avoid confusion, but I know that they will always be grateful and will always remember us. Before being in this workshop, I was nervous when other people had to look at my work and critique it. This workshop really showed me that critiquing other people’s work is a very important part of taking photographs. If there was no critiquing on this trip, everyone would probably have average photographs with no depth and life in them. Since we got our work critiqued, though, everyone has amazing photographs that really capture moments. I know that this is an experience I will never forget and I hope that sometime in my life I will be able to do another one of Ernesto’s workshops.
® Tara Thesing
Coming to Brazil and doing this workshop has definitely been a discovery for me on many different levels. I learned about the culture and the people that live here. There is so much that goes into photography from capturing “the moment” to getting the right angles and flow in a picture. Creating a good photo essay can be incredibly powerful, sending a message out to the world by telling any kind of story you wish to tell. It was refreshing to be immersed in such a different place where a lot of everyday elements were taken away and I was left with myself. I walk away from this experience learning a lot about myself personally, and creatively.