Eclipse Total Gallery

Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2008

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® Deborah Valencia


Dear Ernesto,
I’ve looked over and over again the images that I managed to take last February during your workshop in Salvador de Bahia… I stopped looking at them for sometime to distance myself but each time I went back to them I continued to feel the strength of well accomplished images, strong photographs, and the most important thing is that I could see myself in them!
I came to your workshop with the intention to reconnect myself to the essence of photography and I think I managed. But it hasn’t been easy, and you know it! To separate myself from the wide-angle, from the “great” equipment and to go on the streets just with a 50mm like when, many years ago, I began to take pictures. Yes, when I began without technique and without knowing much of what I was doing, when I walked and felt, and saw; I’d let myself to be carried away and I’d start pointing my Olympus O-M1 with its beautiful 50mm 1.8… in this epoch I managed to take some of my best images.
In the daily routine, in the images for magazines, in the pressure you are under with deadlines, in your client’s specific requests your essence cannot come to surface. You enter this game and you distance yourself from the your own essence. This is exactly what has happened in all these years. Thanks to your workshop photography has returned. Thanks for having shared so much with us; thanks for your patience.
A big kiss.
Deborah Paredes Valenca



® Frank Baudino


When I arrived in Salvador I almost thought that I had returned to Cuba.  There is a sense of life and energy in the streets of Salvador that I sensed from the day I arrived.
For me, the highlight of the workshop came in the visits to the Sem Terra settlements we visited.  Landless people trying to find land to cultivate welcomed the opportunity to tell us their stories.  They proudly showed us their very modest shacks and brought their babies and pets for us to photograph. They offered us gifts of fruit and, for our brief stay, welcomed us into their lives.  In short, they gave us everything they had to offer.  
Equally rich were our visits to the homeless of the “chocolate factory”, the fishing village of Acupe, and the São Joaquim market.  
This workshop was an extraordinary opportunity to photograph the poetry of everyday life and, specifically, the beauty of many people who maintain simple lives and remain close to the land.  As always, I learned a great deal from the editing process guided by Ernesto and the spirited discussions with other students.  It had been a few years since I had taken one of Ernesto’s workshops and I feel as though I re-learned how to take good pictures or at least how to try.
Frank Baudino



® Mike Bump





® Paola Nalvarte


Before Ernesto and after Ernesto. That’s a statement to be considered after taking your first workshop with the Sicilian maestro. My experience with Ernesto and his workshop in Brazil changed completely the way I see people and life through the lens of my camera. It seems that all of a sudden, I can finally see some photographs out of my pictures; captured moments, feelings, gestures and things that could have been gone in less than a second, but that I was close and able enough to see and freeze them forever, or for as long as I keep them. The fact that I had an amazing team helped a lot too. And the icing on the cake was the people from Salvador de Bahia and from Acupe. How open and generous they were with us, how warm people are and how humble and invisible some of them made me feel. All of these things were just the perfect reasons to let myself go and forget about me, having the privilege to share and witness moments of their lives, and to start considering myself a photographer.
Paola Nalvarte




® Sonia Raymund


I will just have to say that Salvador is but a dream. I loved Salvador but totally felt in love with the “Bahianos”.
As always spending a week with you Ernesto is worth a semester in the classroom.
I feel that this experience was not only about photography but also about humanity. Thanks for a great week.
Sonia Raymund



® Sophie Peeters


The workshop in Brazil was like the discovery of a precious treasure. It’s overwhelming beauty; the warmth of the people, the music and joy was all around. Ernesto, once more, introduced us to the most unlikely, surprising and hidden places you would not even imagine of venturing. Very naturally, the most amazing situations would flourish before our camera. The magic of going out shooting with Ernesto remains difficult to describe – his enthusiasm is contagious and ability to share incredible. It was, yet again, an unforgettable journey.
Sophie Peeters



® Stefano Gliogli

It’s the morning of a new day and I wake up under the sky of São Salvador da Bahia.
It’s Brazil. I feel it from the warmth; I smell it in the perfume of the air that softly caresses me.

I believe that destiny wanted me here, in the company of new friends and Ernesto. He is a great, beautiful and wise Maestro “of the moment captured outside time,” one of the very few that has the infinite on the tip of his nose, always with his inseparable camera around his neck.
In the ten days spent together, we have photographed on the same beach, in the same neighborhood, in the same space, but as always in photography: it’s the same frame, but always different, it’s the same photograph, but always another one.
The master has helped us to read the light in order to recognize it, to see the invisible to tell the story. Thank you Ernesto.
Stefano Giogli




® Willard Plate


Salvador is my new Cuba. Obviously not literally. But following Ernesto’s advice to return to locations over and over if I want to strengthen the quality of my
portfolio, I find myself choosing Salvador now that going to Cuba is an
impossibility. I made six trips to Cuba. This was my second workshop in Salvador,
and I plan to return next year.
Salvador has much in common with Cuba: beautiful people and beautiful
landscape, vivacity and warmth, a rich African heritage, and vibrant
color. Coming away with good images is not easy no matter, which workshop
you attend or which country you visit, but in Salvador you have something
of a head start because you are welcomed. I recommend this workshop to
all Ernesto’s present and future students.
Willard Pate


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