Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2009
® Cynthia Johnston
® Santi Serrano
When I arrived to the workshop I had no clear idea of what the workshop would have been like. I could only imagine that I’d take pictures and that I’d edit them with Ernesto and the other students. It went way beyond that: it was an incredible experience. I’ve learned greatly from Ernesto about photography and also on the personal level.; it has been an unforgettable experience.
Ernesto has the clear ability to understand what works and doesn’t work in a photograph. His transparent and patient way explaining the mistakes within a photograph and when a picture works made of the editing sessions a space of permanent growth.
Sebas and Cynthia’s comments were also very helpful. Thank you Ernesto for your constant help and thank you Israel for the happiness you gave us everyday.
This has been the first step, I believe that I begin to see things now…
® Sebastian Liste
For sure there is nothing better for an idea that when the moment to realize itself finally arrives. I had longed to take one of Ernesto’s workshops for over four years and finally this opportunity was given to me in his beloved Salvador de Bahia. Everything turned out to be wonderful! it seemed very special to share those days with Ernesto as a maestro, with Cynthia and Santiago as my fellow students, with Israel as an intimate friend ready to solve any problem and finally with the warm people of Salvador that made me feel at home.
After a few intense days, I learned to observe with all my senses and to feel how my heart would beat when all the elements of an image conjugate themselves and functioned perfectly. With his loving and profound advise, Ernesto is always capable of letting us get away from that phantasmagoria of images that surround us now days and to help us transcend from the act, the photographic moment in the constant search of intense and meaningful pictures, where each image has her own strength both in content as in form.
It’s not easy to choose among all the possibilities that present themselves while life is flowing, trying to capture that unrepeatable act, that coming together of all possible metaphors hiding in our daily life.
From the very beginning I felt I belonged to this city-world that Salvador is all about, microcosm of all the contradictions and the beauty of Latin America.
I’ve vibrated together with its people, there I think I have taken my best pictures so far, and I’ve tried to break the glass that separates a traveler, a “parachutist” as Ernesto likes to call him, from the people you encounter.
This effort allowed me to go inside with strength in the pulsating flow of daily details of these people that I vividly remember although the distance as if I’d get totally drunk with this feeling of belonging to this land.
With Ernesto I’ve really learned to look at time in a qualitative dimension. In this time when time stops flowing and you feel as part of the environment you are in, the only thing that matter is to return to the place and transcend those gazes you found. Perhaps for this reason, I’ll return to Salvador next January, in Ernesto’s company and also together with this wonderful city that imagines an uncertain future while its heart beats to an African rhythm.