Momentos Fotograficos Gallery
Sicily, Italy 2009
® Anna Bertolloti
® Giampiero Fiori
To do a workshop with Ernesto changes the perspective from which you get close with your camera. From now on my pictures will follow a more intimate and personal path, going beyond what I see to capture what happens. At least this is the goal that I have set for myself and at the same time is the most profound part of Ernesto’s teaching. But let’s start from the very beginning. I arrive on Saturday morning in Palermo. Ernesto welcomes me. He’s different from how I expected him to be: he has long hair and is smiling all the time; he wears jeans and a fully lived Lacoste t-shirt. We leave the airport to reach the mansion near Marsala. The house reveals the numerous rooms a little bit at the time, then we discover the garden and the sea is right there. Ernesto’s relatives who own the villa welcome all of us in a magnificent way. The fish couscous leaves you without words and with the desire to take a second serving. The workshop begins slowly with small processions before the big ones in Trapani and Marsala. We spend a day in Palermo visiting the Vucciria market and then the one called Capo; we also go to the open sky theater of Spasimo and many other interesting things. My journey’s companions are Carlo, Ernesto’s assistant whose easy-going attitude, knowledge and generosity will guarantee the workshop’s success. Viky, a Spanish girl, that I’ll always remember for the humanity that would transpire from her personality, for the thousand expressions in her face, the kindness of her behavior and for the fact that my Roman dialect represented for her an insurmountable obstacle. Sophie, whose sense of organization and sweetness created a strange mix, and beyond that the fact that she was almost tougher than Ernesto in her own editing. Every time that I think of her I cannot do without remembering her “grazzzie” and “benisssimo” with her perfect Belgian accent. Silvana that was worrying even when it was unnecessary; she was very kind and shy, and I used her a lot as my guinea pig to find out if there was hot water in the shower. Anna made us understand from the very start the talent she had by sharing with us her excellent portfolio. She seemed distant at the beginning, but she could not do without us in the end.
The first two days of shooting I took pictures that didn’t satisfy Ernesto and I. He tells me not to feel depressed and that good images will come. We talk about a lot of different topics as we travel across Sicily. We visit the medieval town of Erice and the Greek ruins in Segesta. Then at a certain point in Marsala I start feeling more comfortable taking pictures. The images begin to come with color and situations that I’d have never expected to be able to photograph. From a photographic point of view will always stay in my heart the back stage preparation in Marsala and the procession in Trapani that lasted 24 hours. As I’m writing I still hear in my mind the music that followed all the processions and the slow steps of the participants, the general state of commotion and excitement. I thank Ernesto and Carlo for everything, Rosa that took care of all of us although she had other things to think about, and all the other students from whom I have learned very much with the editing. I thank you all again and I look forward to seeing you in the next workshop.
® Silvana Lisca
When I first got to this workshop, I thought it would be easier than the previous one. This time, I could speak the language and the subjects were used to have hundreds of cameras pointed at them. These two things, I thought, would play in my favor. And so it was, somehow.
Yet, a good picture is not a matter of language, or habit. That cocktail of elements, that light in the subject’s eyes, that rip in a soul that make a picture a “good picture” remain a rare spell, in spite of everything else.
One more lesson of humility!
® Sophie Peeters
The intensity, complicity and sense of belonging that I have witnessed in Sicily are truly unique. Being in the midst of three generations of men carrying an altar together while the women of the family await for them with tears upon their return and support them along the 24 hours ordeal, was more touching than words can describe. Capturing it on film was even more difficult! As always Ernesto’s encouragement and support is invaluable. It was an unforgettable, beautiful journey.
® Viky Polls
What has surprised me the most of the Sicilians is their theatricality: in their gestures, in the processions, in the way of being. I don’t believe that they were performing rather that it was his way of living these days, of experiencing an emotion. You need to enter the torrent and let it take you, and you really need to point your camera at something and translate that into a photograph… but at the same time it has been a pleasure to see so many faces, so many hands, so many people, whom I’m looking at now, here at home. Ernesto’s editing it’s fundamental, and so is his care and the passion that he transmits. Besides that, I appreciated the great richness of some of the pictures by my fellow students (some images have bee etched in my memory forever). In a short period of time we created and shared a courageous world around the photographs and the processions. I thank all of you for the company, the pizzas and the walks in Palermo.