Pepe Gallery

Iquitos, Peru 2009

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® Birgit Vagani

I have been wanting to join one of Ernesto’s workshop for many years, driven by the dream of traveling the world and taking pictures. Finally the moment came and it felt so natural to land in Iquitos.
It’s incredible how life start making sense once you follow your passion, without the compromise we are commonly ready to accept. All you need is one camera, one lens and rolls of you favorite film.

Ernesto’s message applies to everyone: “live your dream and things will fall into place”. The essence, magic and intensity of Ernesto’s pictures are simply the manifestation of his love for humanity.
The people on the streets of Iquitos are warm, welcoming and curious. Their lives take place far removed from the world outside the Amazon.
The moments we captured in Iquitos and surroundings were about the beautiful relationship and co-existence of people and animals, animals and plants, plants and people; surrounded by the mysterious atmosphere of the jungle and the biggest river in the world, the Amazon.
I want to thank Ernesto for leading the way to the mere essence of “the beauty of a moment”, which is so difficult to capture and so touching when you do.

I want to thank my companions Boca Pequeña, Garry and Juan Carlos for their company and the wonderful people of the Amazon we met along the way for sharing with us a few moments of their life. The experience has filled me with a lot of energy. The journey can take a lifetime. I hope to meet you again soon!

Birgit Vagani

 



® Boca Pequena

Once again, Ernesto, thank you for all your patience and your generosity of sharing with us your students all your experience, all your talent. The great effort of facing again my shyness approaching people, looking for “moments” and ending the day completely exhausted but satisfied for all the things I learned: it’s all worth it. It was also fun and interesting sharing these days with a group of people so sensitive and authentic. A big hug.

Boca Pequeña

 



® Gary Waller

In Iquitos, I was constantly reminded of how fortunate we were to have the open access to simply document everyday lives of people in the pursuit of a beautiful photograph. They would often treat us with a little curiosity at first, smiling, laughing, perhaps wondering why we were so interested in their day-to-day activities. But any guard was short lived as they would continue to go about their business and allow us the to capture many unique and compelling moments. It was often a spontaneous outing that took us to places where we would find amazing things to photograph, a back street market selling anything and everything, a slum on the banks of the Amazon or a sawmill that would give us complete access. Of course without Ernesto as the driving force and mentor behind these trips we would have missed such precious opportunities and encounters. Thanks to his relentless curiosity to seek out interesting places to photograph and his very unique ability to articulate what is takes to get a great shot, I came away very inspired!

Garry Waller

 



® Juan Carlos Rodríguez

Precious Iquitos is a city full of many colors and warmth. It’s overflowing with life and above all strangely influenced by the mystic presence of Amazon River. To know that everything that his people are and do is because of the river is quite interesting. Before coming to Iquitos this seems to me understood, but I didn’t understand of the magnitude of this influence till I got there.

It’s challenging to become to be so perceptive, to be able to capture images of what you are feeling. “Look for the moment”. This sentence by Ernesto got etched on my memory. I’ve never seen anybody else so concentrated on his photographic search as he is; and luckily he is really contagious. “Let luck take you!” I never believed that until I saw Ernesto and my fellow students at work. In any case, photography is a very complex visual language. I learnt the letter A and for me this is a gigantic step.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez

 

 



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