Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2010
® Alfonso Cuffaro
This workshop in Salvador has been the second with Ernesto. I had taken the first one in Milan and it was about editing your own work, which Ernesto does in a very severe way. But you can clearly see what you get from such tough editing sessions.
The same happened in Salvador. We would spend the whole day wondering and taking pictures, then at night (or sometimes in the morning before going out to take pictures again) we would show our own selection to Ernesto and the other students for the usual coral editing.
Some days I took images that did not go beyond Ernesto’s editing because they were not very evocative, too tied to a simple description of what unfolded before my eyes.
When this happened it was very frustrating, but at the same time it was very useful and instructive to comprehend that I needed to educate my gaze to recognize photographic moments wherever they can be, even in the most apparent banality of our daily life.
When magic takes place (yes, because it’s real magic) you get images with an expressive and evocative strength that make the photos go beyond the simple narration of what took place in front of you.
When that happens the images manage to communicate, to tell and transmit much more and I’m always amazed and happy about it. I feel that my photographs that possess this magic will always stay with me.
I thank Ernesto for this teaching.
® Antonella Mameli
® Barbara Beltramello
The Salvador workshop has been my first one with Ernesto and, considering the experience, I vividly hope that I’ll be able to take another one soon. I’ve just returned to Italy and I feel the nostalgia of those ten days that unfortunately went by so soon. They have been ten days in which I felt more of a child that the children that have allowed me and my photographic camera, to play with them. I feel nostalgia of those forty (Brazilian) minutes of wait for our lunch to be served; of the incompatibility between our group and the local taxi drivers; of those days spent looking for a photographic moment together with my fellow students and those beer breaks that, sometimes, would be our treat (especially when there was any photographic moment to be seen.) During this workshop. I realized that I managed to learn so much in so little time ( thing that, at the beginning, I thought it was not possible.) It has been super useful to be able to see and understand which elements would make a picture work and those who didn’t; it has been a great stimulus to see the other students’ work considering that this type of work sharing has been a source of learning. I can only thank Ernesto for his disposition to always share with us, with his students all he knew on the magic world of photography. I also want to thank my fellow companions in the workshop with whom I was able to spend hours taking pictures of daily life in Salvador and its surrounding areas.
® Filippo Galimberti
Personally, I think that there aren’t better words, to describe Ernesto’s workshops, that those in Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse: “When someone is searching,” said Siddhartha, “then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.”
Ernesto teaches you to see things, to look at the world with his sensibility, and by doing so the trip becomes more important than photography itself. You start learning, you begin to open yourself to people; and submerging into the reality that surrounds you becomes the most important goal, then, almost by magic, you realize that you are assuming part of those images; your heart, your eyes, your mind mingle with the colors, with the places, with the people.
® Rose Vanderpitte
® Theo Ebernius
I think that street photography is among the most difficult things I’ve ever tried to learn. “Simple” stuff like to justify the whole frame or how to make a picture go beyond just descriptive image is so damn hard. And then we have this whole social spectrum with which to deal and interact: the people you wish to be in your pictures and the ones you don’t. I guess the only way to do it is to go through a lot of practice and I must say that it has been very helpful to have Ernesto as a maestro on this road towards an unknown future. Thank you Ernesto for another great adventure.
® Willard Pate
This workshop was my twenty-first with Ernesto, and like the ones that preceded it, it had its magical photographic opportunities–children and a dog playing on a beach, two gray horses standing on that same beach, masked boys running about the streets of the fishing village. The workshop also offered the expected opportunities for great food and fellowship–a long, lovely Sunday lunch at an Italian restaurant in Salvador, a feast of traditional Bahian dishes set down in a spot overlooking the calm waters of a bay on Itapirica. And then there were the Caipirinias! Just writing these comments brings back good memories and makes me eager for workshop number twenty-two.