Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2010
® Baron Barnett
I just completed my fifth journey with Ernesto. With him you can always anticipate the unexpected. We had a great international group, which enhanced the joy of the experience. The interaction of the group through the edit sessions is always a highlight. Ernesto has a way of stimulating everyone to assess their vision. Ultimately, you become more focused and refine your visual sense! One always goes home with some great images. There is always a spiritual element when you tag along with Ernesto. Whether it is a market, a procession, an African ceremony, or wandering the countryside with the fishermen and their families, you get a sense of place. I also saw a new side of Ernesto as the Pied Piper. The kids and families in the Chocolate Factory settlement and the camp of the Landless Movement have developed a special relationship with him. The kids are glued to his side wherever he goes! Thank you Ernesto for coordinating another memorable experience!
® Birgit Vagani
This is the second time I joined Ernesto for a workshop, and the experience has been as wonderfully inspiring and full of magic as the first workshop in Iquitos, Peru in 2009. I have been travelling to Brazil for quite some time, but the Brazil I lived during these 10 days was a different Brazil than the place I had come to know from my previous visits. Getting to know Salvador and its people is a very special and profound experience. ‘Good for the soul’ as Baron would say. We met extraordinary communities within the city and in the countryside, fishermen living in remote villages following their customs from centuries ago, families squatting in demolished factories, pregnant women raising their kids collectively in the countryside, kids who creatively re-invent themselves, playing with nothing more than what the beautiful Brazilian nature offers. In the end all the single stories fall together into a bigger picture. Despite individual fate, misfortunes or difficulties, everyone we met received us with a wonderful warm big smile, ready to share and open their doors and embrace life fully as it is: with pure happiness and pride. Spirituality plays a sustaining role and we were fortunate to join ceremonies and religious festivities. I want to thank Ernesto for leading the way and continuously inspiring us. I also want to thank my fellow companions Betsy, Jean, Margit, Liz, Baron, Kerim and Umit for sharing the enthusiasm and all the people from Bahia for sharing moments of their life with us. It was lovely to see everyone develop an individual language to capture the essence of some of our photographic encounters. I will be back soon. Looking already forward to my next trip to Bahia in March 2011.
® Jean Ross
Salvador grew on me. I wasn’t sure at first – I’m not a beach person, but the warmth and beauty of the Bahian people won my heart. I’ll be back. To my fellow Cajus members and Ernesto, thank you for allowing me to share this special time in a special place.
® Kerim Can Ertug
Ernesto thank you for sharing the microcosm you have found in Bahia, especially those in Salvador and the fishing villages, with me and the rest of the group! With your support and guidance, I saw everyone in the group advance within their own photographic journey. For me the pursuit of finding the decisive moments in Bahia not only resulted on capturing good photographic moments, but it also lead me to discover the joy of life and the good nature of Bahians, which will remain with me for a long time. I hope to be back to continue what I have started.
Kerim Can Ertug
® Liz Loh Taylor
This is my second workshop with Ernesto and it just gets better, in fact it’s addictive! From fishing villages to favelas and landless camps, we were welcomed with open arms at every turn. Before every workshop and every shoot, I get this sense of trepidation wash over me… knowing that each day’s a challenge, a challenge to come back with at least one good and insightful image. Why? To give justice to the poignant people we have met and to the places full of intrigue and spirit. We were given amazing opportunities to experience and share in the lives of some remarkable people and communities. The relationships and knowledge are something quite special that Ernesto has been able to build over time and in turn share with us. This makes all the difference in a workshop! Muito obrigado meu mestre e amigo! I had a ball and walked away feeling enriched in the mind and soul every time we spend time together. Thank you so much for yet again pushing my photographic visions and capabilities a little bit further. I have come to appreciate and depend on your guidance and encouragement, almost like a child. Todo Beleza … as you would say EB…the experience, the growth, and of course, the acai, caipirinha and scrumptious food!
Liz Loh Taylor
® Margit Kovisto
This was my first workshop with Ernesto, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Over the 10 days, he took us to photograph in chaotic crowds in Salvador, and in quiet villages in the countryside. The people of Bahia met us with warmth and good humour, and nearly everywhere, they allowed us to freely photograph their families, their homes, and the daily events of their lives. But it was very, very difficult to make good photographs that eloquently captured and honoured the moments we were lucky enough to witness. The tough daily critiques, seeing other participants’ work, and having the opportunity to return to the same locations several times during the workshop, all provided a framework for learning how to make those wonderful pictures. Even if my pictures didn’t always work..and they most often did not work…I did take away a sense of how to SEE better, and a renewed sense of how I want to approach photography, and, as Ernesto predicted, a wish to return to magical Salvador. Thanks Ernesto for your guidance and thanks to my fellow participants for their companionship on the adventure and for the inspiration their work provided.
® Umit Okan
I still remember the first day of the workshop: after a long day of shooting, I was quite happy and satisfied with the results, waiting for the editing session. At first, it was very depressing to see Ernesto to go over my pictures and say:”No…too literal…No…too descriptive…No…her expression is not good! …the t-shirt and this baseball hat turn me off!!” But I believe his perfectionism and attention to every tiny detail in the image have taught me a lot and improved my vision. During the workshop, with his honest and encouraging comments, he always pushed us to try to be better and to be more critical about our pictures. As he shoots together with his students, just watching Ernesto photographing in the field is also very educative. I have personally learned a lot from observing the way he approaches his subjects, communicate with them and the way he composes his pictures. I already miss my fellow students, beautiful Bahia and all the nice people we met there! I cannot wait to go back !!! Thank you Ernesto for everything and hope to see you soon!