Titanic 7 Gallery
Iquitos, Peru 2010
® Frank Baudino
The experience in Iquitos was beyond my imagination. I have never before been in an area so exciting and so rich in photographic possibilities. I slept poorly while on this workshop simply because I was struggling to absorb all the new sensations thrown at me. The marketplace in Iquitos was unlike anything I had ever seen–and I’ve been to marketplaces around the world. The scene was daily life amid total chaos and lawlessness. At the other extreme was the simplicity, innocence, and quietude of the people living in Belen, the floating city, and along the Amazon. Children would run up to our boat holding their pet sloths like Teddy bears and we had the freedom to walk into the homes of total strangers–something unthinkable (and probably dangerous) in the United States.
We were fortunate in having a group of talented student photographers and our photographic skills grew as, with Ernesto’s help, we reviewed our daily images. It was especially heartwarming when Ernesto honored Willard’s 20th workshop with him and my tenth by giving each of us a beautiful print he made when at Itaparica, an island off the coast of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. We also collaborated with Ernesto and reviewed the prints destined for his upcoming color book on Cuba, Al Campo.
I feel as though I’ve made a lot of progress as a photographer since my first workshop in Cuba in 2002 but in many ways I’m still a beginner. I’m much more able to recognize when my images are no more than descriptive and when, on occasion, they go beyond reality into something artistic and beautiful. I am forever grateful.
® Linda Kay Myers
Iquitos, Peru is a fascinating place, where the people have learned to adapt to life along the Amazon. We saw exotic birds and animals, ate lots of seafood, and traveled by motorcycle-rickshaws and boats rather than taxis. The people were warm and friendly and seemed to like having their pictures taken. I enjoyed the hospitality and generous spirit of the people I met in Peru and hope I have a chance to return.
Linda Kay Myers
® Liz Loh Taylor
Soulful, humbling and utmost inspirational. These 3 words are an attempt to sum up my experience in Iquitos with Ernesto in a very special workshop. I learned from a former student that Ernesto is an amazing teacher. My intrigue took me face to face with Ernesto and I had the pleasure of learning for 10 days. from an extraordinary person, a teacher and photographer of his own league. “You need to justify the full frame, everything has to have purpose” Those words rang in my head for the whole duration of the workshop and still are even now! They sound so simple but yet so damn difficult! Ernesto’s solemn encouragement continues even though each day was seemingly more challenging as I grew under his guidance.
Iquitos was full of life! Every street, every turn, every person we met, every relationship marked my life from the markets to the villages. We were so fortunate to be able to visit and photograph the places and people that we did thanks to Ernesto. Welcomed into each home as though we were family, that was an experience not to be forgotten.
Thank you Ernesto for an amazing 10 days, for being so dedicated, open and sharing with all of us, for helping me see and develop my own photographic vision. I feel I have grown a lot even in that short period of time. I cannot ask for a better teacher. A big thank you also to my fellow students, from whom I have learnt so much.
Liz Loh Taylor
® Sophie Peeters
Iquitos – the Amazon – I had great expectations and the experience went way over and above. I feel very fortunate to have been part of this amazingly special workshop. I immensely enjoyed the harmony within the group (thank you all!) – the many fun moments – the wonderful people with whom our paths crossed and of course the many challenging photographic situations Ernesto encourages us to capture in a beautiful way. Even if only in 10 days – the atmosphere of the Amazon grew on me – taking home a feeling of a magnet pulling me to go back…
® Theo Erbenius
Maybe the best way to describe these 10 days is like a wake up call. For different reasons lately my pictures had been lacking heart and soul and they were being created more from my mind. I found them cold, stiff and without magic. Ernesto, who is such a generous person and full of heart, proved to be the perfect antidote. Just to see him in action is inspiring. And to realize how aware he is of the surrounding photographic opportunities even in the middle of a conversation is impressive. When he sees a picture he just goes for it and it is a beautiful and inspiring sight. He advised us to stop pressing the shutter all the time and only take pictures of what moves our souls. So important but so easy to forget. And then we have the part of justifying the full frame… not easy that one either. During these 10 lovely days, it feels like I have gotten a feeling of what it takes to take a damn good picture. And believe me, it’s not easy at all. But with practice comes rewards and after this 10 magic days I feel so inspired to continue this photographic journey towards an unknown future. Thanks a lot to both Ernesto, my fellow students and the so incredibly generous people in Iquitos who all together made this wonderful experience possible.”
® Willard Pate
Before meeting the rest of the group at the airport in Lima for our flight to Iquitos, Linda Kay and I took a trip to Cuzco and the environs of the autumn Peru — the workshop that I unabashedly claim as my favorite. I love returning to that lovely land of llamas and sheep and high peaks of the Andes.
The Iquitos workshop itself was especially memorable because it was my twentieth workshop with Ernesto–the best and most generous teacher of photography anywhere–and because it was shared with other long-time students of Ernesto’s– Frank, Sophie and Linda Kay– and with Theo and Liz, two very talented newcomers to the growing “Ernesto family.” My thanks go to Ernesto and to all the other students I have met while taking workshops over a period of almost ten years now.