Lost in Bahia Gallery

Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2011

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® Chiara Montalbetti


First of all I think it’s necessary to thank Ernesto from the bottom of my heart: with his simplicity and his extraordinary spontaneity he has taken us around and guided us for ten fantastic days to the discovery of a corner of Brazil. The added value of this experience has been that the area that we explored was not affected by mass tourism. It has been beautiful and fascinating wandering around in Bahia guided by our instinct ( or by the Goddess of photography as Ernesto likes to say) getting lost among fishing villages, tobacco plantations, abandoned churches or cattle fairs!
It has been particularly magic to enter in contact with the locals, people always happy and smiling, always ready to welcome five gringos in search of fleeting moments; and it has been even more touching to discover that these men and women although poor would never hesitate to share the last banana on their table with some perfect strangers.
For a long time I’ve been passionately involved in photography. To have had the opportunity to “live” photography so intensely and for so long has been a new and extraordinary experience. Everyday brought about a new discovery, a new challenge and new goals to meet. I’ve tried to learn to recognize and capture photographic moments, although attempting to do is far from easy. I know that what I’m about to say might sound obvious, but it has been good to perceive that you learn by making mistakes and that each mistake represents an opportunity to grow and mature.
I also want to thank the other fellow students: Romain, Teresa and Willard whom besides having been great traveling companions have helped me grow photographically.
This workshop has left a lot inside of me; each instant, each small or bigger experience will blossom and I’m sure it will bear some fruit.
The writer Italo Calvino wanting to symbolize people’s life used to say that” each city receives its form from the desert to which it opposes itself.”
Looking at the photography’s world and at the Brazilian’s experience, I believe that these words are very appropriate: discovering and rediscovering the world through the lens it seems to combat the aridity that too often pervades life poisoning it. Chiara Montalbetti



® Romain Fournier


This workshop was my second with Ernesto in Brazil. Just as it did in January, Bahia had its magic spell on me once again. It is something hard to describe, but somehow when I think of the moments some of us managed to capture, I feel like if we had just been able to walk the thin line that separates dreams from reality … having said that, I am conscious that behind the myth of a magic Bahia, lies the harsh and difficult life of the landless, the peasants and the homeless people.
Thank you Chiara, Theresa, Willard and Ernesto for the moments we shared. Tchao. Romain Fournier




® Teresa Collura


This has been my first workshop with Ernesto. Once I overcame the initial moment of anxiety, thanks also to the first photographic results, this experience turned itself into something truly indescribable that I’ll surely repeat it in the near future!
Noww, I’m at home and by going over my images that preceded the workshop I realize that my photographic vision has changed, my old images, once so beautiful, have lost their appeal to my eyes and they do not seem as authentic as the ones that I’ve taken here in Salvador.
I thank Ernesto that has taught me how to photograph through my own feelings and emotions by capturing these daily fleeting moments.

Teresa Collura




® Willard Pate


To my great happiness, Ernesto took the four of us participating in this (my seventh in Brazil) workshop out into the tobacco fields, a new experience for me in Brazil, but one that brought back fond memories of Cuba.  Even though I can’t claim any images from those fields, being there was the highlight of my experience during the workshop because I was introduced to a part of Brazil I had not seen before and thus gained deeper insight into the Brazilian culture.
It was good, too, to go back to old places, especially the fishing village. Willard Pate


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