Chasing Llamas Gallery
Cuzco, Peru 2012
® Barbara Malacart
The first and long awaited workshop with Ernesto has been something really unique, ten intense days of photography, humanity and incredible landscapes, and with the luck of having had next to me two workshop’s companions such as Chad and Willard, two beautiful people and amazing photographers.
The first days were hard. Finding yourself in the midst of a religious celebrations among hundred of people, dancing and toasting, trying to go beyond the common, descriptive image wasn’t an easy thing, but thanks to Ernesto’s advise and close attention along with his honesty during the editing, a true master. I began to understand. As the days went by, I began to comprehend that I needed to be much more selective in choosing my subjects and that in order to go beyond the obvious, I had to manage to see and feel the potential evocative force that characterizes a photographic moment.
Unforgettable days spent in search of llamas, with our maestro/explorer we arrived to heights between four and five thousand meters. I felt that I could touch the sky with my finger, not only because we were so high, but also for the happiness that I felt in finding myself before very beautiful landscapes, running after flock of sheep and llamas, meeting children that coming out of the blue would approach us curious and shy but never without giving us a smile.
Among the various magic moments in this trip the most exciting to me was when we met the potato growers. Once we reached the summit, the fatigue of going that very steep mountain was paid off by all the beautiful things that appeared before our very eyes: the earth, its color, the young growers, the horses, each single element present in that world where we were welcomed with gentleness thanks to Ernesto’s ability to come in contact with people in an empathic way.
A thank you from the bottom of my heart also goes to Willard and Chad that with their beautiful photographs and their precious suggestions contributed, along with Ernesto’s, to show me the way to follow.
® Chad Anderson
I thought one more trip to Peru would wrap things up. A few more pictures, situations I had narrowly missed on my previous wanderings in this wonderful country and that should be it. I would be finished with Peru. My fourth trip, third with Ernesto. Time to move on……and yet things are different this trip. As different as the last trip was to the previous. I need more time in this country. How do you make a meaningful presentation of something so intimate but so vast?
I found more successful images this trip than the previous 3 trips combined and still they are inadequate for telling this story.
So I will be back next year, God willing. Thank you Ernesto for your guidance and for unparalleled access into a world so few will see.
® Willard Pate
High in the mountains above Pisac, where Ernesto, Barbara, Chad, and I spent four of our ten nights, it was cold, barren of all but a few people and animals, and oh so beautiful! This was my third workshop in the highlands of Peru and the first part of it was a return to familiar festivals and small villages, with nights spent in Cusco. But those four days of exploration, with Ernesto steering our car up narrow rocky roads in search of photographic moments, were magically new for all of us. Life lived in that terrain is clearly harsh, but, to call up the language of the great Irish poet W.B. Yeats, there is “a terrible beauty” there as well. I think we all felt it, and hopefully have conveyed at least a bit of it in our images. As for me, I’ve already signed up to return in May.