Happy Easter Gallery

Sicily, Italy 2012

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® Baron Barnett


I have just completed my seventh excursion with Ernesto. We had a very talented and cohesive group. Four of us had traveled together on previous journeys. I find Sicily to be very difficult because it challenges your senses to capture a meaningful image. But the tradition and energy of the processions make for a beautiful experience. The spiritual forces merge around every corner!  The edit sessions once again become a collective creative aggregation. They enable us to interact in a very productive way and enjoy the images produced by the group. The creativity of the group was both humbling and stimulating! Sharing perspectives with the group review of Ernesto’s panoramic images of Cuba were a highlight. The blessing of a place, the creative juices of the group, the joy of the group interactions, the fabulous food and magnificent weather made for another memorable journey with Bazan!!!!  Blessed the storm that hit after the procession…..now to look forward to the next journey with Ernesto……don’t miss it!!!!!! Just look out for the Dark Side with Umit and Juan… Baron Barnett




® David Myers


There is no need to hold back on the punch line concerning my experience with Ernesto and 11 other photographers – it was the beginning of an amazing journey of feeling and seeing. I have participated in several other photo workshops in the past 12 years and by far, this workshop moved me the farthest as a photographer. 
Between the amazing opportunities in Sicily and Ernesto’s passion for both the people and for the art, you have no choice but to improve and to open your eyes to a new way of seeing. The workshop experience is intense, the bar is set high, you will have days where it feels like failure is your best friend, and there will be Ernesto helping you make it through the workshop pushing and pulling you along, helping you attain what seemed like the impossible. 
I have left 12 new friends and head home with new images I am proud of.  Thank you, Ernesto! David Myers




® Elsie Hull


Easter in Sicily is the second workshop I have taken with Ernesto. The first one was ten years ago in Cuba. Both have been intoxicating experiences! The Sicilian rituals surrounding Easter were a challenge to photograph but with Ernesto’s and the other workshop participants’ insightful critiques progress was made. The images and music of the 24-hour procession in Trapani will remain with me forever.
Thank you, Ernesto, for a truly enlightening experience. I hope to apply the things I learned to my future photographs so they become something other than descriptive details. And, I hope to participate in another workshop soon.
All the best to group Buona Pasqua. I enjoyed meeting and working with all of you. Elsie Hull




® Frank Baudino


When I began my twelfth workshop with Ernesto I did so with fond but distant memories of my last visit to Sicily ten years ago. My most powerful memories were those of the rhythmic music, the swaying of the huge altars, and the half laughing-half crying porters back at Purgatorio church at the conclusion of the Saturday procession.
Our workshop this Easter, Buona Pasqua, again left an indelible impression on my mind and my soul. My own American culture simply has nothing to compare with this incredible, 400-year-old spectacle. The processions of Easter Week involve both men and women, both children and adults. The Misteri processions and acting out of Christ’s passion bring an entire culture together physically, visually, and musically in a very powerful and beautiful way.
Photographically, we were all privileged to see in each others’ work our deep responses to the Misteri and people of Sicily. Ernesto was, as always, a master editor and teacher and I personally feel fortunate to visit with him every year or so to talk about art and life.
Here’s to the next workshop: “A Posto!” Frank Baudino




® Giancarlo Rupolo


I had personally met Ernesto in Benevento two years ago, but I had never participated in one of his workshops.
He’s like a steamroller because he gets you involved emotionally and you cannot afford to get distracted not even for a moment.
The experience that I lived in these few past days has been fantastic although tiring because I had to confront myself with the daily morning editing sessions in which my photographic and cultural basis were put into question by this very heterogeneous group of students and thanks to that it has contributed greatly to widen and deepen my photographic knowledge.
To be in constant contact with the profound and rooted religious sentiments of Sicilian culture gave me moments of profound emotions sometimes difficult to refrain. Of this workshop I’ll keep memories difficult to forget.
Carlo as a cook has been exceptional with his pasta with sausages.
Ciao to all. Giancarlo Rupolo




® Ilaria Barisi


I thought that this time the magic would not have repeated itself….but I was wrong!
Ernesto is always capable of extracting the best photographic spirit and he’s very keen in gradually raising the bar for each one of us to help you grow and to to let you overcome obstacles and limits… although the jump would take place in a rambling way sometimes!
It has also been very nice to reencounter some of the friends met a year ago at the workshop and to feel like just a day had passed.
Lastly a personal emotion: the procession, besides being an always fascinating spectacle, renews in me a sense of belonging to the community
and to the beautiful city of Trapani, which is one of the few cities that makes me feel at home…. till the next time! Ilaria Barisi




® Karen Keating


This was one of the most challenging and inspiring workshops, which I have taken since graduate school.
It was also one of the most supportive and professional weeks I have spent. The celebration of Easter Week was emotionally profound and capturing these emotions was incredibly difficult. Constant “seeing” was required and then quick decisions became the difference between a descriptive image and a meaningful photograph. Observing daily the range of emotions expressed by the Sicilians was remarkable.
For me the emotional exhaustion of the experience came a week later as I picked up the pieces of my life at home. Thank you, Ernesto, for this superb experience and for comfortably laying out this visual challenge. Karen Keating 




® Luisa Vazquez


Ernesto knows how to create a sense of community among all the students.
We were from very different origins – Turkish, Rumenian, Spanish, American, Italian and Dutch- but we melted well from the very beginning.
A very intense week of work, and I have learned very important things. Maybe the most important has been to “go beyond”, that is to say, to look beyond what you see. Usually one can do good compositions and nice lighting, but Ernesto has taught me not to be descriptive. Another important thing I’ve learned is to be aware of the background you are framing.
A good photo can be ruined by an undesirable detail, or an uninteresting expression of someone behind the forefront.

Luisa Vasquez




® Renze Rispens


A week of firsts: Sicily, Easter Processions and Ernesto’s workshop.
I thought I’d come prepared, but Sicily managed to pick me up and sweep me off my feet. I was told beforehand that this workshop would transform my approach to photography and honestly I think it has. Not only that, but I was introduced to a group of great people who I’m sure I’ll see again in my lifetime.
For Ernesto’s teaching and allowing us all to be part of the editing of his new book, and the experiences and friends of Sicily,
I am grateful.
Thanks for a wonderful time. Renze Rispens 




® Sorin Frasina


Ten intense and unique days – that’s the way I would describe the Easter workshop.
The Holy Week spent in Sicily revealed us that near the feverish Italian modern life exists a parallel reality, a world where people can still feel things in the purest and innocent form. In Buseto Palizzolo, Marsala and Trapani we found men and women linked to the same passion. They were either playing scriptural scenes or staying petrified like living statues under the burning sun for an entire afternoon or carrying heavy altars for more than 24 hours. Voluntary heroes for the communities they belong to… I never thought that their tired tears of joy would impress me so much.
Last October Ernesto told me: “You should try to come to Sicily for Easter one of these years”. Now, I’m very happy that I made it in such a short time. It was a pleasure to meet old friends (Frank, Baron, Umit and Juan) and new friends (so many this time) from all over the world and to share with them all these magic moments.
Thank you Maestro, thank you my friends! Sorin Frasina




® Tony Melvin


Reconnecting to my roots – the passion of the people.
The street, the light, the moment.
To return to a place as often as possible can be a psychological game if we let it. Can I do it again – can I forget what I found the last time and be open to new offerings?
To find and not search – this always needs to be the way. Not to force but to accept what is offered – and sometimes to put the camera down and observe and appreciate what it is that is happening in front of us.
The street, the light, the moment – what is that moment? Tony Melvin




® Umit Okan


My second time in Sicily was even harder compared to the first time, as it is very difficult not to repeat myself and to be able to take interesting pictures that go beyond…I love Sicily and Sicilians a lot and every time that I come here, I feel like I am at home…
Besides the workshop itself, it was great to be with old friends. Also, I should admit that Sicilian cannoli have always been a big motive to come back to Sicily.
I am grateful to Ernesto for his support. Without him, I could not be able to progress so fast. I also thank to my fellow students. It was a big pleasure to be with such good photographers….
What is next ?? Bahia is calling me….I feel it!!  Umit Okan


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