Tudo Bem Bahia Gallery
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2012
® Stan Raucher
As I stepped off the plane in Salvador for my first visit to Brazil, many questions ran through my mind. This would be my sixth workshop with Ernesto, so in some respects I had a good idea of what to expect, but I also knew this workshop would be quite different. In addition to Ernesto’s unique approach to teaching, I have always enjoyed the interactions and insights provided by his other students, but this time I was his only student. I would also be spending time photographing in rural areas where I didn’t speak or understand Portuguese. The sparsely populated countryside would be a departure from my more usual milieu of crowded subways and busy city streets.
As the ten days of the workshop unfolded, I realized that this was an extremely special experience. With Ernesto’s help, I expanded my photographic vision to accommodate what was before my eyes, with more intimate compositions and a step or two back to incorporate the larger backdrop. I always try to push my boundaries, and with Ernesto’s encouragement I did just that. I captured some of my favorite photos when I had long past my comfort level.
Another special aspect of my time with Ernesto, was a chance to look at his work. We spent hours working on the sequence for his book of panoramic images from Cuba. We also viewed and discussed many of his photos taken in Bahia over the past few years. It’s always easier to edit and evaluate other people’s work than to critique your own, but by doing so the importance of being equally demanding of your own images becomes apparent.
Needless to say, the days were filled with good food, shared stories and much camaraderie. What a wonderful experience this workshop was. In the only Portuguese I managed to learn, “tudo bom!”