It Doesn´t Add Up Gallery
Sicily, Italy 2013
® Andree Thorpe
I believe some people come into your life with a specific purpose. People come and go. Some walk with you for a while, some for a lifetime. Some people come into your life when you are ready to learn something about yourself, about your life. Sometimes you are exposed to toxic energy. There is a reason for that. Right then, you have a choice and the choice is only yours. What I learn from that is that it comes with the beginning of something beautiful. Is not always obvious when you can’t even see.
You have this beautiful soul and energy. Your soul is comforting. A nurturing and loving energy, true passion, true to your dream. You crossed my path at a time when I have been asking myself so many questions about my artistic vision, times of self doubt about my abilities. I am still trying to figure things out for myself but I am in a better place because of you.
As for my photography, well, I believe it will take time for it to evolve. I know that I will now shoot at a different level because of your workshop.
I had the chance to get to know you and I truly believe you are a true master; an “angel of photography” as one would say. I spent an amazing 10 days with some amazing people, who like me, share a passion for photography. I met genuine, generous people who will remain my friends.
Thank you Ernesto for this wonderful experience.
Photographic Journey by Andree Thorpe
® Anja Bruehling
Fantastic workshop. Learned a tremendous amount from fellow students and maestro Ernesto.
® Brindusa Fidanza
I was aghast at the differences in the group members’ photography in 10 days time. I won’t say mine is better, but it is different. Instead of imposing a style on a subject, I found myself wading into the core of a moment and letting what I felt be recorded in the camera. That deeply personal mentality pervades the workshop and it is a communal effort wherein criticism by all is direct but always constructive. Ernesto is a wise and caring man, he makes a mean pasta and I think of him as a friend. Take a workshop with him; you’ll be a more thoughtful photographer and a richer human being.
It’s not just that he is one of the best photographers in the world; not just that he is genuine, kind and empathetic; not just that he works really hard and gets excited by good images; not just that he is a phenomenal pasta chef and dramatically in love with Cuba – it’s all of that and so much more. Ernesto Bazan is larger than life. His workshop in Sicily is an absolute must – for the photography learning, the spiritual journey and the human sharing. I miss dearly all the friends I met there and I very much look forward to seeing Ernesto and everyone again, hopefully soon.
® Chris Chadbourne
My friend, Stella Johnson, a wonderful person and photographer told me that if I ever took another workshop, it had to be with Ernesto Bazan. Together we’d look at his images, often marvel, and learn. More importantly she said that he was the person. Indeed, looking at the student references and the many returning students I became concerned by the almost cult-like status of his “followers”. And then I went to Sicily. I went because I wanted to push myself under the guidance of a mentor whose work I respected and I wanted somebody who was a good teacher and who did both with passion. You will not find a more passionate man or better mentor. Period.
® Colin Steel
An Ernesto Bazan’s workshop is the dedicated photographers ideal situation to meet like-minded people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities and work with one of the true masters of photography. Ernesto immerses himself completely in the learning process while managing to still create a warm, open and friendly environment within which to broaden and deepen your photographic knowledge and skill. Not every great photographer can communicate, teach or pass on their experience but Ernesto has developed and refined an approach that brings the best out of photographers of all skill levels and his workshop environment delivers obvious results for everyone who attends with the added bonus of meeting wonderful people to share the journey with.
® David Myers
This was my second workshop in Sicily and I entered wondering what new challenges would be put in front of me. After 10 days it was clear that my challenges were (1) achieving the high standards set by Ernesto and (2) opening my eyes and mind to recognize and, more importantly, feel the content that was in front of me. The second trip to Sicily gave me the opportunity to step back from the beauty of the processions and the celebration and to better see and feel the humanity and belief that this week captures. I look at my images and I see growth, a kind of growth that I believe can only come from going back to the same place many times.
The experience was intensive. However, the support and encouragement given by Ernesto and the workshop participants made it a memorable and rewarding experience. Will I come back? Yes!
® Hieke Bartels
® Monica Jimenez
Sicily was my first workshop with Ernesto…ten magic days…a real treat for all senses!
Sicily’s landscapes, odors and flavors, the intensity of emotions and the visual richness of the Holy Week rituals on this island and the intimate group of people that participated in this adventure, will stay with me for a long time.
Ernesto is a sensible, cheerful, simple man: a born maestro! Each day he tried hard, unweary in promoting images of high quality. He has seen everything in Sicily and challenges his students to penetrate through the layers of life in search for the essence of the place and his people. For me, a true beginner, the challenge was great and, in different occasions, I had to fight against an overwhelming sense of frustration! But in the end, with his help, I understood that the process must be as gratifying as the final result. You need to enjoy each day as you are trying hard! And for sure I managed to accomplish that!
Thank to all of you to make of this photo workshop an unforgettable experience! To be able to share the images taken by everybody and to enrich ourselves with the editing sessions led by Ernesto was a very important part of the workshop all huddled together around our editing table made us get to know one another better… but share personal stories, taking pictures all together avoiding getting into one another’s images and finding familiar faces in the multitude of the streets in Trapani and Marsala to share a cup of wine with, recharge our batteries and push one another to work harder was all invaluable! Anja, Colin, Brindusa, friends of previous adventures… what a pleasure to see you guys again!
Thank you Ernesto for your human warmth, for your meticulous and sensitive editing skills, for creating in this villa by the sea a homey and inspiring feeling and to reveal to me something even much deeper, transforming and lasting… that photography such as life… is a journey and not a destination!.
® Rafael Ruiz
DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! If you are reading the intimate commentaries by the students on the web is because something in you is connecting to these photos and Ernesto’s marvelous energy. Your soul knows how happy and lucky she will feel if you will take the workshop, but your mind, as always, will start creating obstacles: I don’t have enough money, I don’t have much time, it’s too far away, etcetera. This will be the beginning of the end of your dream. Don’t let it happen! Forget your automatic mind and just COME.
During these days I’ve learnt a lot of photography and the workshop has managed to teach me how to let my mind and my soul come to agree that I can be a photographer. Once these two things come to terms the human being becomes unstoppable and he connects to a superior being that guides him in his path.
It took me five months to decide whether I should attend Ernesto’s workshop or not, and I can now assure all of you that taking his workshop has been one of the best thing I’ve done in my life.
You will discover an incredible island, truly amazing food, loving people, you will get excited wandering around Trapani’s magic streets at night. Over there you will get to know lots of unforgettable people that will warm up your heart with their sweetness. Sicilians never spare anything for themselves: they love to share. Believe me, it’s like leaving home for 30 to 40 days. It’s very intense!
Ernesto: I miss you, I miss taking pictures and seeing you suddenly appearing in the back of my framing. I miss putting down the camera and watch as you slide in and out while you are taking your pictures with calm and with care. This has been one of the things that have made me the happiest in my life (I’m not joking!).
I miss running into each other when the two of us were photographing together the same scene on the streets of Trapani; I miss watching you eating with your hands and with a cloth on top of your head in the kitchen. I miss many things. I already have such a strong desire to experience another adventure with you. I miss you.
I feel that Ernesto always accept his students’ gratitude, but he doesn’t feel worth of it. I believe that he sees himself as an intermediary for something bigger than him, this indescribable strength that fills with life and hope each one of his days. He’s also thankful for having the luck to feel this energy and to live with it. And by having said that I thank you and bless the universe for having let my path cross with yours.
I feel an overwhelming joy knowing that you get two huge gifts from the universe: your family and your faith.
Andree: Andree has fooled all of us! A woman her age cannot have the skin, the energy and the desire of living life that she has got! In reality she’s only 38! You transmitted your energy to the whole group. Thank you!
Alex: How sweet to have had you in the workshop. How such a small little thing can change the environment around you so much! You are the first baby that makes me feel like becoming a father.
Alex you also definitely chose the perfect parents!
Anja: I spoke very little with you, but we spoke with our looks and our gestures everyday. We didn’t delve much in conversations but for me you were a very pleasant company. I enjoyed having you close.
Brindusa: You are the incarnation of merriment. Always careful, always smiling. Your sensibility is majestic. I like your intelligence and your voice. You are the treasure’s coffer with so many special secrets.
Chris: Chris is the voice, the voice. You needed to listen to his first word to realize that everybody was listening to this wise and deep voice. To me it was very relaxing. I could spend my whole life listening to you. Your voice calmed me down although many times I couldn’t figure out exactly what you were saying. I also love your passion for photography. You were always among the last one to leave taking advantage of each opportunity. You are incredible!
Colin: I will never forget the beautiful words that you dedicated to me and your reaction when you saw my Bolivian circus images. Colin and I connected at a very deep level: his strong Scottish energy and my Spanish one are the same. Your constant instinct of getting better is a good example for me. I thank the universe that a man so big and strong would let quite often out the sensitive and restless child within you. We need to make this trip together.
David: I had no idea of impressive you are. I cherished the days in which Ernesto chose selected several images and we all applauded. I was looking at you and was watching how you were sighing and how your eyes would get filled with tears. Your emotions and your satisfaction along with your well-accomplished images have been inspiring for me.
Felicia: Felicia are the eyes, the shining eyes full of the life of the workshop. I liked them since the first moment that I saw them. They transmitted all the energy with which you live. I like your voice and how you move your hands when you speak. You are very beautiful. It was a great present having had you in the workshop and I’m quite happy that you will accompany Chris in this journey that life is all about.
Giorgio: What a great surprise to get to know you. Every night talking about photography, music, and travels. We are very similar my brother, very, very similar! Your company made that the workshop was better. What a great surprise your friendship. We shall see each other soon! You already know that.
Heike: I believe that you connected well with me. You treated me kindly every day and we shared many laughter. If you still need help with Photoshop write to me. I’d like to help you.
Lorraine: Lorraine is elegance; Lorraine is intelligence; Lorraine is a tremendous communicator. You are an amazing woman and I’ll never forget your chocolate pie. Sacha you definitely chose the right woman!
Monica: Ooh Monica! So beautiful and elegant that made all Italians looking at her go crazy. If I would only have had a few extra years, I’d try to marry you! Ah ah. A true gift having you in the workshop for having been able to talk with you in Spanish, to learn about your inquietudes and to share so much with you. What an example of a courageous and independent woman. I want you to know that you were the one that most impressed me with your picture. Only a year taking pictures…truly incredible!
Sacha: I believe that never someone has had such an interest in my work. You are an amazing person, you are aware of all the good things that you have in your life and everyday you try to improve the life of the people that come your way. The world needs people like you. I love the good attitude you have and I try to imagine what you must be like as a businessman because we just got to know one of the most caring and sweet person in my life. Lorraine, you definitely chose the right husband.
Sorin: I believe that we will meet each other again. We spent some nice moments editing images, going around the streets. I connected with you form the very start. Your love for photography and your search for perfection are inspiring.
® Sacha Gervrey
I joined the workshop based on a recommendation … and I was overwhelmed…
I found an amazing teacher and character – who gave so much and helped me to learn to use my inner eye. I will join Ernesto again in future, to continue to mature under his teaching.
Thank you Ernesto and to the fantastic group I was fortuned to be with, which felt like a family to me.
® Sorin Frasina
My fifth workshop with Ernesto was planned to be in Iquitos but an unfortunate (or maybe fortunate) series of events made me unable to do the trip to Iquitos in May. Luckily, I had the time to book a “last minute” spot for the Easter workshop. Being for the second time in Sicily during Easter was a new challenge for me: I was trying not to repeat myself; trying to shot again some of the scenes that I wasn’t able to capture last year. Because of a recent knee accident I had in Costarica, I was joining the “photographers with knee pain club “. It was maybe hard… but it was such a sweet hardness being with such a great group. I can’t forget all the hugs we gave one another with the other members of the group. I’ll also remember Ernesto’s hugs when he saw some of my photos that he loved. Well, as a second name I would call this group “ The Big Hugs Group “. Thank you Ernesto – Thank you to all my new friends for these wonderful days!