Na Verdade Gallery

Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2013

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® Colin Steel


It is one week now since I returned from the workshop with Ernesto in Bahia and I still can’t fully comprehend the meaning of all of the incredible encounters we had. I can’t find a beginning or end in my mind from which to try to orientate. We seemed to go from one incredibly deep and moving moment to the next in a steady stream of fantastically interesting photographic opportunities, but far more importantly, lessons in humanity that deepen your understanding of yourself and your place in life.

Let me try to start though by paying tribute to my companions on the trip: Raphael, Leo and the lovely Tamara. You couldn’t wish for a nicer, more humane and enthusiastic group of people to share an experience like this with. It is clear to me that these talented young people have a fantastic life ahead of them and it was a real pleasure to work with and learn from them. Then to the Maestro himself.  I was truly humbled to view the photos from his upcoming book, the conclusion to the Cuba trilogy. The depth, quality and originality of the work was truly inspirational. This was a very special moment for me and one that I will long treasure. What makes these experiences with Ernesto so vital is that he holds nothing back, everything he knows and understands is shared in a completely open and frank manner so that you, as a student, can benefit from that rich knowledge.
As I said, I am still trying to understand and make sense of the events that I experienced and perhaps I never will. My only reference point is that the work I produced under Ernesto’s guidance, while not to everyone’s taste, is as close as I have come yet to being able to express myself with a camera and that is the highest tribute that I can pay Ernesto at this point. I very much look forward to continuing the journey….

Colin Steel




® Leonardo Carrato


Bahia – A Recôncavo with Ernesto
It was all based in trust. As the days went by the feelings were coming, one by one. Many of them, still unknown, have taken me to an even greater immersion into myself. I leave this experience with another eye: more photographic, more profound and, above all, more human. A lot of stories, talks, beers, rituals, landscapes, angels and blessings that, certainly, will remain in me for all eternity.
Here it is a little bit of what i’ve lived and seen, but for sure it’s not a lot but, bit by bit, the feelings will be discovered and the growth will be inevitable.
I hope that others like me will appreciate what I’ve experienced and will throw themselves , like I did, to opportunities like this with Ernesto .
Thanks Ernesto to take me beyond…. also thanks Raphael, Tammy and Colin my friends in this incredible journey.

Leo Carrato




® Raphael Alves


Life bestows upon us gifts daily, but we must be prepared to see them.
I always had admiration for the work of Ernesto Bazan. I knew his photos from Cuba and followed his footsteps since my adolescence when I decided to become a photographer. In 2012, life has united our paths. In his visit to Manaus, the city in which I reside, I had the pleasure of meeting and spending sometime with him, which made me admire also the human being behind that work full of meaning and significance, and especially of emotions. A simple person with a deep understanding not just of photography – art that  he masterfully handles – but of life as well. The admiration has only increased. In those few days I shared with him, I heard him saying: “If it is meant for us to meet again, we will meet.” Somehow, I knew then that I would meet him again.
So, I tried hard to make it happen and  I did not save efforts to attend his workshop in Salvador de Bahia.
I have to admit: I already knew that being with Ernesto during these days would teach me and help me grow as a photographer. But I did not know, however, that my expectations would be exceeded. That’s because in addition to spending more time with the wonderful human being – Ernesto Bazan –  I still had the opportunity to have a rich cultural exchange with my new friends also participants of the workshop: Colin Steel, Leonardo Carrato and Tamara Merino. All of them special human beings. I have no words to describe what we lived there. I have pictures. And I have, above all, the inner certainty that we have been blessed during the workshop, and that none of us are the same people now. We are certainly better human beings!
A warm hug to everyone from this extraordinary group Na Verdade … and my eternal gratitude! Peace, health, wisdom and happiness for all of you!

Raphael Alves




® Tamara Merino


Knowing that I was going to take my photographic workshop with Ernesto, I need to say tha I was open, I felt sure of myself and knew that it was going to be a marvelous experience thanks to the fact that I had seen many images and comments by his students f previous workshops.
But this workshop exceed my expectations 100%: it was an unforgettable experience.
We were constantly blessed with magical situations and circumstances and people with a pure soul.
Beyond the photographic experience it has been a human experience. Ernesto is the one that does everything possible, and guided by his instinct it takes you to incredible places, where special and unrepeatable moments come to life.
I’m particularly thankful and happy for each person that crossed our path and opened their door and heart with a smile and without expecting anything in return.
I also had a connection with photography to an exceptional level, and besides having overcome my own photographic abilities, I had the opportunity to observe Ernesto’s work, and to learn from him each morning during the editing sessions, and to develop a more critical eye and to learn from the constructive criticism bot by Ernesto and the other students in the group.
Besides learning from the maestro, you also learn from the other students.
I’m endlessly thankful to my three comrades Raphael Alves, Colin Steel and Leonardo Carrato whom weren’t just of great support and true friends but also my best critics.
Thank you for showing me life from a different angle, sometimes from a more simple point of view, some other time from a more audacious one.
I’m very grateful to Ernesto for his patience, his critiques, for his happens each day and to show us to live the here and now. You are a great maestro and I can’t wait to return to another workshop!

Tammy Merino


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