Oaxaca, Mexico 2014
® Calvin Chen
What makes Ernesto’s Workshops so unique, is not just the exotic destinations but the journey itself. There are always opportunities to take photos you never would have, but it’s more about the photos. It’s about the seeing, the journey, the amazing people you meet along the way. I am always better for it. Calvin Chen
® Carlos Canon
® Giorgio Negro
Oaxaca is always Oaxaca, it could look like I’m coming back here to repeat the same things, to shoot the same images, to live the same situations and to get lost in the same delusions. But… no. Retracing the footsteps of a already-lived journey astonishes me with new, unexpected enchantments. I can discern some far reflections of mysteries that the hurry of the past denied me, new glimpses of a secret and hallucinated world which, hopefully, I’ll sometimes manage to penetrate and, maybe, understand a little.
Discovery is the essence of this journey, looking ahead, following Ernesto’s flair for the unforeseen, for the miracle that suddenly materializes and let itself be, but hardly, photographed.
Thanks to all of you, my companions in this Avventura. Giorgio Negro
® Javier Alonso
Every place develops a particular dialogue with its people and that means new photographic opportunities in terms of rhythms, shapes and contents.
Oaxaca surprised me with a peculiar relationship between life and death passed on with traditions since ancient time. The arc of time shown in homemade altars, the comparsas, the huehuentones, the generosity of the people with us in their homage to their dear ones and their gentle serenity during the night in the cemeteries are memories that will last forever. For sure they are only achievable with a camera being as a passport to be in the center of these experiences. Carnalito Juan, your country is great!
This one was my second workshop with Ernesto, after attending this year Easter in Sicily workshop. I found again Ernesto’s encouragement and friendship with his demanding effort, discipline and rigor of analysis along the entire workshop. I tried again my best, but this time with a different feeling, maybe being more conscious of the challenge. The group dynamics, as it was in Sicily, was very helpful and enriching: excellent photographers and best people very honest in their photographic analyses and reviews. And above all, it was a priceless time of coexistence wit eggs Mexican style and seventy-seven-grade mescal included. It wouldn’t be fair not to add the priceless advice by Giorgio, the walking with Carlos and the almost biblical generosity of Umit. So, thank you to the entire group for sharing your time and your photographic trajectory with me. Passion, patience and persistence! Javier Francisco Alonso
® Jodi Champagne
® Lucia Cattaneo
This was my first workshop with Ernesto and also my first experience in Mexico. I was completely fascinated by the peoples of Oaxaca and the Sierra. Following the authentic celebrations of the festival of the Day of the dead was magical and poignant, accompanying the groups from home to home, dancing with them, getting to know the different traditions from village to village, sharing their food and mescal … many, many unforgettable moments.
I learned a lot from Ernesto and all my fellow companions of this adventure! I return from this workshop enriched both personally and photographically , with a great desire to continue photographing and hoping to repeat this wonderful experience. Lucia Cattaneo
® Paul M. Murray
® Tom Foster
This was my third workshop with Ernesto. Like those previous workshops, this course was more than just an opportunity to make great photos—it was an adventure unto itself. It was an opportunity to experience a culture unlike any I had otherwise experienced. In Oaxaca, I sensed a culture less concerned with material gain, with more of a spiritual connection and more concerned to celebrate with, loved ones, both living and dead. Like the two workshops before, this was full of wonderful, magical surprises. Once again I found myself inside of a world full of joy, tears, celebration, spirituality and love. How strange and beautiful to see up-close a culture that takes the time to celebrate, honor and communicate with friends and family, both living and dead. Following the comparsas from one home to another was a joy—one full of music, dance, beer and liquor.
Once again, Ernesto’s guidance and critique was the key to capturing those few special images that would have otherwise escaped my notice. His honest, unflinching evaluations forced me to dig deep and see what lays beyond the surface of life. Tom Foster
® Umit Okan
It was a very good feeling being in Oaxaca once again. As always, I enjoyed my time in Mexico very much. I had missed my kankas…
Beyond photography, catching up with friends, drinking silvestre mescal, dancing half-drunk with the comparsas were unforgettable memories…
I have to thank Ernesto for his guidance, friendship and making this beautiful trip happen. Umit Okan