A Gringalhada Gallery
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2015
® Alessandra Cerioni
I met Ernesto leafing through his book “ISLA” in a bookstore in Rome.
Without a moment to breath we saw and photographed the festivities for Iemanjà and small fishing villages, quilombos, cockfighting, rodeos and endless land with sugarcane being burned. Families and places that would not have been possible to meet without Ernesto.
Thanks to Ernesto for his willingness and passion and Colin, Jane, Fabia, Bruce, Romain and Oliver ideal travel companions.
The workshop in Salvador and around the Reconcavo Bahiano has been just amazing!
® Bruce Hunt
The pursuit of images can be a testing exercise in self-examination. Having never experienced a workshop environment previously I came to Salvador with uncertain expectations and the usual dose of self-doubt leading the way.
I’ve been a painter all of my working life and certain ways and methods become entrenched over many years of practice: photography is just another means to express one’s self but with any creative medium it’s the urge to go beyond what you perceive as your limits and challenge doubt that moves us forward. This workshop facilitated just that. It has proved an important catalyst for my image making development while also nudging me out of views or habits that only serve to limit.
From my perspective as a novice photographer, Ernesto and his workshop environment has presented me with all manner of unexpected opportunities to truly test myself with Salvador da Bahia, its people and culture the most lively and stimulating stage upon which to work.
I’ve certainly returned to Sao Paulo with far greater confidence and understanding of what can be achieved with camera in hand and a satisfying ability to be really tough on myself in this new medium.
Photography is a passport to great things and this workshop made up of students all with unique ways of expressing themselves has proved a superb environment of learning…thankfully we never stop learning.
Thank you Ernesto, Oliver, Jane, Alessandra, Colin and Romain.
® Colin Steel
I think it’s always incredibly challenging to learn something intangible and personal like expressing yourself through photography, there are no formulas to learn or techniques to master because all of the answers lie within yourself – that is the undoubted frustration of it all for me. Yet every time I take a workshop with Ernesto, I create at least a precious handful of the photos that I am after and I think that is entirely down to his ability to intuitively and instinctively find and attract situations and people that enable a creative environment, and the results follow. Ernesto makes no attempt to shoehorn anyone into a ‘right’ way of photographing and beginner and experienced photographer alike learn from him and each other and it’s always a delight to watch everyone build on their work over the period of the workshop. It goes without saying that the environment of these workshops goes way, way beyond taking photographs and in a strange way I think that it is the conversations and interactions with Ernesto and all of the other students that expand your thinking with the clear benefit of creating new artistic possibility for yourself.
This was my fourth and fifth workshop with Ernesto and they won’t be the last. I see these events as an essential part of my growth as a photographer and I fully intend to build again on the steps forward that I made here in wonderful, mystical Bahia.
® Jane Kwok
Just want to say thank you… my 10-day workshop in Salvador and Cachoeira was a challenging and rewarding experience. There were days of intense madness to days of calmness with visits to the villagers. From the daily critique of Ernesto and viewing photos from other students, I have learnt that taking a good photo is capturing the magic moment, eliminating distracting elements in the surroundings. It’s all about seeing and feeling.
I’m most grateful to Ernesto that he has taught me to move out of my comfort zone to get close to my subjects, which in the past I would only photograph them from a safe distance with a zoom lens. On our last day of Yemanjà celebration in Cachoeira, I actually did join and jump on to the very old sailing boat and saw devotees placing their offerings to the river. I saw the beginning and the end of the whole Yemanjà’s ceremony.
Thank you Ernesto and to all my fellow students in the group.
® Oliver Stegmann
After having attended two exciting workshops in Mexico for the Day of the Dead celebrations and the missed opportunity to make it to Oaxaca last year, I decided that Bahia is the place to go now.
I did not know what exactly to expect except that I knew in advance that I can fully rely on Ernesto to turn each workshop into an unforgettable experience. And it turned out that way: we attended the magical celebrations for the goddess of the sea Iemanjà in Salvador; we joined a group of people in a bus driving to a magical ritual in a private house of a descendant of a sailor from Lisbon; we stepped on a boat with worshippers throwing flowers and other offerings into the water; we photographed people in their private houses in rural areas and many more situations.
I spent a great deal of time with very nice people from all over the world with the same passion for photography and I enjoyed the always precious discussions with the group and Ernesto’s helpful insights about why images work or don’t work.
Again, an unforgettable experience and another step towards finding my own vision. Obrigado Ernesto!.