With Legs Yemanja Gallery
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2017
® Garry Waller
Bahia was my third workshop with Ernesto, it’s been 4 years since my last and this one was an equally incredible experience. The group of four other students and myself had an amazing time on the trip, exploring, shooting, critiquing, learning and laughing as we went! And as usual Ernesto was relentless in his passion for teaching and pushing his students in all the right creative ways to grow as photographers. The highlight of the trip for me was being in the beautiful colonial town of Cachoeira where we stayed for five nights. From there we ventured out into the surrounding rural areas to shoot each day, exploring many different photographic opportunities and meeting such warm people along the way.
I came away from the workshop renewed and grateful for sharing such an experience and inspired by Ernesto’s continued energy and passion for the craft of capturing compelling images and enjoying the journey! Garry Waller
® Joan Lederer
After checking my bank account and making sure boyfriend was willing to care for the home front for two weeks, I signed up for Ernesto Bazan’s workshop in Bahia. I had been in a five-day workshop in New York with Ernesto about six months earlier. My signing up was with excitement and trepidation. I knew that Ernesto put an incredible amount of energy in looking at student’s works and that his feedback was always a growing experience for me.
The workshop was much more than I could have expected. Over the course of ten years or so, Ernesto had really involved himself with the people and places of Bahia. He generously shared his relationships with amazingly brave, openhearted people, who often had very little, but their warm hearts. We visited an abandoned building in Salvador that housed numerous families who welcomed us and showed us around and allowed us to see what poverty looks like in Salvador. We visited an 85-year-old tobacco farmer who rolled cigars for us (a dying art). We observed religious festivals that combined Christianity with older African religions. We shared food and experiences with people of Bahia and WE TOOK PICTURES. The graciousness and willingness to allow us to photograph them was a reflection of Ernesto’s ability to create relationships as well as a reflection of their generosity and grace.
I came home from the workshop feeling like my photography had improved by orders of magnitude and that I had really traveled to a place unknown to me that I now have begun to know. I credit and thank Ernesto for allowing me this experience. Joan Lederer
® Milton Zambrana
As I fly over the Brazilian coast, my mind replays so many special moments.
How can I properly describe such intense emotions? What can I say to make others understand just how much one can feel during 10 days? There is no way to put it into words…. This is my second trip with Ernesto and I am forever grateful no just for the opportunity to practice what I love to do but for sharing life with me. Bahia is a truly magical place that I will carry with me…deep within. Memories I will play over and over during quite moments of reflection and photographs that will live with me for a very long time.
I will miss the colors of our days, the potholes on that dirt road to the Quilombo, the new friendships, Yemanja, the birdcages, Rubinho and his caipirinhas, and the bridge in Cachoeira that has the ability to transport one to another world…one worth going back to again and again. Milton Zambrana
® Monica Jimenez
Ernesto’s workshops are always a lesson of humanity to me. The generosity of the people we meet, their warm welcome, the magical situations that develop so suddenly and unexpectedly… and all that this people, who have so little, have to share with us, makes me want to go back in time. To those years when my kids were small, and bring them up in a much simpler way… having them pick the fruit directly from the trees, still covered in the soil that allowed it to grow, wash their hair in the river, eat “real” fresh fish more often and enjoy the simple daily pleasure of rocking in a hammock or strolling through the forest with family and friends.
Being able to experience as well as photograph these candid moments has been an invaluable gift.
Thank you Sissy, Garry, Tamar, Joan and Milton for all that we shared. My Bazan family keeps growing.
Ernesto, thank you once more. I am hoping that your beautiful energy stays with me until we meet again…. Monica Jimenez
® Tamar Granovsky
This trip to Brazil was an eye-opener for me on a few levels. I felt that I was walking on a tightrope in both the country and my work. In regard to the Brazil, I became very conscious that behind the myth of a magical/spiritual Bahia lies a very difficult, and sometimes unbelievably harsh, world of poor, landless, and/or homeless people who suffer yet are determined to surmount obstacles. They struggle daily to survive – and do not always succeed. In regard to my own work I figured out that I must feel comfortable in my own skin and do what is right for me. It is something I know well, but doesn’t always allow myself to remember and act upon it.
Thank you Bazan, Garry, Joan, Monica and Milton for everything. Tamar Granovsky