BazanPhotos
Photography by Ernesto Bazan
  english | español | italiano
Group Olè

My first private workshop couldn’t have been a better experience. I had the pleasure of having two of my best students (Barbara and Landon, mother and son) finally taking a workshop together and bringing two photographers’ friends along. It felt like a family gathering from the very start.

I have fond memories of the beautiful week spent in the always-amazing Cuban countryside. After each day of intense shooting we would gather to review Sylvia and Nancy’s digital images.

It was moving to see how my advises were put into practice daily. Foreign concepts such as incorporating secondary elements, combining several layers of reality in one image, capturing the essence of a moment were all becoming apparent in their images. As always, I shared my farmers’ friends, their lives, mine with the same passion. We had an unforgettable time and it was hard to leave.

Back in Havana during our long editing sessions, we spoke about the importance of putting visual filters on when visiting a foreign country to avoid taking trite and boring pictures. In the midst of editing Barbara’s many rolls (over 80), I had only selected one or two photographs from her entire take in the countryside. She was getting depressed. I encouraged her to go out again on the magic streets of beautiful Havana and put the lesson into practice. She did great. Landon continued to expand on his personal work here (it was his second workshop in Cuba in less than a year). Nancy and Sylvia were able to accept the street photography’s challenge creating very sensitive and personal color images.

Barbara and I are already talking about dates for next year’s Cuban workshop.

Ernesto Bazan




Olè

© Nancy Carbonaro






Olè

© Nancy Carbonaro






Olè

© Nancy Carbonaro






Olè

© Nancy Carbonaro





Olè

© Nancy Carbonaro





Olè

© Nancy Carbonaro

Studying photography in Cuba with Ernesto was an experience I will always remember. I had no idea what to expect out of Cuba, or, out of Ernesto. All I knew was that I had a desire to change my way of seeing and to learn as much as I could from the teachings of Ernesto. He taught me the distinctions of "too aware", secondary elements and the decisive moment. His passion for photography, teaching and the people of Cuba were always present and contagious.

Cuba taught me that the human spirit lives on no matter what the conditions; that generosity and love transcend the barriers of poverty and language, their gentle kindness was a gift to all of us.

When all was said and done, I came away with a body of work that was totally different than what I started with, and, that both Ernesto and the people of Cuba had invaluable lessons from the heart of which to learn from.

Nancy Carbonaro





Olè

© Landon Pallian






Olè

© Landon Pallian






Olè

© Landon Pallian






Olè

© Landon Pallian






Olè

© Landon Pallian






Olè

© Landon Pallian

What a place I hold in my heart for this land, where the people are bold and have smiles you can find no other place. If you can set aside the politics and look into their eyes you will find the strength of love and hope. Here you can watch children without shoes and shirts awake with a glow in their souls, as they set out for a new daily adventure. There is magic here. The photographer's eye can never rest for the island is alive with mystery, beauty and a people who will find a way into your soul leaving you with no choice but to come back again and again.

Landon Pallian




Olè

© Barbara Peacock






Olè

© Barbara Peacock






Olè

© Barabara Peacock






Olè

© Barbara Peacock





Olè

© Barbara Peacock





Olè

© Barbara Peacock

Dreams came true for me when I was finally able to take a workshop in Cuba not only with Ernesto but with my son Landon as well. We organized a small group of four, which was perfect. We were all taken by the beauty of the land but even more so by its generous people and the richness of their spirit. Each day our souls were moved individually and collectively as a group. Laughs were equaled by challenges as the groups work evolved. Although the group's name 'Ole' was created in jest, the group couldn't have been more serious and dedicated to the quest of making complex imagery. In the end I realize the common thread in the images we created is sincerity and honesty. What a wonderful compliment to our generous host and beloved teacher Ernesto, whose home this is. We thank you for your gifts, which are immeasurable.

Cuba, a land whose beauty is surpassed only by the humble generosity of its people. Where grace replaces time, as time stands still. Where the depth of sincerity and vibrancy of life is found in every gaze, and the dream of hope found in the eyes of the children.

Cuba, a mystical land that changes you forever and beckons you to come back.

Barbara Peacock





Olè

© Sylvia Stagg






Olè

© Sylvia Stagg






Olè

© Sylvia Stagg






Olè

© Sylvia Stagg






Stray Dog

© Sylvia Stagg





Olè

© Sylvia Stagg


I went to Cuba drawn by my spirit of adventure and my love of photographing urban landscapes, people and details of simple things. I was also intrigued by Ernesto's reputation as a teacher-mentor. I had the opportunity to attend a reunion of his past students last year in New York, and they were so enthusiastic about Ernesto's workshop that I knew that I needed to experience it for myself. For me, it turned out to be one of the most fulfilling journeys imaginable, as a person and as a photographer.

When I got back home from Cuba, it felt as if I had had a wonderful dream, and since that time I have relived that dream again and again in my heart. The people there are so open and generous with whatever they have - coffee, malanga, flan. They welcome you to their homes and treat you like an old friend.

But the biggest impact has been on my work as a photographer. It was an incredibly valuable experience to be immersed, for ten days, in photographing, editing, and discussion, in the company of friends, all of us equally dedicated to perfecting our art. The group critiques were consistently stimulating, often challenging, but unfailingly supportive. And guiding us throughout was Ernesto, gently leading us to new insights that, I'm quite certain, will continue to enrich the quality of our photographic vision for the rest of our lives.

Sylvia Stagg



Please note that the copyright of all the images appearing in the students gallery belongs to each individual photographer. No photograph can be reproduced without the author consent.

Copyright © 1973-2013 All photographs and content by Ernesto Bazan. All rights reserved.