Epiphanies & RoadWork Ecuador 2006
As all the previous years Ecuador and its people has welcomed us with open arms. As always, meals and powerful “canelazos” were generously offered to us for the duration of the feast. I advised all my students to do drink in moderation the powerful alcoholic cocktail to better enter into the mood of the festivities. By simply looking at their happy faces and the way the walked I could tell how many shots each one had had.
I was seeing Michel again after the Oaxaca workshop a month ago. I was seeing again the dear Alessandro that had returned to follow the same workshop in order to probe even further his photographic work. I was seeing again faces already known of other students that had already studied with me. The only new face was Simona that a bit intimidated of our intimacy was showing her images. In a few hours she was part of our intimacy, of the union of this group of very special people.
The feat of the Lord of the Waters has been perhaps more extraordinary of the previous years. Or maybe, I should say that thanks to the past experiences I had a better ability to see with more depth the flowing of reality. Although this was the case, the great lesson to be learned from this workshop has been to realize that we always need to display the greatest humility in the difficult task of trying to capture the essence of life no matter how many myriad astounding epiphanies unfold before our very eyes daily. I confess that I silently cried that morning inside the church when I began witnessing one beautiful situation after the other. It was my only way to thank the Creator for this incredible spectacle. We might have gotten super excited about the final photographic outcome forgetting that modesty is so important in picture taking. Once we returned back to Quito to edit over 200 rolls of black and white film and hundreds of digital files, the disappointment and a deep sense of loss were the initial sad reality for most students. Some tears slipped out on some faces. But after many intense hours of editing some special images managed to materialize. They were not just in our minds, they were tangible, they had been made permanent by the mysterious alchemy that street photography is all about. Slowly the students and I managed to appreciate the beautiful photographs that each one had captured. I’m proud of their work but even more so of their commitment and dedication to extract the quintessence of our very existence.