Photography by Ernesto Bazan
The Disturbing Element, Salvador

Just reminiscing on this incredible experience we have had gets me very excited. Salvador de Bahia, one of the most beautiful places in the world, with his generous, warm and hospitable people provided the perfect setting for my first memorable Brazilian workshop. This huge country, a continent within a continent, has opened new windows of opportunities for future workshops and photographic projects. Learning Portuguese has helped me greatly to lead my students and to get more intimate situations to photograph. I will never forget the warm welcome that we had when I went with the group to an ex-chocolate factory to meet some of the families that have been living there under difficult circumstances for many years. Giving back pictures that I had taken the previous year, provided lots of joy for the children and unexpected new photographic opportunities. In the following days also the students brought pictures back as a way of saying thanks. This workshop will always be remembered for the students’ exceptional work and generosity. Being generous was the least we could do with all the people that opened their life to us. The distributions of food in the sem terra camp and at the ex-chocolate factory were experiences that will always stay with us. How to forget the visit to a neighboring island while under torrential rain we all went out to take pictures or the amazing experience in that tiny fishing village carved out of Ulysses’ times?

As a teacher the most rewarding accomplishment was to bring the least experienced students to shoot images that one would only expect from more experienced ones. Look at the photographs of the group Disturbing Element. You will not see in each image any disturbing or distracting elements: just the perfect balance of content and form. You will see what can be accomplished in ten days when the place, the people and the students are right.

Ernesto Bazan

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