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Photography by Ernesto Bazan
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Torment and Passion

I will always remember this workshop as probably one of the most challenging and moving experiences of my life. In spite of some unfortunate circumstances, some of my best students showed their support and came to Oaxaca for this new last-minute alternate workshop.

Their determination seemed to be saying: “ We want to study with you, the place is totally irrelevant”.

Oaxaca was, as usual, an interesting place to shoot. Yet the students had to work very hard to capture interesting moments proving, once again, the elusive nature of street photography.

I helped some of the students ( who were professional photographers) to break away from their commercial mold and find new and more creative ways to photograph daily-life. At my urging the students decided to search for images that went beyond the ordinary. Their persistence allowed for some wonderful surprises. Many epiphanies contributed to bringing the group closer together. Tears often run through our cheeks. Big hugs were exchanged and made us stronger. We had incredible, unforgettable editing sessions of their work and mine. I even shared some of my own contact sheets with them.

Some students even pledged to buy some of my photographs as another way to show their solidarity. We felt that the name of the group Torment and Passion could not have been more appropriate. I feel very privileged to have shared with them those ten difficult and yet unforgettable days. I know that I will be able to rely on their friendship for the rest of my life.

Ernesto Bazan

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