Los Locos And One Photoshop Molester
Every year, in the summer, I teach an intense 5-day workshop at ICP. It's a good occasion to share my teaching with students from all over the world who have this passion for photography.
This year I have been particularly lucky because the students have been very receptive, sensitive and generous, very generous with their images, words and support of their teacher.
Considering that we only had five days to decide what topic each student wanted to explore, to take pictures and edit the work in a coherent and creative way, together we made wonders.
To see how much they were able to assimilate in such a short period of time brought often a smile to my face.
I greatly enjoyed the last and final edit where we dissected and analyzed all their images trying to eliminate the weak ones while some of us were sipping some good wine brought so kindly by Candice was one of the fondest memories of the entire week. It was wise that she only brought two bottles....
After we said goodbye I sent an e-mail to all of them and to my wonderful assistant Gabriele to thank them. I'd never imagined that I'd receive such a wealth of responses that deeply moved me and left me crying.
Below a few of them. As I like to say, my students' comments are the greatest gift after the miracle of taking meaningful photographs.
Thank you again for being an inspiring, honest, and generous teacher - I miss the class already. I don't want to lose the momentum from the class and your teaching! It is harder to remain disciplined without the structure of the class and without the inspiration that comes from your teaching and encouragement. I'm trying to look more at other people's work (Elliott Erwitt, Josef Koudelka, Rineke Dijkstra, Joel Sternfeld) to see why their photos work, and how I can improve….
Couldn’t agree more with everybody’s comments. You’ve expressed so well what the week meant to all of us. I’m still trying to come down to earth!
I learned so much from all of your beautiful photos – the choices you made, the moods you created, the great variety of approach. Thank you! And thank you to Gabriele for your patience and good humor in dealing with all that downloading. I know it was a trial.
Saturday I sent my comments about the class to Ernesto. I’ve copied them below.
Ernesto just wanted to say again how much I appreciated the class or as you would say "looooved" it. You set a high bar for us, but from now on I will always hear your voice in my ear asking does it pass the heart beat test. Even if it does then the next question becomes is what I've communicated is just a literal representation of reality or does it go beyond and create a magic of its own.
That, of course, is the real challenge. We live in a visual culture and are constantly bombarded by images. To go beyond the trite and stereotyped is so, so hard. Not to mention the challenge of being really selective and composing without distracting details that still capture that special moment in time. What a tall order! But I'll keep trying, I promise.
Thanks for spurring us on to go beyond the mundane and create something special that really touches the heart. It was a wonderful week and look forward to taking another class with you in the future.
All the best, Janet Susin.
thank you very much for this workshop, and for so much more.
The course has, as you said, a ruminative quality. Different aspects are coming back to me over and over again, and making me think not just about photography, but also in my storytelling as a whole.
Taken together with Alison Morley's effective editing, it is bringing home to me lessons that are invaluable.
Thank you once again, Arati Rao.
What i loved about you is that you are not literal. I never expected this. I never expected a poet.
And I am thrilled to meet one. Your video today was sooo moving. I want to show it to so many people back home. Your books, I will treasure, I know.
Dear Ernesto, Gabriele and fellow students,
It was a year ago that my husband of 42 years had a massive cerebral hemorrhage and although he survived, our lives changed in an instant. The arrival of our grand daughters has been completely marvelous, miraculous and magical….
All of the edited images are "answered prayers" and firmly imprinted in my mind as I find myself wandering and wondering….
Ernesto you are the Master Dreamer. You have an over abundance of gifts and talents and the capacity to share your life story which is filled with so much love, and in the end it is all about love. Thank you for following your dreams at such a young age. Dreams really do come true. The passion you have for your life and work is so very beautiful. You are able to not only instruct but inspire. You have given us this rare opportunity for challenge... that shift can happen and can open the mind and heart to new possibilities. Bravo to you for helping us stretch our imaginations and question what is creative…