At some point, in nearly every one of these workshops something goes a little sideways. Usually it’s location access but every once in a while we’ll have a problem with either customs, power issues, broken equipment, or even sickness. Regardless, at some point things can seem so unsure. We can get so stuck with the limitation in our way. Sometimes, however, that’s for the best! Because that’s when just the right dash of coincidence blends with a dollop of exploration and things can really get exciting. That’s when one of our bus drivers calls his cousin (very last minute) who just so happens to have a small shop full of beautiful characters doing something super interesting…or when we drive by a scene on the road and its so intriguing we just have to stop.
On the first day Fred’s group stopped by a tent village of makeshift homes located on the median of the road where new immigrants were making jewelry. Today, we had two more of these opportunities. On the side of the road, there was a garbage pile we pass each day on our way to and from of the old town. As we drove by today we noticed that someone was laying out sheets of paper to dry in the sun…naturally we had to stop and explore! What we found was none other than a makeshift paper recycling plant. Garbage would be dumped and sorted by hand and all of the usable scraps be recycled into rough cardboard sheets. It was difficult to shoot but fascinating! Our second happy surprise was a backyard metal workshop where five guys were re-purposing oil drums into cookware. This pace was a goldmine of interesting images! The light was amazing, the action was intense, and the guys and their equipment was covered in oil and varnish.
The other groups headed out across the city to finish up their assignments and by lunchtime our students were finished shooting for the week. At the beginning of the week, Fred told the kids that this week would change their lives and reviewing the images tonight there was no doubt. To think that at the beginning of the week, some of these guys didn’t know how to use a touch pad on the computer, or even a ballpoint click pen. Today we were seeing the progression in some of our edits….it’s simply astounding! And completely on manual mode: manual exposure and manual focus! Even though we look back and notice this EVERY time, it never ceases to amaze. Check out the kids work and be sure to watch their videos in a few days when they get uploaded…I think you’ll agree that these guys have covered some serious ground this week!