Bullfight – Samora Correia (Portugal) 19 August 2013

Aug 20, 2013

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Samora Correia, is a small city in Ribatejo region of Portugal which, like many others has their traditional festivities on August. At that time (2013) I had (what would be considered today) a very primitive camera (12 Megapixels). Low light performance was poor, I had a second hand lens with barrel issues, though I was willing to improve my skills and eventually become professional. The photos below are more heartfelt than technically correct.

I’m late posting these cherished memories of a memorable day. In the morning the bulls were brought from the field, and I had the privilege to be in the truck, though I didn’t shoot, to avoid scaring the bulls and disturbing the operation. These are wild animals and every sound or movement need to be carefully planned.

Once we arrived at the city, later in the morning, they were released to the sound of a rocket.   Along with meek oxen, they were paraded throughout the village, into the bullring, with a good crowd attending. For many, that was already time for partying and drinking. (I guess some were still partying from the night before). As the bulls arrived to the bullring, they were then kept in separate cages, waiting for the main event.

The bullfight happened at night, and ended being a very good show, very emotive, with an awesome performance from Luis Rouxinol, displaying an impeccable technique, commitment and emotion;  some daring “ferros” (spears) from Felipe Gonçalves, sometimes allowing the bull to get too close,  and Sónia Matias. Some bulls were what I would consider “overweight” meaning near (or exceeding) the 600 kg, which made “forcados” life very hard. Still they managed to grab them.

It is always heart touching to watch a whole community involved in such a celebration of art, faith and courage, and it’s one of the things I really miss, while living in another continent.

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