Photographer's Note

Since the site seems to be going a bit better since yesterday, I thought I could throw in a new picture...

There are many many pictures about Corridas here on TE. They all share two things: they show a poor animal being sacrificed for the men and they all bring intense feelings, be it passion or apathy.

For once, I wanted to show new sides to the corrida. This time, the men are in danger. The picador is down and the pawns must help him getting up from under the horse. The bull is at most 5 meters from them. He's hurt, stressed and he's agressive. I took the picture at this exact moment: The bull had just been picked by the picador, he got angry and he threw the horse and the picador on the ground, situation changed, the offenser became the target...and everyone had to work to make sure the bull does not do like men would do: kill the target. You can see the eyes of at least 2 men turned toward the bull. This time, everyone was able to get up without being gored by the bull

In the workshop, I put an alternate crop and I would like to hear what you guys think of my decision considering that I wanted more of a journalistic feel grasping the tension between the protagonists, rather than an action shot showing the dynamism of the moment.

Here's a relatively short explanation of what is a corrida:

In traditional corrida, three toreros, or matadores, each fight two bulls, each of which is at least four years old and weighs 460–600 kg. Each matador has six assistants — two picadores ("lancers") mounted on horseback, three banderilleros ("flagmen"), and a mozo de espada ("sword page"). Collectively they comprise a cuadrilla ("entourage").

The modern corrida is highly ritualized, with three distinct stages or tercios, the start of each being announced by a trumpet sound. The participants first enter the arena in a parade to salute the presiding dignitary, accompanied by band music. Torero costumes are inspired by 18th century Andalusian clothing, and matadores are easily distinguished by their spectacular "suit of lights".

Next, the bull enters the ring to be tested for ferocity by the matador and banderilleros with the magenta and gold capote ("dress cape").

In the first stage, the tercio de varas ("the lancing third"), the matador first confronts the bull and observes his behavior in an initial section called suerte de capote. Next, a picador enters the arena on horseback armed with a vara ("lance"). To protect the horse from the bull's horns, the horse is surrounded by a peto — a protective cover. Prior to 1909, the horse did not wear any protection, and the bull could literally disembowel the horse during this stage.
At this point, the picador stabs a mound of muscle on the bull's neck, leading to the animal's first loss of blood. The manner in which the bull charges the horse provides important clues to the matador on which side the bull is favoring. If the picador does his job well, the bull will hold its head and horns lower during the following stages of the fight. This makes it slightly less dangerous while enabling the matador to perform the elegant passes of modern bullfighting.
In the next stage, the tercio de banderillas ("the third of flags"), the three banderilleros each attempt to plant two razor sharp barbed sticks (called banderillas) on the bull's flanks, ideally as close as possible to the wound where the picador drew first blood. These further weaken the enormous ridges of neck and shoulder muscle through loss of blood, while also frequently spurring the bull into making more ferocious charges.
In the final stage, the tercio de muerte ("the third of death"), the matador re-enters the ring alone with a small red cape (muleta) and a sword. It is a common misconception that the color red is supposed to anger the bull, despite the fact bulls are colorblind (the real reason that a red colored cape is used is that any blood stains on it will be less noticeable). He uses his cape to attract the bull in a series of passes, both demonstrating his control over it and risking his life by getting especially close to it. The faena ("work") is the entire performance with the muleta, which is usually broken down into "tandas" or "series". The faena ends with a final series of passes in which the matador with a muleta attempts to maneuver the bull into a position to stab it between the shoulder blades and through the aorta or heart. The act of thrusting the sword is called an estocada.

among the elements that are evaluated by the specators:
-courage of the man: the torero takes risks and must face an animal way stronger than him, even if the fight and the picadors weakened the bull
-The Bull's courage: the bull is from a specie that is selected for his aggressiveness and courage; his charge and his will to fight his adversaries are appreciated.
-The authority of the man on the bull: los aficionados like the capacity of the torero to dictate his will to the bull by imposing the timing of the charges and by making him follow the bait blindly.
-The elegance : the movements that the toreros uses during the charges are very codified. For the aficionados, they are art.
-The efficiency : an "approximate" killing can easily degrade a spectale. It is important to precise here that the way of doing it is more important than the final results. A sincere but failed try will be applauded while a killing done by violating the principles will be booed or disapproved.


mvdisco, robiuk, ribeiroantonio, zeca, Butterflyka, danos, jorgi has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Marc Cl (Manamo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 899 W: 149 N: 875] (3710)
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