Seville Bullfighting Revisited

As I was looking through a few of my older posts from last year, I caught myself reading the Seville Bullfighting post, realizing that I had some awesome RAW photos there that could be re-processed and some new ones that never saw the light of day.  If you would like to read through the original, there is tons of interesting info about bullfighting and a plethora of photos.  I invite you to check it out and compare the old pictures with today’s images.  Which ones do you like better??

We start with a wide-angle shot of the arena itself.  It is rich in tradition and history, and sits as the oldest bullfighting area in Spain.  The actual name of the arena is the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla.  The original picture was too much of an overprocessed HDR image, soft and unbalanced.

All of these black and white images were sent through Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 (available as Lightroom 4 plugin and standalone).  For those who are frequent visitors, you know how much I swear by it!  You can download your FREE trial here, no strings attached!

Below, one of the three matadors from the day can be seen inflicting the final blow on the bull, aiming to get the beast in the heart and give him a quick death.

When the banderilleros assisting the matador are charged, they quickly dart into one of many “safehavens”, or small openings in the ring.  This guy looks like he’s not going to make it :)

One of the more brutal parts of the fight, here you can see a picador stabbing the bull with his lance.  The picadors will attempt to stab the bull in the upper back, weakening the neck muscles and drawing the bull’s first loss of blood.  This photo is by far my favorite one from today’s bunch – taken with my D7000 and 18-105mm Kit lens from across the arena.  Just goes to show you that your lens doesn’t have to be a 2,000 dollar beast to get nice shots.

Below a matador uses his cape to exhaust the bull.

This particular matador, a rather young lad at 17 or 18 years old, fought the bull flawlessly, his excitement clearly evident in this photo.  His head got so big from this performance, in the following match he made an almost fatal mistake and was trampled by the bull.  You can see those pictures in my original Bullfighting post.

Finally, I am assuming most of you won’t like my choice of processing here, but I do, and that’s all that matters :)  Selective color is something that is difficult to implement properly (and should be in moderation – Here is another example of my choice to use selective color, and here as well – one of my staple images  – scroll to the shot of the yellow Fiat…) and can completely ruin an image.  I felt it helped enhance this one, showing the thrill of victory with some gruesome blood stains, leaving the viewer wondering “how did he get those…..???”

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  1. I really like the way you capture the movement. Great shots!

  2. Len Saltiel says:

    Nice images Adam. I appreciate how you have captured the action even though I am not a fan of bull fighting.

  3. Mats says:

    Nice photos as always Adam!

    I have never understood and probably never will understand the need for bullfighting. It’s just cruel and totally meaningless. I hope this fenonomen will just go away. We should treat all living things with respect.

  4. Love these pictures…reminds me a little of Hemmingway and his bull fighting stories :)

  5. Mark says:

    Great pictures again, reminds me of a bull fight I saw years ago in Spain, good to go to……..once.

    Mark

  6. The re-processing of the arena shot was really worthwhile. This is a vast improvement over the original. Great captures of the action as well. I do not like bullfighting but I sure can appreciate the artistry in your photographs, though.

  7. Edith Levy says:

    Wow great series of shots Adam. I love the first image and the the B&W are terrific. I’m using Topaz B&W Effects but you’re making me want to give the Silver Efex a try.

  8. ken bello says:

    The photos are beautifully done but I admit I never understood the “sport” in bull fighting. Perhaps black and white is better processing for these.

  9. Rich McPeek says:

    Great shots Adam! Terrific work!

  10. Jim Nix says:

    wow Adam very cool series, well done!!

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