Sol y Sombra

In the summer of 2015 I received the great honour to be invited as the official photographer for the Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Ronda (RMCR) and document the three days of bullfights at the Goyesca Feria in the oldest still standing (stone) bullring of Spain.
I had to think about this. Not ‘being a photographer’, in the sense that I call myself one, and not having a clue about the centuries old culture of bullfighting I seriously doubted I was the one for this job. However, my dear friend and director of the RMCR convinced me to take up the challenge, because he stated that he was not looking for another specialised bullring photographer and just wanted to hire my ‘eyes’. That took off some of the pressure (just a tiny bit though!).
It was an intense experience never to forget and I was very pleased to have been asked for a second time as well, in 2016 and in 2017. In 2016 I was more prepared of what was going to happen and I felt more free to move around the ring. I have managed to keep myself standing in the midst of this man’s man’s world, not in the last place because I was received with the utmost courtesy by all, from bullfighter Fran Rivera Ordoñez (the host of the event) to the ‘hot shots’ and to the staff working their butts off non stop during this 3-day event. I tried to be as unprejudiced as I could and with an open mind to the event, the tradition, the culture, cruelty versus beauty and last but not least to the ‘Death in the Afternoon’.


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