Flying Frenchman

VALLADOLID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 06:  Fabien Napias of the French Recortadores company Passion Saltador leaps over a charging bull at the end of the Liga de Corte Puro finals at the Plaza de Toros on September 6, 2015 in Valladolid, Spain. The art consists of leaping, diving and somersaulting over charging bulls.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Fabien Napias

VALLADOLID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 06: Fabien Napias of the French Recortadores company Passion Saltador leaps over a charging bull at the end of the Liga de Corte Puro finals at the Plaza de Toros on September 6, 2015 in Valladolid, Spain. The art consists of leaping, diving and somersaulting over charging bulls. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Fabien Napias

I was at the finals of the Corte Puro in Valladolid’s Plaza de Toros on Sunday September 6th 2015 with my my old friend Claude Labanere, a sports specialist doctor from Bordeaux. He had earlier given me the heads up on a French troupe called Passion Saltador who jump over charging bulls. The art form is called Recortadores in Spanish but I call them the flying Frenchmen. Look how high Fabien Napies of Dax flies into the air just before the charging bull is able to tear him down. What athleticism and poise.  

I really think this is the future of public events as traditional bullfighting is more and more getting the thumbs down from the general public even now within Spain itself.

As the event only lasts about 10 minutes with two jumpers taking turns to leap and somersault over the fighting bull I had to decide where i wanted to shoot it from straight; sraight on from the photographers dug-out below or high up in the strnds amongst the public. I finally chose the elevated angle as I think showing a simple background of typical yellow sandy soil is easier to the eye than the messy jumble of people and stands in background. I think, more to the point that the figures stand out better when shot from above. If the event had lasted longer I would have tried both angles…..