Behind the Red Fence- a Tijuana Bullfight Rookie
During the late 80’s while working on my “Gringos Guide to Baja California”, I managed to get a press pass to photograph the “Toreo de Tijuana”.
Committed to cover the culture, I set out to get some “blood free” images of the pageantry & celebration.
I made careful equipment decisions that day including a tripod & long lenses not know exactly how close I would be able to get…
Imagine my surprise as I followed the other journalists into the press area.
Shooting from the sidelines my lens was actually hanging in the ring!
The inner Ring, a Red Fence about a meter and a half tall was all that stood between me & the action.
At my side were the Matadors & fellow Press Photographers.
Attentive to their every action, I set up my tripod & started to shoot the colorful event.
I was getting incredible shots, concentrating through my telephoto at the opposite side of the ring when suddenly, I saw the Bull leap over the Red Fence racing around the ring in my direction!
There was only one place to go, I leaped over the Red Fence into the ring as the bull raced by.
It all happened so fast, he circled around the ring, a gate was opened & the Bull was routed back into the main ring.
Everyone around me leaped back over the the Fence again into the “safety of the pit”.
My tripod was trampled, I asked the shooter next to me if that happened often?
“muy raro” very rare he replied!
Tijuana’s downtown Bullring was demolished 2007, a causality of the fading popularity of Bull Fights.
Captured in 1986 on Kodachrome 25, Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm 1.4