TIME photography

Celebrate the Festival of San Fermín From Afar With Vintage Bullfighting Photos

As bullfights get underway in Spain, a look back at early photos of the gory spectacle

The odds of obtaining a ticket to see the famous bullfights at the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain, are about the same as the bulls’ odds for survival: not good. The centuries-old tradition, which begins every year on July 7, unfolds at Pamplona’s Plaza de Toros, the nearly 20,000 seats of which will undoubtedly be occupied in full.

For those who can’t make the trip, a look back at the bullfights held in 1947 provide a glimpse into the violent spectacle. One of the matadors photographed for LIFE, Manolete, was a Spanish bullfighter considered by many to be the best of all time. Though the bulls pictured here surely met a gruesome fate, so, too, did Manolete. The month after these photos were taken, he died after being gored by a bull in the town of Linares. Critics of bullfighting might call it justice. Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator, called it a tragedy, ordering three days of national mourning to remember a Spanish hero.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME technology

Photographing the Presidential Campaign With an iPhone 6

Brooks Kraft shares his tips to capture candid shots this election season

Photographer Brooks Kraft usually carries two camera bodies and four lenses with him when he covers a presidential campaign. This year, however, as six presidential candidates from parties descended on New Hampshire to campaign on Independence Day, Kraft left his cameras in his hotel room.

Instead, he went out with just an iPhone 6 Plus. “There are instances when I have to run or move quickly, and it was so much easier without the added weight,” he tells TIME, “not to mention trying to protect the gear swinging off my shoulders as I move quickly through crowds.”

It’s not the first time that Kraft has chosen to rely on an iPhone in his work. Last year, he photographed the Christmas decorations at the White House, where the subtler equipment meant he was able to capture more candid shots within the presidential residence.

This past weekend, his reliance on the iPhone proved useful when candidate Jeb Bush start running to keep up with a parade. “I was easily able to keep up with Bush,” says Kraft. “I became more aware of the impact constantly carrying the gear has on my mobility.”

Not only that, but Kraft says he was also able to capture images he wouldn’t otherwise. “With a DSLR, you are instantly recognized as a professional photographer, and sometimes people react quickly to your presence and either smile at the camera or turn away,” he says. “With the iPhone I found it was easier to move inconspicuously through crowds and capture moments, even up close, without impacting what I saw with my presence.”

Even the Secret Service had trouble identifying Kraft as a photographer. “At one point during the Clinton event, a Secret Service agent asked me if I was ‘media’ and asked me to display my credentials,” he says. “Campaign staff and security like to monitor (and control) the movement of media. There is frequently a lot more restriction put on the media then members of the general public in early primary events.”

This means that members of the public, sporting the same camera-equipped phones, have more opportunities to get photos of their favorite candidates. Kraft shares his tips on what to do and what not to do with an iPhone at such events:

  • Sometimes the most interesting photos do not include a candidate. Early primary scenes are full of colorful characters and iconic visual symbols of democracy in action. Because iPhones are so common, it is sometimes easier to capture natural moments with them than with professional looking cameras.
  • Shoot outdoors or in well-lit interior environments where the iPhone works best. Do not use the flash if possible.
  • Set your camera to shoot in the square format. This provides a nice contrast to the 2×3 DSLR format, and works well in some of the formal political environments. It also displays well on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.
  • Shoot wide views that show the setting, looking for angles that place a clean background behind the candidate. Signs and crowds right behind the candidate are distracting. For the same reason, avoid placing large objects or the backs of heads in the foreground.
  • Shoot close-ups. The iPhone is able to focus in very close to produce macro views.
  • Do not use the zoom. Because the iPhone does not have an optical zoom (yet), the image quality is poor when the lens is zoomed, and the aperture is also decreased.
  • When there is action or a lot of movement, use the burst mode to get as many frames as possible. The iPhone does not always freeze movement unless it is extremely bright, and it’s best to have multiple frames to choose from.

Brooks Kraft is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Washington D.C. and a regular contributor to TIME. Follow him on Instagram @bkraft.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

Follow TIME LightBox on Instagram @timelightbox.

TIME Religion

See Rare Photos of the Dalai Lama Growing Up

Here's a look back at the life of the Tibetan Buddhist leader as he celebrates his 80th birthday

TIME Icons

See Photos of the Beatles on the Brink of Beatlemania

On the anniversary of the release of “A Hard Days Night,” a look back at the early days of the Beatles’ American invasion

When the Beatles landed in the U.S. for the first time, on February 7, 1964, American teens went wild. The editors of LIFE Magazine, taking notice of the phenomenon, quickly assigned photographers to cover the band’s first American tour and television appearances.

A week into the tour, Bob Gomel was dispatched to photograph the “Fab Four” in Miami Beach, where they were scheduled to perform for a second night on The Ed Sullivan Show at the Deauville Hotel. But when the time came to photograph the band, the hotel was swarming with so many fans that a shoot would have been nearly impossible.

The shoot was moved to the private residence of Paul Pollak, a hotel owner, and his wife Jerri Pollak, a former big band recording artist. Away from the spotlight and overwhelming hoards of fans, Gomel was able to capture candid moments of the young lads relaxing and goofing around in the family pool and on the beach.

In the book Memories of John Lennon, edited by Yoko Ono, Gomel recalls the shoot:

After changing into matching bathing suits, four pale, skinny guys entered the pool. I asked them to just have fun. Ringo started a splash fight. John did a few cannonballs off the diving board. That captured moment became my favorite photograph. It hangs in my gallery today.

The Pollaks’ daughter Linda, who was 15 years old at the time, later wrote about what it was like to witness four of the most famous musicians in the world splashing around in her parents’ pool. “The photographers asked my three brothers and me to get into the pool first, so they could focus,” she wrote in the Chicago Tribune in 1989. “Then the Beatles tiptoed in to take our positions … They started splashing and goofing around, except John. He got out of the pool and sat in the back with his wife, Cynthia, just watching. Even then he wasn’t much for publicity.”

The photos, which never made it to the pages of LIFE — the editors instead ran a different swimming pool photo by LIFE staffer John Loengard — capture the youthful exuberance of four young men as their careers were taking off and Beatlemania was taking hold. Long before the rifts that would lead to their breakup in 1970 and before fame took its toll, Gomel documented the rare moments of playful bliss of a band soaring rapidly to the top.

See more photos by Bob Gomel at the Monroe Gallery.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME photography

When the Running of the Bulls Was So Hectic No One Noticed That Two Men Died

The annual event in Pamplona is a celebratory, controversial and occasionally gory tradition

The festival of San Fermín, held every July in Pamplona, Spain, since the 16th century, has its origins in religious tradition, honoring a Catholic saint now nearly 2,000 years martyred. But the celebrations have become increasingly secular over the years, with round-the-clock revelry—and nostalgia for a world Ernest Hemingway so vividly painted in The Sun Also Rises—drawing visitors from around the world.

The festival’s most enduring legacy is the running of the bulls, or encierro, from the Spanish word for to corral or enclose. Held on the second day of the festival, July 7, the encierro consists of letting loose a small number of bulls in the city streets while transporting them to the bullring for bullfighting. Though it takes place during several festivals, the encierro at San Fermín is the most world-renowned.

The running of the bulls and ensuing bullfight have been the subject of criticism from animal rights groups like PETA, which say it tortures animals for human entertainment. But it’s not just the animals whose lives are endangered. In 1947, when LIFE sent photographer Tony Linck to document the mayhem, two bull runners—men who run in front of the bulls—were gored, and the crowd was too enraptured with the bedlam to notice:

For a week gay blades stay up all night dancing and drinking, then gather at 7 o’clock in the morning for the encierro, the bull run. Yelling and jostling, they lead the bulls in a mad dash through the street toward the bullring. Last month’s fiesta was such a gay affair that almost nobody noticed when two of the encierro runners were killed by the bulls.

More than a dozen people have died during the festivities in the last century. Consequently, several safety measures have been established to improve the safety of revelers, including rules banning poor footwear, inebriation and harassing the bulls during the run. But there will always be more than a hint of danger in the annual tradition. The danger, of course, is part of the fun.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME portfolio

Meet China’s Young and Rebellious Hip-Hop Dancers

The dramatically expressive dance form found its crowd in China.

In China, where personal expression is often discouraged, a group of young dancers are riding the wave of an imported cultural phenomenon, appropriating the highly individual hip-hop genre to transform it into a choreographed group performance.

Their name is Dangsters. Counting 10 exuberant and irrepressible members, the group was founded, among others, by Phoenix, 29, from Yunnan, and Nana, 28, a transplant from Thailand who adopted China as her second home.

The two discovered hip-hop dance in their teens through online videos. Although initially finding it nothing more than “cool and fun,” they soon became professional dancers, swiping across China’s major metropolis. The road to success, though, has been difficult. Many people in China consider this profession a type of “Qingchunfan”, meaning a kind of job exclusively open to vivacious young women.

Financial success wasn’t guaranteed either. Aside from doing commercial gigs and teaching dance courses, the group’s members took on an unexpected task-to perform at new and extravagant nightclubs in the city of Kunming in China’s southwestern province. Their role? To invigorate the crowds, who were not yet accustomed to the new form of entertainment.

“It was very difficult when we worked in the club five years ago,” Nana tells TIME. Aside from performing three shifts a night, the dancers were also tasked with selling a fixed amount of liquors each month. Female dancers had to be scantily dressed, at times exposing them to male customers’ harassments, she recalls.

After the group won a prominent Asian hip-hop dance contest in Beijing, they quit performing in nightclubs as more students expressed interest in their classes. They moved to a more spacious studio in downtown Kunming and now teach various crowds, some as young as 4 years old. “They prefer being teachers because that’s more respectful,” says Bangladeshi photographer AJ Ghani, who stumbled upon Dangsters when in Kunming for a photography workshop.

Ghani purposely chose to document this group as he wanted to move away from the usual images produced about China. “I find that when talking about China, all the issues are very similar. [People] are interested in those subjects: pollution, over-population, urbanization and rapid [growth],” he says, “but everybody has done that.” In his native Bangladesh, where Ghani is a third-year student at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, he noticed that subjects of international interest are often limited to the region’s natural and man-made disasters — from flooding to the Rana Plaza factory collapse. In his work, he wants to go beyond clichés presented in the media and tackle a more complex reality of cultures and places, he says.

Ghani had photographed Dhaka’s dancers while in school, examining how Western culture influenced the lifestyle of the urban youth in Bangladesh. And when he came upon Dangsters, he was astounded by their intense energy and passion. So much so that he now plans to continue his work in other regions of China.

AJ Ghani is a documentary photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Ye Ming is a writer and contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter @yemingphoto and Instagram.

TIME portfolio

See Scenes of Daily Life in a Ukrainian City Marked by War

In Mariupol, the stakes have never been higher

French photographer Jerome Sessini has spent the last 18 months covering the unrest in Ukraine. He watched the rise of the antigovernment protests in late 2013, paralyzing Kiev, after the country pivoted toward Russia under the impulsion of its then-President Viktor Yanukovych. He was at Independence Square when dozens of people were shot by snipers, and he witnessed the birth of the war in the east as pro-Russian forces fanned through the region. And last July, he was also on the scene when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed by a missile, killing nearly 300 innocents.

Sessini has returned to the east several times since then, each time documenting the changing of a society in the country’s industrial heartland and its people as the conflict rages.

At least 6,400 people have been killed in Ukraine, the United Nations recently noted, and more than 1.3 million have been displaced. Since the rebels took Debaltseve in February, fears have steadily risen that Mariupol, a key economic and transport hub, would be next. If so, it would establish a land bridge between Russia and Crimea, the province it annexed in early 2014.

In late May, Sessini arrived to Mariupol, a major port city under government control along the Sea of Azov. Earlier, he had photographed on the pro-Russian side. This time, for two weeks, he opted to remain on the predominantly Russian-speaking government-controlled side. He went in with two civilian volunteers—who were bringing food, clothing and electronics to build a drone—to see how the other side is living.

This near-certain upcoming battle has had a big impact on Mariupol, which has a population of about 460,000. “The city looks like it’s at a standstill,” Sessini tells TIME. He found a lot of shops were closed, restaurants and bars were empty, with streets largely deserted by 8PM. “You can feel the tension,” he says. “You feel this kind of sadness.”

During his visit, Sessini aimed to show daily life. He spent a fair amount of time on the tramway, turning his lens toward the souls on board and then out the windows at a city hanging in the balance as fighting rages nearby. He met a lot of young volunteers fighting on the Ukrainian side. Some of them, he was told, had been either police officers or demonstrators during the Maidan protests but were now working toward a common goal against the pro-Russian forces that fanned out across the east. Sessini worked with a translator, as many of the people he encountered weren’t naturally open with him, a foreigner. That lack of trust, he understands, is a natural part of conflict.

His photos are a powerful and tragic testament to the sea change in Ukraine. “I’ve seen the split go deeper and deeper,” Sessini says. He plans to return later in the summer—what he expects then, he’s not quite sure. He admits there is a realization among locals, as fighting has neared over the past few months, that their home city is a strategic target. They understand an assault is likely to come sooner or later. For some of them, he found, all they can do is wait.

Jerome Sessini is a French photojournalist represented by Magnum Photos.

Kira Pollack, who edited this photo essay, is TIME’s Director of Photography. Follow her on Twitter @kirapollack.

Andrew Katz is a former TIME homepage editor and reporter covering international affairs. Follow him on Twitter @katz.

TIME Soccer

See the Best Moments From U.S. Soccer’s Victory in the World Cup Final

Team U.S.A. trounced Japan 5-2 on Sunday, achieving their third world championship and the first since 1999.

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