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Trapped in the Staircase, San Fermin

This in-between moment was cought whille I was literally between places, capturing the 'big' pics of Navarra's biggest annual party and festival, San Fermin. The Chupinazo, the massive mosh-pit of an opening to the nine-day fiesta has all the revelers pink with wine-soaked tees and the photographers perpetually wrapped in plastic bags.

We had a balcony reserved to capture the ordeal from two different angles, and as the crowd started welling up I moved from the ground to the door, avoiding flying sangria. After about a half our of shooting from above I tried to see if I could get back out, but found the door I'd come from was now barred with people, now holding up their panuelos just before the fireworks that inaugurate the festival at midday.

All I could see was a sea of people and one man, and what must've been his family to the side, that weren't having any of the sangria-soaked pit of people—way above the rest, standing on a roof, was a guy enjoying his own private view. I switched to film and got the composition I wanted in the few seconds I had before the rocket went off, and got the completely unexpected pic.

Fuji Superia 200, f/6 200mm, scanned print.

-Michael Hemingway


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