The Photographic Journal

Raging Bulls

Essay 182 • Aug 14th 2017

In Rondônia, Brazil, livestock is the most important industry. Rodeos are, consequently, very popular and mobilize rodeo experts all over the country in big events. This series was shot in one of the biggest farming expositions in Rondônia, "Expovil", in Vilhena, a city commonly called the "Portal da Amazônia".

After months of preparations, cowboys risk their lifes trying to stay on top of the bulls for just eight seconds, demonstrating style and courage. The concussions and broken bones are merely a part of life. However, a growing ward of animal advocates complains about the bulls' mistreatment. At the same time, the awards are growing every year and the practice still stirs up sighs and screams from audiences across the country.

Photographing raging bulls is not the safest activity for photographers, either. Climbing the guards, jumping the rails or running along with the life-saving clowns is part of the day-to-day of those who try to record the moments very closely.


Herbert Weil, 27, is a Brazilian photographer who takes pleasure in photographing things from unusual points of view. He began to photograph as a hobby in the last years of the school and since then he has tried to mirror in big names of the world photography like Sebastião Salgado, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Araquém Alcântara, Robert Capa and others. He does commercial works and independent projects, from artistic nude to social photography, from radical sports to decorative objects.