My name is Tibor Budai. I grew up and live in Switzerland but originally from Budapest, Hungary. I started photography with passion about 10 years ago. I picked up a Leica M7 film camera with a Zeiss 35mm lens and since then, I have been faithful to this kit. That is to say, I haven’t bought any additional hardware since then: only maintained the camera when required. I have used it extensively with many films, including both negative and slide film, both in color, and black and white. However, due to the discontinuation of some films, I now do 100% of my work with black and white negative film.
From the beginning, my interest has been oriented towards photographing humans in general, be it on the streets, in events, traditions etc… So a combination of street photography and documentary. Although nowadays it is more a documentary-style approach that I tend to take. I carefully research and plan to join events which I think could make some great reportage. I do not consider to limit myself to one particular subject: but over time I think this could accumulate into one big subject by itself.
The reportage herewith was taken in a village during a horse-riding festival north of Madrid in Spain called Las Luminarias. Essentially, this ritual has some religious background to it. It starts with the local priest blessing the horses and the riders, then at different points in the village, the locals put up some bonfires through which each horseman will ride. This has the meaning of bringing health and luck for the coming year for both the horse and the rider. It’s a popular and spectacular event to attend and there is a feeling that the whole village/community prepares for it. When the ceremony is over and the bonfires are almost out, the locals bring out pieces of meat and drinks.
Anyhow, please see below the couple of images taken throughout this event on Ilford Delta 3200 ISO film which is my favorite film at the moment. When shooting, I always try to catch an interesting/surreal/quirky moment although it is quite an unpredictable exercise when it comes to the results. But somehow, I think that our instinct has a feeling when there is some potential in a given scene. Something that I always care about is the composition, although I like to break the rules there as well.