My Time at the Stampede: A Summary

As my mind and body have finally been able to relax after the past week of deep fried food, and photographing performances I figured I would do a summary of the week, since even I probably wouldn't read through all 11 posts I wrote for the week. Now my first idea for going about a summary of the 11-day week that is "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" I figured going day by day would make the most sense. However, as that is essentially what I did on the previous posts, I figured it would be better if I did more of a take-away from the week kind of thing. 

So what did I get out of that week? Well firstly, a copious amount of photos of both familiar and unfamiliar faces. Although this is probably the most obvious thing to have been taken from the week, I feel as if it has a significance worth explaining just because the cliche saying of “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Now it’s a personal belief of mind that behind every cliche hides some amount of truth. I mean, how else does a cliche become a cliche? Anyways, in some aspects that’s what these images really are; moments in time that are better off being shown rather than being told. Though I know for a fact I didn’t capture all those moments, because out of complete respect for the traditions that the Showband has, I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the surprise of those moments for those prospective members than might experience that—because the surprise of it sometimes makes it that much more special. In a lot of ways these photos only serve the purpose of reminding the members of the band that was. As with a handful of new members are about to come in and a handful are leaving, the band never stays the same, and for those staying and for those who end up leaving, the photos are in reality just a form of documentation of where all their time went. 

Out of the recent experiences of going through the entirety if the greatest outdoor show on earth, this one by far was the one I love-hated the most. Now, what I mean by that is simply the relation of how much of love something to how much I hate it. And with every single time I've been to the Stampede, there has been this relationship, where at the beginning of the week it was a little bit more hate of the early mornings, but a subtle amount of love the the performing aspect. But by the end it was a weird amalgamation of the two. I love the activity so much, but also have to acknowledge that not many normal people would put themselves through this activity, but I did love moments of it and I barely remember the moments I didn't (most likely due to the fact I probably repressed those memories). Now since not being in the band this year, those awful moments dropped drastically. Though there were a few moments that were less than ideal during this week--like the situation at the last field-shows of the year--it was overall a more pleasurable time. Though it was just as tiring as I remember from my time in the band.. Which in hindsight doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, as I did quite a bit less than they did during the week, and although I ended up exchanging the early mornings they got with late nights editing photos, and writing out these posts, I definitely didn't commit as much time as they did. 

So what did I take away from all this?

In my mind it seems a little complicated--similarly to the feelings I hold with my past experiences with the stampede and my currents ones--and I can't exactly seem to form the words I want properly. I learned that too much of anything will make you hate it. As evident by the fact I did go to the Stampede all 11 days it was open, and by day 8 or so, I couldn't exactly say I was enjoying myself (also good to note that those were also the longest days I had, so that probably doesn't help). I learned in greater detail that mother nature is not kind or forgiving (R.I.P Mazda3, it was nice knowing you). And finally, I learned how stressful and exciting photography can be. I'm beginning to really believe that I have chosen the right path, and hope to continue for the next while. 

Thank you to the members of the band. For never failing to make me smile, and also putting up with a camera in your face. 

And a thank you for reading this hot mess of words. There will most likely be more for the rest of the summer!

Till next time.