Stampede Day Three

Another one done, and I'm more tired than expected.

This is one of the few exceptions to what I just wrote

I say this because the day started out differently than it has for the past few days. The day itself started quite a bit later than the others around 2:30, with a drive to McMahon Stadium here in Calgary. Reasoning for this is because it was a field-show day, and this being the second to last field-show performance Showband will have for this season, I feel partially obligated to see my friends perform a great show. Though I am really there just for Showband, I always take photos of the other performing bands as well but this one instance is a different story. The organizers hired a photographer that had exclusive access to the field, therefore none of the other photographers were allowed on the field. Which, in hindsight, isn't that big of a deal and although I was slightly peeved at the time, I still (mostly) accepted it and took photos from the stands the best I could. The one thing I'll tell you is that a 70-200mm lens is not enough for this specific situation. Which then I continued to try and see if there was any possible way to get decent photos of the field from the front row of the stands, which became a very strong no very quickly (except for the drum major salutes, since they're close enough to the stands). 

After a certain point, I got bored of taking photos from the stands and decided to leave to possibly catch Showband's warmup. Which incidentally I just missed as I saw them walking to the gate as I got out of the stands and into the parking lot. Which wasn't a big deal at all considering I have many more opportunities to catch them during stampede week, as well as on their last field-show performance for the season. As I walked around the parking lot, talking to my friends whom are still in Showband, we talk about my equipment, and the photos I've taken so far. I was given a bit of advice at the very beginning of the week from another volunteer which went along the lines of helping the band move front ensemble equipment onto the field, and then hide behind one of the flats that are set up to hide props to take photos close to the field. When I said I "(mostly) accepted" what had happened, I kind of really didn't. So I took advantage of the opportunity and did exactly that. 

This was an interesting experience for me, because the only times I had ever seen a field show essentially sitting on the front sideline were times when I was injured and sat and watched the segments that were being rehearsed. The main difference between that and what I was doing was the feeling helpless, or lack there of. It was an incredible place to go take photos, and it fit pretty well into the way I take photos to begin with, so I am ever thankful for the advice I was given. 

After the show ended, I quickly headed home to grab a bite to eat, because eating at the Calgary Stampede is the same as any fair/carnival event; mostly garbage food. Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff, but it's also 25%-40% more expensive than it should be, and I had the time so I went home for a brief moment.

After doing so, and arriving to the grounds, the evening steps show started off as it always does. The Band of Outriders played a short set, and introduces the Showband in spectacular fashion, then commencing into a mass-band of sorts where the Outriders then join the Showband to play a few songs with them, before leaving. Which then commences into their normal set with just them, which had a few rough patches (or at least what I believed to be rough) but considering how difficult their days usually are (this one especially with a breakfast performance, rehearsal, afternoon set, the field show, and then the evening set) I am willing to let the rough patches slide. 

After their evening set had ended, I decided to help move equipment then head home. Meaning I ended up skipping the Evening Grandstand show. Which I sort of wish I had at least checked it out for a brief moment, but I've also got most of stampede week to go again. Mainly just because I want to try and grab photos from the other side of the stage, and experience it from that other perspective. 

May not have been a super long day for me, but gotta pace myself a little better for the week!

7 more days!

Till next time. 

StampedeKien Le