“You take great pictures!… You must have a nice camera.”
I understand when I hear the statement above that it’s meant to be a compliment… but, I feel that it takes away from a photographer’s imagination and creativity. Sure, having the latest technology in cameras, lenses, and strobes can assist in capturing a nice image… but, the most important tool in creating a great image is the photographer’s “eye”.
“A camera didn’t make a great picture anymore than a typewriter wrote a great novel” -Peter Adams
With that said… here’s the gear that I use when covering youth sports :
- Nikon D3s – My primary body usually coupled with the 300mm. This combination is great for getting shots from the 1st and 3rd base side of a ballfield. If I need more reach, I’ll throw on a 1.4x teleconverter giving me 420mm to work with. If I need more, I’ll throw the lens combination on the D2X giving me 630mm.
– Nikon D2X – Now my second body, this camera has served me well for several years as my primary body. I’ve only experienced one major problem and that was a blown shutter at 320k actuations… not bad since it’s only rated at 150k. I usually have the 80-200mm attached to the body hanging from a BlackRapid camera strap.
– Nikon D2H – This is the body I purchased to replaced my first DSLR (Nikon D1) after it took a tumble on the asphalt of a racetrack at 30 MPH. Back then it was “the” sports camera to have. It’s been relegated to remote camera duties and the occasional street photography work with a 35mm lens.
– Nikon 300mm F2.8 – My bread and butter lens. I use it just about every time I’m out shooting. I originally had a Nikon 400mm F2.8 AF-S II but, that lens was very heavy, to the point that I would leave it home so it wasn’t used much. The 300mm F2.8 is much more versatile.
– Nikon 80-200mm F2.8 – Great lens to capture pick off plays at 1st and plays in the infield.
- Nikon 28-70mm F2.8 – I use this for dugout shots and team shots after the game.
– Nikon 17-35mm F2.8 – The wide angle is great for my remote camera setups.
– Nikon 50mm F1.8
- Nikon 35mm F1.8
– Nikon 1.4x teleconverter
– Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6
– Nikon SB-800 flash (2)
– Pocketwizard (2)
– Carbon One monopod
– Think Tank Photo Pixel Pocket Rocket – filled with SanDisk 4GB, 8GB, & 16GB Compact Flash cards.
– Giottos Rocket Air Blaster
– Nikon lens pen
- Think Tank Photo Airport TakeOff Rolling Camera Bag – I love this bag! I use it primarily as a rolling bag but, the Airport Takeoff also has straps that converts it into a backpack. As you can see from the image below, it has plenty of room for the gear I use.
– Think Tank Photo Modular Skin Set V2.0 and Pro Speed Belt
- BlackRapid RS-4 Camera Strap
When the need calls for it, I also bring along my “Strobist” lighting bag:
– Sekonic L-358 flash meter
– Pocketwizard Pre-Trigger cord
– Nikon SU-800 wireless speedlight commander
– Nikon SB-R200 wireless macro flash head (2)
– Nikon SB-800 flash (2)
– Nikon SB-600 flash (2)
– PocketWizard (3)
– Manfrotto Magic Arm
– Assorted LumoPro Umbrella swivels and umbrellas (not pictured)
– LumoPro Light Stands (not pictured)
– Assorted Light Boxes, Snoots, and Gobos (not pictured)
– Orbis Ring Flash (not pictured)
– Gaffers tape
First Aid Kit:
I was able to treat this player’s injury enough to allow him to continue playing (his request). It’s a great way of making friends.
Here’s where all the magic is made… my workstation. This is just a short preview as the workstation deserves its own future post.