“You take great pictures!â€¦ You must have a nice camera.”
I understand when I hear the statement above that itâ€™s meant to be a complimentâ€¦ but, I feel that it takes away from a photographerâ€™s imagination and creativity. Sure, having the latest technology in cameras, lenses, and strobes can assist in capturing a nice imageâ€¦ but, the most important tool in creating a great image isÂ the photographerâ€™s â€śeyeâ€ť.
â€śA camera didnâ€™t make a great picture anymore than a typewriter wrote a great novelâ€ť -Peter Adams
With that saidâ€¦ hereâ€™s the gear that I use when covering youth sports :
- Nikon D3s â€“ 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, Iâ€™ll throw on a 1.4x teleconverter giving me 420mm to work with. If I need more, Iâ€™ll throw the lens combination on the D2X giving me 630mm.
-Â Nikon D2XÂ - Now my second body, this camera has served me well for several years as my primary body. Iâ€™ve only experienced one major problem and that was a blown shutter at 320k actuationsâ€¦ not bad since itâ€™s only rated at 150k. I usually have the 80-200mm attached to the body hanging from a BlackRapid camera strap.
- Nikon D2HÂ - 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 â€śtheâ€ť sports camera to have. Itâ€™s been relegated to remote camera duties and the occasional street photography work with a 35mm lens.
- Nikon 300mm F2.8Â - My bread and butter lens. I use it just about every time Iâ€™m out shooting. I originally had aÂ Nikon 400mm F2.8 AF-S II but, that lens was very heavy, to the point that I would leave it home so it wasnâ€™t used much. The 300mm F2.8 is much more versatile.
- Nikon 80-200mm F2.8Â - Great lens to capture pick off plays at 1st and plays in the infield.
- Nikon 28-70mm F2.8Â - I use this for dugout shots and team shots after the game.
- Nikon 17-35mm F2.8Â - 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-800Â flash (2)
- Pocketwizard (2)
- Carbon One monopod
- Think Tank Photo Pixel Pocket RocketÂ - filled with SanDisk 4GB, 8GB, & 16GB Compact Flash cards.
- Giottos Rocket Air Blaster
- Nikon lens pen
- Think Tank Photo Airport TakeOff Rolling Camera Bag â€“ 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.
-Â Think Tank Photo Modular Skin Set V2.0 and Pro Speed Belt
-Â BlackRapid RS-4 Camera Strap
When the need calls for it, I also bring along my â€śStrobistâ€ť 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-800Â flash (2)
- Nikon SB-600Â 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 FlashÂ (not pictured)
- Gaffers tape
First Aid Kit:
I was able to treat this playerâ€™s injury enough to allow him to continue playing (his request). Itâ€™s a great way of making friends.
Hereâ€™s where all the magic is madeâ€¦ my workstation. This is just a short preview as the workstation deserves its own future post.