What’s in the Bag?

You all know what kind of work we do, but do you know how much equipment it takes to deliver the best pictures? This time we’ll take a closer look at the average stuff a Sportografer takes with him/her during an event.

Carrying all that stuff up the hills and through the woods is like a good workout

It all starts with a backpack with an average capacity of 50L. Some carry really huge backpacks so it looks they will be away for days and days. Oh yeah, sometimes they are.

Then there’s the camera gear. Usually 2 bodies with different lenses. Most of the times you don’t know the spot you’ll be working from, so all lenses are carried.

Sportograf - What's in the Bag
It may look the same but the lens used on this picture….
Sportograf - What's in the Bag
… is a completely different one from the lens used to take this picture.

Because we work a lot in dark and/or cloudy areas we may need to light the participants – that’s you – up a little. So at least one flash is needed, but most of the times we need two or three. Especially with our automatic camera’s (those creepy things that take pictures of you when none of us is around), or if we want to take pictures with movement in it.

Betty during Rock d'aloes - Sportograf
At least two flashes are needed to create this image

Here you see the difference very well. Weather looks good, sun is shining. But I used three flashes for the second picture. Looks much better, what do you think?

Sportograf @ Andalucia Bike Race
1 flash vs…
Sportograf @ Andalucia Bike Race
…3 flashes

All the electrical gear needs… power! If you’re out in the field for hours and hours it’s sometimes hard to imagine how much batteries we need. Or in races with more then 15.000 participants. And yes, every battery goes into the backpack.
Roy

What else do we have? Here’s a list of extra stuff to carry. And the extra stuff makes the bag really heavy. You probably recognize it when you’re going on a holiday: all the clothes and stuff are quite a joke, but the last things you’re gonna pack are heavy or there’s no more room in the car 🙂

    • Rain gear – pants and jackets for ourselves, special stuff for the cameras
    • Monopods and tripods – heavy ones for the camera, light ones for the flashes and triggers
    • Something to sit on, lie on or hang in
    • Food – it’s always a struggle to carry enough to keep you going through the day. You really don’t want to bring too much, but having no more water during a sunny day isn’t really comfortable

Keep in mind the bags easily weigh over 20 kg’s. That’s quite a lot to carry uphill, through woods, mud or rocky places and on motorcycles…

Here are some pictures our Sportografers took with their smartphones before going out in the field:

Alex Mersdorf - 24Hr Pueblo
This is the stuff Alex Mehrsdorf carried for more then 24 hours during the 24Hr Pueblo
Greg-Tom-Bene
Three Sportografers used their bed to spread all their stuff
Markus Vollmeier - Cape Epic 2
Markus Vollmeier flew to Africa for the Cape Epic with this stuff.
Markus Vollmeier - Cape Epic
Cape Epic stuff in the bag.

I hope this gives you a little more insight in what we do, and sure hope you like it! Keep an eye on our Sportograf blog for more stuff in the future, and feel free to leave a comment below. We love to hear from you!

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