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|| News Item: Posted 2008-10-03

In The Bag: Football Season and the Perfect Bag
Donald Miralle shares how he packs to photograph football games at home and on the road.

By Donald Miralle

Photo by Donald Miralle

Photo by Donald Miralle

Donald Miralle's gear.
This is my favorite time of the year, when the weather starts to cool off, baseball play-offs begin, but more importantly the football season is in full swing. During football season I usually bring the same gear to all my games in my favorite bag, the Think Tank Airport International ( It is the perfect size to fit a myriad of different 35mm equipment, and best of all it fits in the overhead of most jets including smaller connection jets like Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs) and Embraer Brasilia (EMB- 120) or if worse came to worse it would take up your leg room under the seat in front of you. The inside is surprisingly deep since the retractable handle doesn’t take up as much of the depth as in some rollers like the Tamaracks. Because of this, I can actually fit my 70-200/2.8 straight in the case depth wise!

This is what’s in my bag for football:
400mm (or sometimes 500mm)
15mm fisheye or 14mm
2 X Canon Mark III
1 X Canon DS
580EX II w/holder
2 spare batteries for camera bodies
2 pocket wizards with cable release and off-shoe mount for flash
mini—Bogen tripod
vertical viewfinder
dust blower
disk wallet with CF cards
WD hard drive and CF card reader in cool case logic case
Sony MP3 IC Recorder
Columbia bucket hat
Handsfree Sunblock SPF 30

This is usually what I also bring to most editorial sport assignments, including golf, but I sometimes would substitute a 500mm/F4 instead. I rarely use a remote and flash for football, but I bring it just in case there is something in the tunnels or post-game. I used to bring tele-converters but I don’t think they are the sharpest on the new canon bodies and now prefer shooting full-frame on a long telephoto and then cropping. I like to stay as light as possible at football since I usually follow the action or stay in front of it and sometimes find myself quickly shuffling along the sidelines.

I also carry my 17” MacBook Pro and other miscellaneous items in my Think Tank Airport Check-In bag ( that fits perfectly on the retractable handle, and occasionally wear my waist bag with AquaTech Sports Shields rain covers on wet days.

See you out there on the field!

(Donald Miralle is a freelance editorial and commercial photographer and has won numerous awards for his work including World Press Photo, POYi, and BOP. You can see more if his work on his website: You can see his member page here:

Related Links:
Miralle's member page

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