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|| News Item: Posted 2003-07-31

In The Bag
By Brad Mangin

(Editor's Note: One in an ongoing series on what working photographers have in their camera bags.)

As a freelance photographer shooting baseball in the San Francisco Bay Area for Sports Illustrated and Major League Baseball Photos I am fortunate to get the chance to photograph the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics all season long. Both clubs play about 40 day games and they each play in ballparks that are pretty nice to shoot in.

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

The inside of Brad Mangin's Lowe Pro Roller 2.
Since I don't have the need to travel very much (the exception being an occasional trip to the beautiful Safeco Field in Seattle to shoot the Mariners) I have put together a real simple system of transporting all my gear to the local parks in one cool rolling case --- the Lowe Pro Roller 2.

The Lowe Pro Roller 2 WILL NOT fit into the overhead compartment of an airlplane - it is NOT a carry on. Yet, it is perfect for me to take to local games, as it fits EVERYTHING I need to get the job done for a basic ballgame.

The Lowe Pro Roller 2 has these dimensions:

Size (exterior):
16.5W x 11D x 25.25H in. (42 x 28 x 64 cm)

Size (interior):
14W x 7D x 21.5H in. (35.5 x 18 x 54.5 cm)

Outer fabric:
water-resistant 2000D ballistic nylon

Here is what I take with me in my Roller to Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco or the Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland:

* 2 Canon EOS-1D bodies, each wrapped in a Domke wrap.
* 1 Canon EF 400mm f2.8L IS USM lens with hood attached.
* 1 Canon 70-200 2.8 zoom in a Lightware lens pouch.
* 1 Canon 17-35 2.8 zoom.
* 1 Canon 550EX flash.
* 1 Canon 1.4x teleconverter in a Lightware lens pouch.
* 1 Canon 2x teleconverter in a Lightware lens pouch.
* 1 Canon Ni-MH Charger NC-E2 (to charge nicads for EOS-1D).
* 1 Canon AC adapter for EOS-1D.
* 1 Gitzo G1568 Mountaineer Mk2 Carbon Fiber Monopod (fits INSIDE case diagonally).
* 1 Minolta light meter.

The Roller also has many cool and flat compartments in the lid that I can stuff lots of shipping envelopes and airbills into.

Since I am usually not transmitting at the park I don't have to worry about bringing a laptop and all the other necessary accessories required to move pictures from the yard.

Besides the cool Roller case I also bring along an old Domke F-803 Satchel that I stuff with extra batteries, memory cards, Duct tape, Sharpies, rosters and other miscellaneous junk.

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Mangin's old-school Domke F-803 Satchel.
Remember, it really helps your back not to try and carry all your gear into the ballpark from your car in the crappy lot far away from the stadium. I know when I was young and not so smart as a college intern at the Contra Costa Times in 1987 I used to carry EVERYTHING into the ballpark over my shoulders. That included a big-ass Gitzo tripod (that's right - we ALL used to use tripods in the OLD and spacious photo boxes at Candlestick and the Coliseum), a Nikon 600 4.0 and a full Domke bag with cameras and lots of chrome. I must have been NUTS! That stuff was heavy, but back then there were no roller cases and no one used pull carts.

We have all been educated and are much smarter about this stuff nowadays. Don't get caught up in trying to be cool by carrying your heavy gear into the park- you might regret it later.

There are many fine companies that make roller cases that have been talked about in previous issues of the Sports Shooter Newsletter, including Tamrac and Tenba. The Lowe Pro just happens to work out great for me.

Have fun, get to the park early, check in with the cool team photographer, mark a spot, enjoy a lovely pre-game press meal (if you are at Pac Bell Park and get to dine on the secret $4.50 lunch in the Sam Skinner Press Room), grab a roster, take off your lens hood if the photo box is crowded and make some fun pictures.

(Brad Mangin is based in the Bay Area and his work can be seen frequently in the pages of Sports Illustrated.)

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