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|| News Item: Posted 2008-06-30

In The Bag: 'Rookie' Packs For First Olympics
Dan Powers tells us how he will pack his gear for Beijing.

By Dan Powers, Appleton Post-Crescent

Photo by Dan Powers / Appleton Post-Crescent

Photo by Dan Powers / Appleton Post-Crescent

Dan's camera gear.
This August is going to be one to remember. I got lucky…real lucky. I'm going to be part of the Gannett team that is covering the Olympics in Beijing, China. Wow…I still can't believe it. Did I mention it's the Olympics?! Ya think I'm excited? Oh…I'm excited. This excitement, however, comes bundled with anticipation, urgency and a touch of nervousness. You see this is my first Olympics, which means I'm a rookie. A rookie who asks the question, "What the hell am I supposed to pack for this international event?" Well, I'll give it a shot…

I found out that I needed to fill out an Equipment Declaration Letter that needed to be given the official seal of approval by the Chinese. After that, I would get a copy back along with an Equipment Confirmation Letter that I needed to use to get through customs upon arriving in Beijing. The list of gear needs to include serial numbers…pretty precise. Whew…here we go…

After getting great feedback from USA Today's Robert Hanashiro, Sports Illustrated's Bill Frakes and AP's Morry Gash, I finally figured out what I wanted to do. (Thanks for all of the great advice guys) It's a careful balance of bringing enough gear to do your job thoroughly and not bringing so much that you can't transport it fairly easily. So, I'm leaving the 600mm lens at home and packing the following…

My carry-on will consist of the basic gear I need to survive. My choice is the Think Tank International Rolling case. It will contain the following:

(2) Canon Mark IIn cameras
(1) 400mm/2.8IS
(1) 70-200mm
(1) 16-35mm
(1) 14mm
(1) 1.4x extender
(1) 2x extender
(1) 580EX speedlite with an off camera cord
Camera batteries

This is my basic NFL football coverage set-up.

My other carry-on will be a Think Tank Airport Check In and will contain the following:

(1) Mac Book Pro
(1) SanDisk Firewire card reader
(1) Lexar card reader
(1) 320-gig external hard drive
(1) Sony headphones
(1) Mini-mouse
(1) Lexar jump drive
(1) Canon NC-E2 battery charger

It will also contain various cords as well as my passport and credentials. Although those might be permanently attached to my body so as not to lose! Not the cords.

Photo by Dan Powers / Appleton Post-Crescent

Photo by Dan Powers / Appleton Post-Crescent

Dan's computer gear.
Although not pictured, (I'm waiting to receive it) I am putting the rest of the gear in a Pelican 1564 rolling hard case. It will contain the following:

(2) Canon Mark II cameras
(1) Canon 300mm/2.8IS
(1) Canon 28-300 (not pictured)
(1) Canon 16-35
(1) Canon 15mm fisheye
(1) 1.4x extender
(1) Canon NC-E2 battery charger
(4) AquaTech camera raincoats
(1) Gitzo carbon fiber monopod G1588

***my second Gitzo carbon fiber monopod is a GM2540 and will be with my clothes***

The last of my gear consists of remote stuff. This gear will most likely fit in the Pelican case too. Otherwise some of it will go with my clothes I guess. I like to try remotes when I'm on assignment but so far it's only been for baseball, volleyball and tennis. I would like to try other things and pick the brains of my peers on this trip so I am bringing the following:

(2) Pocket Wizard Multi-Max remotes with a personal customized channel.
(1) Bogen Super Clamp
(1) Bogen Magic Arm
(1) Slik Ball Head
(1) OverXposed plate
(2) LPA camera triggers

I am also bringing the Think Tank Photo Speed Demon waist pack and a North Face small waist pack that I'll put in my clothing bag. I will be using a Kart-A-Bag roller to transport the three large cases.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but that's what I'm thinking. My last step in this whole process is to pack it all up sometime in July and take it out to the airport to be weighed. I want to be absolutely positive that I am coming in under weight. I don't want any surprises at the airport the day of departure.

On last note, I must say I can't wait to work with all of these great photographers. I work at The Post-Crescent in Appleton, WI, and our daily circulation is about 52,000 and 65,000 on Sunday's. So, needless to say I'm the rookie guy from the small paper. Our team of photographers consists of Robert Hanashiro, Jack Gruber, Bob Deutsch, Eileen Blass, H. Darr Beiser, Greg Pearson, Matt Detrich and Jeff Swinger. All of them are heavy-hitters in my book, so I plan on bringing my A-Game as well as doing a lot of listening. Our editors are Jeff Franko, Mick Cochran and Michael Madrid. I worked with Michael at the Super Bowl in Detroit and he was fun to work with. Good folks all around.

I guess that's it. Looking forward to seeing all of you in Beijing, but I think I'm gonna take a nice relaxing vacation in Jamaica first. I think I'm going to need all of the energy I can get.


(Dan Powers is a staff photographer with the Appleton The Post-Crescent and has covered the Green Bay Packers for 18 years. He writes a regular blog for the paper: You can see his member page here:

Related Links:
Dan's member page

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