I’m shooting football tonight for the first time. For the second time ever I’ll attend a football game and last time was thirteen years ago – that tells much about my expertise… I am lucky enough to attend Guinea vs. Cameroon thanks to an invitation from the Guinean national team. An international match – what an awesome way to introduce myself to football photography !

For such a great occasion my hardware setup reminds me of that Tank Girl quote… “Feeling a little inadequate ?”

My friends Guillaume and François being on vacation there was no way to take advantage of some of their stash of heavy gear. So all I could do to to scrounge up a semi-decent kit was to borrow a body from Julien. I also took his Vosonic X’S-Drive II Plus VP2160 portable hard disk to replace my Vosonic X’S-Drive VP2060 whose ergonomics I partly blame for a recent data loss. So here is my packing list :

On top of all that, some learning material digested beforehand can’t hurt… I found Photo.net’s sport photography introduction to be a good starting point.

The problem with football is the fast action moving impredictably around the whole pitch. The most useful focal lengths are said to be 70-500 and short reaction times give no time for swapping lenses. So I intend to mount the 70-200 with the TC on the Eos 350XT on the monopod with the 550EX and the Better Beamer. The 24-70 will go on the Eos 300D with the 380EX. So the bad news is that I have a gaping hole in coverage between 70mm and 140mm. Another 70-200, even a f/4 would have been nice. Decent long glass in place of the converted 70-200/2.8 would had been even better but that is definitely not within my means so I should stop dreaming. But a replacement for the 300D shall surely be on my Christmas letter to Santa Claus so that I can at least stop borrowing bodies.

Too bad I only have one battery with the borrowed 350XT – I have four for my 300D so I’ll probably end up shooting part of the game swapping lenses on it… Which is exactly what I wanted to avoid. Why aren’t the two bodies using the same batteries ?

All in all I have the vital minimum but not much more. Compared to the pro shooters I expect to be on my left and right I’m feeling whoefully short on hardware… But let’s be a hero and prove that I can produce decent pictures with this ghetto rig !