A Guide to Lenses for your DSLR

When you bought your DSLR, chances are there is already a lens included. Commonly, this lens is called the kit lens and works fine for your regular photography needs. But as you advance in knowledge and skills in photography, you realize your kit lens will not be enough for those shoots you need to make. With that said, there are hundreds of lenses available in the market today to fill those needs. However, the variety of these lenses as far as features and capabilities are concerned can be overwhelming for a newbie photographer to choose which would be best for his/her needs. To make things simple, we have narrowed down the selection to the most common types we think you will need as a photographer, regardless if you are into baby portraits.

Ultra Wide Lenses

Ultra wide angle lenses have a focal length of around less than 24 mm (in 35 mm-format), this means they can take in a wider scene than is typical, though they’re not only about getting all of a subject into a shot. Because of this characteristic, they typically have a large depth of field which means images tend to pull in subjects that are close, and push away more distant ones making them appear further apart.  They are typically used inlandscape, architecture and interior photography, as well as other creative uses.

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Wide Angle Lenses

Wide angle lenses have a focal length of between 24 mm and 35 mm, with a wide field of view and often also boast of close minimum focusing distances. Thus, they can magnify the perceived distance between subjects in the foreground and background, providing less distortion ultra wide lenses. They are often used when trying to get the whole of a subject in frame like a building or a landscape, as well as interesting portraits

Telephoto Lenses

Telephoto lenses are those with a focal length above 70 mm, though many people would argue that “true” telephoto lenses are ones which exceed 135 mm. They focus on a much narrower field of view than other lenses, which makes them good in focusing in on specific details or distant subjects. They are generally larger and heavier than equally specified wider lenses. They can also compress elements such that the objects that are far apart in reality from the camera can appear closer together. They are used often to photograph subjects you can’t (or don’t want to) get close to, like sports or wildlife subjects. They can also be used for shooting portraits and even landscapes where their normalization of relative size can be used to give a sense of scale.

Superzoom Lenses

Superzooms are do-it-all lenses which cover focal lengths from wide to telephoto. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the hassle of changing lenses often, superzooms may be for you. The flipside though is that they do not have the same image quality of more dedicated lenses and often have slower and variable maximum apertures.

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Macro Lenses

Macro lenses are the more specialist type of lenses, and they are frequently used to refer to lenses which can be used for extreme close-up photography. Such lenses typically have focal lengths of around 40-200 mm. Because of its close-up functionalities, macro lenses have excellent image sharpness, though it’s worth noting that when working at close distances they also have a tiny depth of field. In addition, they can also be great for portraits thanks to their typical sharpness and focal lengths.

Summary

As we have seen, different lenses can give photographers more freedom and capabilities in shooting different types of images under different settings and situations. Thus, it is important that as a photographer, you should first determine the type of photography that you do and the environments you are in that will help you in choosing the perfect lenses for your camera. With proper care and maintenance lenses are good photography investments that can last longer than even your camera.

Top 5 Travel Photography Tips for Beginners

travel photographyTraveling is what some individuals do as a hobby. They travel to famous landmarks and beautiful places. On the other hand, there are people who travel for work like a travel photographer. Travel photographers are photographers who take pictures of wonderful places for a specific project or shoot scenic spots and sell them.

With travel photography, you get to enjoy your travel while earning an income. You will be mesmerized by the beauty of the nature especially places where only a few have been to and be able to share these travel photos for people to see.

If you are an aspiring travel photographer or a beginner travel shooter, here are the top 5 tips that can help you effectively produce mesmerizing travel photos.

  1. Research to find great places

There are many fascinating places in the world that is worth going to and photographing. You can read book, get online or ask friends for recommendations. List the places that you think are worth going to and learn as much info as possible – from the means of travel to important things and docs to bring. Each place is unique and has something different to offer and you must be aware of this so you can plan your shots in advance.

  1. Include people in your shoot

Travel photography is different from landscape photography. Yes, you will be shooting places like in landscape photography but then with travel photography it is not limited to places only. You can include people in your shoot to make it more alive and interesting to look at. Shooting pictures of fellow travelers can make your photos more unique, different and worth viewing.

  1. Shoot from a different perspective

Be experimental when shooting during your travel. Your photos must be more than just the traditional-looking postcards. It must be something more magnificent and you can achieve this through shooting from different angles or perspectives. Observe the scene, compose your shot and choose the best perspectives to get more fascinating travel photos.

  1. Bring only the items you can use

Cameras, particularly DSLRs, are heavy plus you will need to attach a lens on it. Hence, it would be better for you to plan carefully on what to bring depending on the location, hours of travel and desired shots. Even wedding photographers, like this wedding photographer Newcastle, sometimes travel for a wedding shoot and carefully chose what to bring to avoid unnecessary load.

  1. Know the expected weather

Weather can sometimes be a hindrance to getting the best travel photos. If you have set your schedule to visiting a new location in a different city or country, then it is wise to search know ahead the expected weather for that day. By knowing the weather you can prepare what to bring and even have a backup plan for stormy weather. This is what our wedding photographer kent also does when working on a destination wedding.

These top 5 travel photography tips for beginners can hopefully guide you in producing the best travel photos that your client and other people will love to see. Keep in mind also that people in various places differ and they might have customs or traditions that are worth knowing before you go there. You will not only produce amazing travel photos but you also get to meet people and learn about their uniqueness.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring a Wedding Planner

wedding planningPlanning a wedding can be stressful for couples. It is surely not easy to plan how to make this once-in-a-lifetime event successful and memorable. Imagine how many suppliers and vendors you need to find and talk to. Or, think about the different bridal shops, restaurants and flower shops you must visit before deciding on which products and services to avail.

Wedding planning is certainly not easy and this is one of the reasons why some couples chose to hire a wedding planner. A wedding planner is somehow who is hired to manage, organize or handle the wedding of a couple. Professional wedding planners, in general, are great in organizing weddings, choosing wedding items and giving ideas for couples to think about.

But well, there are advantages and disadvantages of hiring a wedding planner that you must be aware of.

Advantages

  1. Plan better and easier

Using his/her knowledge and experience, a wedding planner can meticulously lay out the plan for your wedding – from the wedding style and clothing to the wedding party. Your wedding planner can initiate the planning and choosing but the final decision will still depend on you and your partner.

  1. Lessen your worries

As long as you hire a dependable and experienced wedding planner, then you have fewer worries to think about. You can just relay to the wedding planner what you and your partner want or expect from the wedding, then the planner can get started in finding what you need. This can give you more free time to prepare yourself for the actual wedding date.

  1. Get easily connected with wedding vendors

Having worked with many wedding vendors or professional, your wedding planner knows who the right people to hire and what services are suitable for you. He/she can present various options for you to choose from. Moreover, the planner can even get discounts for you from his/her friends in the wedding industry or from stores he/she usually frequents when working on a wedding.

  1. Receive professional help and advice

The extensive experience of your wedding planner can help you decide faster about different things. The planner can provide reliable advice since he/she knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to weddings

Disadvantages

  1. Additional cost

This is an additional wedding cost which may worry the couple especially if they are following a strict budget. But then, it is surely worth adding to your budget for a great wedding planner can really help make your wedding run smoothly.

  1. Less control of the wedding

You will have less control of the wedding which still depends on how you want it. If you are busy with work or other stuff, then giving more control to the planner is fine as long as you what’s happening. You still get to make the final decisions.

  1. Risk of hiring an incompetent

Like choosing a wedding photographer, you need to find someone who is really competent so you won’t be wasting your hard-earned money for nothing. There is surely some risks which you need to counter by choosing a planner wisely.

Wedding planning requires time, effort and patience. With a professional wedding planner around, planning will be less difficult for you and your partner. You can enjoy and create more wonderful memories together.

Reviewing the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon’s EOS 7D was considered one of the best DSLRs that Canon has ever made as it had a number of great features that made this camera ahead of its class then.

Five years later, as the original 7D has stuck around for quite too long, Canon introduced its successor, the EOS 7D Mark II. Not quite inspired for its name but it seems to at least continue the positive experiences its predecessor first brought. So let’s see how this camera fares in this review.

Features and Design

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is a 20 megapixel camera with a CMOS APS-C Sensor. It also has Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology of that model, allowing it to smoothly and confidently refocus during Live View and Movies, as well as an 8 channel readout, supporting the faster continuous shooting speed of 10fps and 1080p video at 60p.

It also offers a highly customizable 65 point autofocus system, all of which are cross-type sensors, with the center point sensitive down to -3EV, allowing for better focusing of subjects. It also offers twin memory card slots for more storage. It all adds up to a highly confident DSLR, especially for sports, wildlife and event shooters.

Camera body is pretty much solid and the controls are laid out almost the same as that of the 7D. Its viewfinder is one of the best viewfinders you can find in a DSLR, providing a lot of information you may need. It also has a good LCD screen as well. However, unlike a number of camera LCD screens these days, the 7D Mark II’s LCD is neither a tilting screen nor a touch screen.

As far as connectivity is concerned, this DSLR offers GPS metadata to geotag images captured. However, it does not have a built-in wifi connectivity. You would need to buy either a Canon accessory for wi-fi capability or get wi-fi memory card for instant sharing online.

Feedback

Canon’s EOS 7D Mark II is simply one of the toughest, fastest and most confident DSLRs, especially for sports and action photography. Compared to the first 7D, the Mark II is a huge improvement.

There’s a lot to like here. The headlining 65-point AF system and 10fps continuous shooting really are a powerful combination, especially when coupled with evaluative metering. Configured to deploy intelligent tracking and recognition, the 7D Mark II allows you focus on your subject, meter correctly and effectively track it as you’re firing bursts. It’s also very responsive. If you can get the subject in the frame even for the briefest moment, there’s a strong chance the 7D Mark II will focus and meter for it correctly.

If you are into a great performing camera, especially for your needs like that of a Manchester Wedding Photographer in taking a lot of action shots, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is worth the consideration.

4 Helpful Ways to Stay Within Your Wedding Budget

wedding tipsWedding can be costly for an engaged couple. You have to buy various items and pay for wedding services. A wedding budget must be set early when you start planning for your wedding so you will know up to how much you can spend. If you are on a shoestring budget, then all the more you need to divide your wedding budget carefully.

There are newlywed couples who admit spending more than their wedding budget. They either did not expect the rates to be high or there are additional expenses they had to incur. You do not have to follow their lead though. There are ways you can stay within your budget so you won’t end up worrying on how to pay debts or asking financial help from parents.

Here are some helpful ways on how you can stick to your wedding budget.

  1. Prepare a priority list

A priority checklist containing the wedding services and items you need to order or acquire is important to have at the onset of wedding planning. Once you have set a wedding, you can start listing the things you need including the price or rate for each.

You can research for the estimated price/ rates in your location or ask help from family or friends who may have knowledge in wedding planning. Try to list the wedding items according to priority. Let’s say, write the wedding venue, wedding caterer and wedding photography on top of the list then include optional items at the bottom.

  1. Invite only the closest family and friends

Your wedding is an intimate event that is best celebrated with the ones you love. Prepare a guest list by writing first most important people such as your relatives and friends you need to invite. Decide on how many you should invite with consideration to the venue and of course your budget. Keep in mind that the more people you invite, the higher the wedding cost. Hence, it is advisable to invite only the closest if you want to stay within your wedding budget.

  1. Spend less on one-time use wedding items

Although a wedding is very special for the couple particularly the brides, you don’t have to spend too much on a wedding dress. There are wedding dresses that you can buy at a lower price or if you want to really save on cost, you can rent one. Also, if you want to stay within your budget, then try to spend less on other wedding items like the flowers or wedding decors that you can only use once. You can even get a wonderful bridal bouquet at a good price.

  1. Learn to negotiate

When meeting with a wedding professional like Wedding photographer staffordshire , be very meticulous in choosing one. Compare and check the packages or service they are offering. Try to negotiate to have it at a lower cost without of course affecting the quality you expect. Some wedding vendors, at first, will try to present you with high rates but will later agree on a lower cost once you negotiate well. Try to negotiate or lower down the cost and once everything has been agreed upon, make sure the details are written in the contract that both parties will sign.

A wedding can be successful without spending too much. Just plan, research and manage it well so everything will go smoothly.

A Guide to Capturing Better Portraits

With the development of digital photography, not to mention the growth of the internet, especially social media, portraits have played a role more important than ever for the subject to capture the viewer’s attention. The more stunning and unique the portrait, the more likely it will gain attention.

As photographers like a Kent Wedding Photographer, you have the unenviable task of making your portrait photographs stand out. But as long as you keep in mind the tips we will be sharing to you here, you should not feel worried and instead take it as an opportunity to show what you got.

Tip # 1: Alter your perspective

Most portraits involve having the subject look directly to the camera in front of the subject. While there is nothing wrong with that, try playing with it a bit by changing your perspective and have the camera shoot from the top or below the subject for some more interesting perspectives and unique portraits in the process.

Tip # 2: Indirect eye contact is an option

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Some of the most artistic portraits involve the subject not looking direct to the camera. This approach works especially if you wish to convey certain emotions or moods of the subject and/or the environment around him/her.

Tip #3: Dare to break those composition rules

In photography, we are aware the “rule of thirds” as one of those rules that many photographers adhere to. While rules like this have their merit, there are some instances that call for one to break them. Of course, this would depend on the situation at hand but you can go a bit more experimental as to how your subject will be placed, as long as such things would not make the viewer lose focus on the subject in the process.

Tip # 4: Play around with the lighting

Lighting can affect the mood or the atmosphere of the portrait in question. As a photographer, make use of the lighting available in the area if possible to evoke whatever atmosphere or mood you wish to convey, adding a bit more impact to the portrait in general thanks to the light play in place.

Tip # 5: Bring your subject out of the comfort zone

Portraits need not look like the usual pose in front of the camera. Be creative and daring in experimenting on new things and ideas and persuade your subject to take part in those plans you may have. While it may be awkward for the subject to do the things you want him/her to do, it does help bring about the subject’s more natural and playful side, providing a more multi-dimensional perspective on the subject as well as highlight the artistry employed in the photo.

Tip # 6: Capture candid moments

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While portraits are generally about shooting people in predetermined poses, this does not mean you have to be confined with that type of shoot. In fact, in some instances, shooting subjects in their candid moments would be the more preferable way to go, especially in some cases when posed portraits would not look good on your subject. As with the case of the previous tip, this approach lets your subject act more natural, providing a multi-dimensional perspective as viewers will get to appreciate as well what your subject is like.

Tip # 7: Make use of props

Sometimes, other objects can help enhance the portrait you’re trying to shoot, adding more elements of fun and character to the subject as well. Props do not have to be elaborate; they could be as simple as a balloon or a hat, as long as they serve to accentuate and not distract the subject in the portrait overall.

Tip # 8: Take a series of shots

When your subject is someone who cannot stay still, or if your concept for the portrait involves someone being in motion, it would be helpful to take not one but numerous shots of the subject, setting your camera to continuous shooting if applicable. With this, there would be better chances for you to capture a perfect shot for the portrait, or you can use the set to capture your subject in candid series of portraits.

Top Reasons Why You Should Consider Pre-Wedding Photography

pre-wedding photographyHave you heard about the latest trend in weddings today? Are you familiar with pre-wedding photography sessions? Well pre-wedding photography is a great time for the couple to bond together and increase the excitement leading up to their wedding.

A pre-wedding photography session is usually done outdoors in locations chosen by the couple. The theme could be romantic, fun, vintage, or whatever you and your partner decide to have. This session is done months before the wedding or right after a couple’s engagement.

Yes, this is an added cost for the couple but then if you think about it carefully, you will realize that there are a lot of benefits you can get from having a pre-wedding pictorial. A pre-wedding pictorial also does not cost much, it can be included as a bundle in the wedding photography package you plan to avail or can be availed separately.

Here are the top reasons you should consider a pre-wedding photo session:

  1. Get to know the photographer

A pre-wedding session can help you get to know the photographer you hired. You can assess if the photographer is worth hiring for the actual wedding. It can also make you and your partner feel more at ease with the photographer so you won’t feel shy when being shot.

  1. Be more comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera

Through having a pre-wedding pictorial, you can become more comfortable in making sweet, romantic poses in front of the camera. This can prepare you for the actual wedding so you as well as the photographer will know the flattering angles that the photographer can choose to use for your wedding. It is somehow a good way to practice your poses while having fun bonding with your loved one.

  1. Make more memories to keep with partner

This is a good day to create more memories with your partner. You will remember how unique and fun your experience was during the pre-wedding photography session. The pictures you get from the photographer can be saved in an album or you can order digital copies and have fun looking at them in the future.

  1. Test the photographer

Another reason to consider a pre-wedding photography session is that you can test the skills and capacity of the photographer. You can determine if he/she is worth hiring for your wedding. If you find the photographer to be skilled, then you will no longer worry about your wedding photos for you know that you hired the right one for the job. If you feel disappointed with the result of your pre-wedding, then you can look for another wedding photographer to hire.

  1. Helps the photographer choose the right wedding photography style

The pre-wedding photo session is not only beneficial to you and your future spouse but also to your photographer. Your wedding photographer can better choose the right photography style to apply for your wedding through talking to you, knowing your personalities and what you both love. He/she may choose traditional, alternative wedding photography, artistic or a different one.

A lot of information can surely be shared during the pre-wedding session and this can be help you prepare and plan for your most awaited wedding.

Five Tips For Great Wedding Photos

Wedding photography is one of the most lucrative yet demanding genres in photography to specialize, something that veterans in the industry would attest to. There are so many moments that need to be captured in that single event, not to mention the challenges that might come up along the way.

These things may be overwhelming especially for a newbie wedding photographer. But with the proper guidance and knowledge, one can get through these jitters and be on the way to be an experienced photographer like Kirsty Mattson. We have therefore prepared 5 tips for photographers so they can be able to take great wedding pictures.

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  1. Know the equipment that you have and make sure you have backup

Some photographers like the North East Wedding Photographer have the fault of not knowing what equipment they have and what would be appropriate to use in certain occasions. Thus, it is important to be familiar with the feature and capabilities of each equipment like the lenses, flash, and other gear you will be needing to cover a wedding.

Also, it is important that you have backup equipment that you can use anytime whenever one of them fails on you during the event. This applies especially for batteries for additional power and memory cards for additional storage.

  1. Scout the locations

Once you have the information on the location where the wedding ceremony and the reception will be held, make it a point to visit these places beforehand, at least a day before the wedding as the preparations are being made. Check out which spots would be ideal for you to take some strategic photos. Know well the ins and outs of the area so you can better navigate throughout the venue or venues during the coverage. Better preparation is the key.

  1. Prepare a short list of what to cover

With so many moments in the wedding that needed to be captured, some photographers make a mistake in missing some key moments which make the overall wedding experience feel incomplete as far as the coverage is concerned. To avoid this, photographers must make it a point to know the important moments that must be photographed and make a list of those moments so they would not be forgotten during the event itself. This also helps the photographer’s overall workflow as he/she gets to have a better grasp as to how to transition between moments to take those great photos.

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  1. Gain experience shooting weddings as an assistant

Weddings are important occasions that leave no room for photography mistakes, especially crucial ones. If you are someone new into wedding photography, that pressure is very much felt. So as a way not only to help relieve some of the pressure but also to familiarize oneself with what goes on in a wedding, newbie photographers should take time to gain some experience by working as assistant of more experienced wedding photographers.

This also serves as a good opportunities for the newbies to learn from the experts and be able to gain insights on how to become better wedding photographers in the process.

  1. Shoot in RAW

There is a lot at stake when shooting a wedding and you need to make sure that you have the maximum amount of data available when editing images to correct any issues with exposure, color and white balance in the best quality available as possible. This means that it’s important to shoot photos in the RAW format.

You can shoot JPEG photos at the same time, but as a priority, shoot RAW files to get you out of trouble

What to Look for When Buying Your First DSLR

digital single lens reflexA lot of people are now gaining interest in digital photography. We find it interesting to be able capture images that look real and are visually appealing. Some of us still use the old point and shoot camera while others prefer the more advanced DSLR cameras.

DSLR cameras are often preferred by individuals who are aiming to become a professional photographer someday or just simply want to be good in taking pictures. There are numerous brands and models of this digital single lens reflex camera in the market today. You might get confused on which one to buy especially if it will be your very first DSLR. You have to know how to choose and what to look for in a great DSLR.

The first consideration in choosing is of course your budget. There are entry-level DSLRs which are suitable for starters who have limited budget. On the other hand, there are cameras also that are more expensive and advanced and will require you to spend more. More expensive cameras, of course, have more special features but not to worry, you can still get the sharp images you want using the standard DSLR camera. You just have to know what to look for when buying your first DSLR camera.

Here are some tips on how to choose a DSLR camera to buy.

  1. DSLR with APS-C sensor is more suitable for beginners

When checking out DSLRs, you will encounter cameras that have either an APS-C or Full-frame image sensor. A full frame sensor camera can give you sharper images but is generally more expensive than APS-C. On the other hand, APS-C gives more focus on the subject when shooting, is mostly cheaper than a full frame and easier to learn for beginners. Hence, full frame sensor cameras are best for professionals like those specializing in wedding photography London while APS-C cameras are better for amateurs.

  1. Know the available shooting modes in the camera

If you are looking for a DSLR to buy for a specific type of shoot, you must consider one that has the shooting mode you need to get your desired image. Say for example, if you are into action or fast photography, you will need to shoot in continuous or burst mode. Check out the specifications of the camera and learn the available shooting modes as well as how suitable the brand or model is to your preferred type of photography. You can directly ask the seller or ask other photographers and credible sources online.

  1. Check the ergonomics of the camera

Some cameras are too bulky or heavy with controls that are difficult to use while there are other DSLRs that are lightweight and are easier to hold. Assess carefully if the camera is easy use and learn. Furthermore, know if it is the recommended model for the type of photography you want to specialize in.

  1. Compare prices, packages and features

Some cameras come in a kit which means there are lenses include upon purchase of the camera. Check if the lenses are ideal for your type of shoot and compare also the prices of items when bought individually or in package. Get also all the valuable information about the cameras you are considering by reading forums online or visiting photography-related websites.

DSLR cameras do not come cheap. You have to carefully choose and do a research before buying so your investment won’t be put into waste.

Sports Photography: What Equipment Do I Need?

Sports provides enough action, drama, and suspense worth capturing on camera, more than event photography. As a sports photographer, you are expected to capture those moments in a way that the viewer will feel those emotions as well.

To be able to do that, one must have the right equipment for the job. Admittedly, choosing the right equipment for a photographic genre as dynamic as sports photography poses a challenge in itself, especially if you have little idea as to what you would need in the first place. Let his handy guide be of help to guide those who want to get started in sports photography as to what equipment you would need.

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Camera

It is assumed that your main camera is a DSLR type which is the norm for sports photographers. As such, it is recommended that your DSLR should have a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second or higher.

If you can, try to invest as well in a second camera that would be able to do the job in case your main camera is having issues with battery life or other issues that may arise in the middle of the job you’re doing as a photographer.

Lenses

If you will be covering various sporting events, you will need a variety of lenses as well. Chances are, you will need one type of lens for some sports that will allow you to be near the playing area like basketball, volleyball, or other similar sports, while another lens for other sports that would require you to be at a safe distance from the playing area like football.

To give you an idea, here are the types of lenses you would need as a sports photographer:

  • At least a 70-200 zoom lens to capture the action from the distance like if you’re on the basketball court or football field and you can only photograph the action from a distance
  • A 17-35 wide angle zoom lens for those wide angle shots, as well as for group photos and portraits

Other equipment

For sports photography, it is also essential to have a tele-converter, preferably a 1.5 and/or 2x tele-converter to extend the focal length of you lens, especially if you are either on a tight budget and cannot afford a new lens or if you do not have a longer lens available with you at that moment.

It is also a good idea to bring spare batteries and memory cards in your bag in case of emergencies like low battery or low storage availability so you will be able to capture every moment.

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Also, if the situation calls for it, bring a sturdy tripod with you to be able to capture the action better with the benefit of stability the tripod provides. Alternately, you can use a monopod to do the job if the tripod would be too bulky for you.

You may also need to have speed lights, as well as everything needed to hook them up, if you are covering indoor events for better lighting the venue may not be able to provide.

A rain cover will also be handy to protect your gear if in case it rains at the venue and if the venue is outdoors.

Lastly, your gear should be placed in a weatherproof camera bag for the protection of your gear. Make sure as well that the bag would be able to contain all your equipment and mobile enough for you to carry it from one venue to another.

Knowing the equipment you need and having them at your disposal at whatever sporting event you will cover is very important for sports photography. As long as you have the proper equipment for the game, you have at least taken a step forward in becoming a skilled sports photographer.