So I figured that I would write a quick article about Tournament Paintball Photography and how to get started in it and some tips and tricks. I am going to try and make this as easy to read as possible and to break it down into sections. This is going to be a multi-part series as I want to keep this as informational as possible.Without giving you a ton to have to read.
First of all this article is coming from personal experience so it might have some stuff that won’t work for you. Having been fortunate enough to have my Paintball Photography appear on the Cover of PaintballX3 for Chicago NPPL, in St. Petersburg Times newspaper Sports section, Rockstar Energy Drink website and several other places. I will warn you ahead of time that the Equipment I list in my preferred equipment section is what I have found to work best for me and it doesn’t mean that their isn’t other equipment out there that will work just as good or better.
To start off in paintball photography you’re going to need some equipment. The equipment that I list below is what I have found to work best for myself. If you know of something that will work better leave a comment letting me know what you have found that works best for you.
I like the Canon 7D because it has a very fast frame per second rate, Its easy to hold, very durable, great low light ability and has a 100% viewfinder which enables me to see the exact picture that I will be getting when I press the shutter button. The fast frame rate is something that is very important in tournament paintball photography where something can happen within the blink of an eye.
Okay this lens is an amazing piece of art. It is one of the most widely used lenses in paintball photography. Featuring a 70-200mm zoom and the ability to go as low as f/2.8 make it very versatile. The image stabilization on it is also a very nice feature. When looking for a lens you are going to want one that is very durable, has good low light capability (f/2.8 or lower if possible) has a good fixed or zoom range because you are only able to fill the frame if you can get in close with your lens. Also an Auto focus is mandatory because of the quick pace action of tournament paintball photography.
Okay your memory card is one of the things that are very important to Tournament Paintball Photography. Because if your memory card fails on you then you lose all your pictures and your ability to take more pictures. So the Memory Card that I trust is the SanDisk Extreme CF cards the reason for this is because they are the most reliable ones that I found. I have had them in sand,mud,rain,water, etc and they haven’t failed me. They are also very fast which is important when you are trying to get your images dumped and edited every night. While they not be the cheapest cards they are the most reliable in my personal opinion.
Okay so you now have thousands of dollars worth of equipment how are you going to protect? I personally prefer the Kata Bags E-702 to protect my equipment. This Bag has allowed me to stay on the field in a downpour without worrying about the camera or lens getting ruined by the rain. It has allowed me to take direct hits to the camera and still protect it. Remember paintballs are traveling at 280 fps which means that its not an easy task keeping your camera body protected while doing tournament paintball photography. I feel like this is a mandatory piece of equipment for any aspiring tournament paintball photographer.
So now you have the lens,camera body,memory card,bag to protect your camera and lens on the field. What about protecting it on the way to the field? To handle this I use the Kata Bags Bumblebee UL-222 Backpack. This allows me to carry my Lenses, Camera Body, Macbook Pro 17″, and everything else needed in a protected environment to the field and while traveling to the field. The kata bag is very comfortable and makes it feel like their is nothing on your back when you are using it. You could even use it while on the field allowing you to be a mobile tournament paintball photographer. It even has a way to store your tripod easily.
This is a very important and mandatory part of being a tournament paintball photographer and being allowed to do tournament paintball photography. If you don’t have a paintball mask you will not be allowed on the field as it is not a safe environment without the proper equipment. I personally use the VForce Grillz because they are very comfortable, don’t fog up, and allow a good visibility. They also feature easy to remove lenses so that you can quickly clean them after a day on the field.
This is just the first part of this series on how to become a tournament paintball photographer and be able to do tournament paintball photography. Please be sure to leave a comment if you liked this post. Also be sure to share this with anyone that you think might be interested in learning about becoming a tournament paintball photographer and doing tournament paintball photography. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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