We have been asked about the types of cameras and equipment we use to capture the action or put our videos together, so I have put this list together so you can see a brief overview of the gear we use, and why.
The Photography Equipment
As the team photographer I use a Nikon. This is not necessarily because I believe Nikon is better than Canon or other brands, but when I was young my first camera was a Nikon x40D and I have used Nikon ever since as a preference. I have used Canon for shooting sports photography, but I personally prefer the layout and feel of the Nikon range. I am currently using a Nikon D5200 which I use for all our action photography. This camera has a 24.1 megapixel DX-format sensor, a sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 and the best in class 39-point AF system to deliver high image quality and excellent performance.
With the lenses I use to capture the continuous moving action shots, it is extremely important that I use a camera that is just as high quality. Having a great lens on an average camera is like putting expensive fuel in a 'crappy' car.
The D5200's advanced 39-Point Autofocus provides exceptionally precise focus, with sophisticated tracking and intelligent face detection. This makes it easy to capture all kinds of action shots, from moving surfers out at Avoca Point, to capturing Wildwater athletes cutting through rapids down a fast flowing river.
My Lens of Choice
My absolute favourite lens which hardly ever comes off the body of my camera is my 150mm-500mm Sigma lens for Nikon. This camera is sharp and quick which is perfect for capturing the action on the river or in the surf. With its auto-focusing function and image stabilisation, it is the perfect lens for capturing fast moving objects. This lens Is suitable for wildlife and sports photography.
The Tripod Set Up
For quick reaction and smooth panning while I am operating a high shutter speed and tracking the paddlers, I use a gimbal head set up. The gimbal I use is the ProMaster Professional GH-10.
The tripod I use is a Slik 500DX Tripod which keeps the camera stable when I have the 150mm-500mm lens on. When I have such a large lens on the camera, this limits my tripod options as most tripods don’t have the weight to support a lens of this size. The only downside of this tripod is that it is really heavy to travel with. When I am shooting in remote places where I have to trek into the river by foot, or when I am at the beach I use a monopod.
Capturing the action on the water
For the close up action videos we use GoPros. Alex uses his GoPro 2, and Rob uses a GoPro Hero 4, both set up with a floatation pad on the back incase they come off in the water. Both GoPros have been really reliable and are perfect for capturing the action on the water.
When it comes to editing the photos, I am not one for dramatically changing the images as I believe in getting the settings right on the day so that I shouldn't need to edit them in post production. However, at times, especially at surf carnivals where there is a lot of glare off the water or in Europe when the Wildwater competitions are at night, I will use Lightroom to make adjustments to the images. I will also use Lightroom to add a watermark if necessary, which I often do with the photos I take for the Wildwater competitions overseas.
Alex is the Paddle Dogs Australia primary video editor and he chooses to use iMovie to edit our footage and create short videos. I also edit videos using iMovie, which I find really simple and user friendly, but will use Adobe Premiere Pro CC to edit the more complex videos where layering or extensive editing is needed. Both of these programs are used on our Macbook pros.
Thanks for reading!