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Over the past few weeks I have been asked on numerous occasions what kit I am taking to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio. This is the biggest sporting event on the planet and needs careful planning (and buying!). This will be my first Olympic Games. I did not shoot at London 2012 as at that stage I had never photographed a sport before. I was a social photographer and publisher of book for professional photographers.

Unlike the guys and girls who work for the agencies I have to purchase all my own kit (I am sure they do too but can also borrow pretty much anything from their employers I guess) and I wanted the best to fully capitalise on being at the Olympic Games. It is a huge privilege to be there and I am one of a very small handful of UK freelancers to have accreditation and for all sports. It is an opportunity not to be wasted. I am fortunate that I have not had to buy any new glass as I had it all anyway, although the new 105mm f1.4 and 35mm f1.4 would be nice additions. I am not a gear junkie at all but the Olympic Games is special and I need to give myself every possibility to get the best shots so I have added 4 new camera bodies to my kit (shown as new in brackets). I will probably leave my D4 and D810 in the UK with a retailer who can put them up for sale.

You maybe surprised to see the Hasselblad in my kit list but I approached them with a request to borrow one to shoot Rio 2016 with. I love the brand and have a 500 C/M film camera but really wanted to shoot all digital (although I may well take it anyway). The Hasselblad will slow things down (not that I often shoot at 12fps anyway) and I will be using it for documentary and action shots with the goal of them displaying my work on the global website. It will be fascinating to shoot medium format at the Games and I guess quite unique too. I am hoping it will be a good conversation opener.

My kits list is as follows:-

2 x Nikon D5
Nikon D500
Hasselblad H5D

16-35mm f4
24-70mm f2.8
50mm f1.4
85mm f1.4
105mm f2.8
70-200mm f2.8
300mm f2.8
400mm f2.8
1.4 Teleconverter
Hasselblad 30-90mm
Hasselblad 210mm

1 x Think Tank Airport Commander
1 x Lowepro x300
1 x Black Rapid twin shoulder straps
1 x Think Tank belt system
2 x Pocket Wizards Plus III’s
1 x Nikon SB910 (flash is not allowed but it may come in useful elsewhere)
3 x 128gb XQD cards
3 x 32gb SD cards
3 x 32gb CF cards
10 16gb CF cards
Mac Book Pro
4TB of portable storage

It is obvious why I am taking the D5’s but maybe not so the D500. Well, it is almost as fast as the D5 but will have Snap Bridge allowing me to bluetooth images to my phone which then allows me to send them to clients or my own social media via wifi. The really cool feature though is that in the D5 and D500 you can rate images in camera and the D500 will read the D5 images from the XQD card including the rating which is uber cool! This will allow me to very quickly get my images out there.

You maybe wondering what all this might weight – well it is actually not too bad and fortunately I going to Brazil you are allowed 2 x 23kg hold bags plus hand luggage. Security will be a factor and I have taken measures as best I can and do have full insurance so hopefully all will be ok.

#rio2016 #olympicgames #olympicrings