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Don't be a gear junkie

Don't be a gear junkie - Sam Furlong explains why having less kit can sometimes be better.

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Sam FurlongSam Furlong is a photojournalist working out of the South West of England for the UK's national press. If you read any of the UK national newspapers you probably see Sam's work on a daily basis without realising it.

See www.sfotos.co.uk for more information.

Sam explains why having too much kit can get in the way of a good photograph:

"I am a bit of a self confessed gear junkie. I love having 3 or 4 bodies to choose from, a load of top of the range L lenses, radio triggers, wireless transmitters.. all sorts of stuff but sometimes it does get in the way of good photography.

Sometimes when you don't know what sort of kit you'll need there is a temptation to take all of it which (apart from the sheer weight and logistics of carrying it all) can give you too many options.

Recently, while covering the tour of Britain bike race I was forced to make just such a decision. I was to photograph the race departing from Worcester, it was okay to do on foot as the convoy was to do a circular lap of the city before heading off to Stoke so I would be able to get to two or three different vantage points in time as long as I ran! This left me only able to take with me what gear I could carry and run with. That instantly meant that the long, fast lenses like the 500mm f4 / 300 2.8 were looking doubtful, also not taking these lenses meant that a monopod wasn't needed. In the end I settled on two 1DMKIII bodies, a 16-35 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 on each of them with a 24-70 2.8, a couple of teleconverters, a single spare battery, a couple of cards and a single flashgun in my waistbelt along with my pda to transmit my images. In the end it proved to be just the right choice of kit but I would have liked the 500mm for one shot and my 14mm for another of the bikes crossing the cites bridge with the cathedral behind but I coped. I had to work a bit harder to make a couple of the images work but I think that has made them better pictures."

Tour of Britain bike race
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