— Dane Creek

Peter Read Miller Sports Workshop: Gear Part 1




Honestly, I’m mostly interested in writing about what I learn during the workshop, but I know people are always interested in gear so I’m going to do a series of posts before I even get on the plane to get the gear stuff out of the way.

First up: the grip bag. You’d be surprised at how much non-camera gear comes along for a sports shoot!


1. Manfrotto 244N Variable Friction Magic Arm. Two of these are the core component of the grip bag. They’ll allow me to hang my camera in random places to get a different view of the action. Each arm is modified with a 110lb. strength zip tie and split ring to give me a place to attach a safety cable.

2. Avenger F800 3-Inch Baby Wall Plate. Combined with #3, #5, and #7 I can set up a stable remote camera on the ground.

3. Manfrotto 1/4” Standard Stud. These are the generic studs that come with the clamps. I rarely use them but they take up almost no space in the bag so I carry them with me.

4. Kupo Convi Clamp. These attach the Magic Arms to just about anything, and if you don’t have them the Magic Arms are useless. I have a mix of Kupo and Manfrotto brands. The advantage of the Kupos is they’re cheaper!

5. Kupo 2.5” Grip Head With Big Handle. I stole this off my c-stand to use with the baby wall plate for a floor camera. It’s kinda bulky, to be honest, and I wish I had something different to use. But I don’t, so it comes along. I’m sure I’ll find out about a better option than this at the workshop.

6. Pocket Wizard Plus III Transceivers. Two of these are required for them to be useful. This is how I trigger the remote camera that’s mounted somewhere out of my reach. One of the receivers is attached to a FlashZebra Caddy v3 which makes it really easy to attach the Pocket Wizard to the Magic Arm.

7. Manfrotto 143BKT Camera Bracket. This is how I attach the camera to the Magic Arm.

8. Safety cables. There’s only three in this picture but don’t worry. I’m buying more before the trip. You can never have enough and somehow I keep misplacing them. These are critical when mounting a camera in the air somewhere. My most recent set are from Amazon, and include the Chauvet 3-pack, which are lighter duty but fine for smaller gear, and the heftier 29″ unnamed cables.

9. Cinefoil. I use this to kill reflections when mounting the camera behind glass.

10. Tape. I carry a white and black roll of microGAFFER tape and a small roll of black electrical tape. The electrical tape is a good way to attach cinefoil to a backboard camera without showing white adhesive to the players.

11. FlashZebra Shutter Cable. This runs from the Pocket Wizard to the camera to actually fire the shutter. You can buy an official one from Pocket Wizard or get a cheap knock-off, which is what I did. Mine has a pre-release switch on it to ensure quick shutter release when the action heats up.

All of this packs into a small tool bag from Home Depot. I’m not wild about the bag, to be honest, and am still on the hunt for something that works better. Haven’t found anything yet.

Note: If you purchase something by following the links above I may get a tiny commission from Amazon. I have personally purchased and paid for all the items mentioned in this blog post.