I’m the new kid on the block at DS! I have been around the motorsport scene for quite a while and I am now here to share my World Rally Championship coverage with the Downshift community. As I write this, I sit in a cafe in Buenos Aires, with just a couple of days before I head to central Argentina for Rally Argentina.

This year I will be covering Argentina, Italy, France, Australia and Spain. And all that coverage will be right here on Downshift!

In order to get this far though I had to go through the painstaking task of trying to pack for this mammoth trip. I am away for a total of 2 months (til the middle of June), then head to Europe in September for a further 2 months to cover the France and Spain rounds. I will be traveling for 20 of the next 26 weeks, not consecutively thankfully. My trips will consist of 11 countries and over 30 flights.

Before I get in to the whole gear post, here is a little bit about me: I have been a professional sports photographer for almost 10 years, covering events such as the National A-League Soccer to major mountain bike events around the country. More close to home, I have been a motorsport photographer for almost the same amount of time – had my stint in the V8 Supercars game but fell in love with the dirt and dust of rallying. I have been covering the Australian Rally Championship full-time since 2008 and have been the official photographer for all the major teams such as Honda, Repco and more recently Team Citroen Australia. My WRC adventures started back in 2009 when the WRC moved back to Australia, and now here we are in 2014 covering 5 rounds of the WRC across the globe for one of the leading WRC agencies and DS. As I will be on the ground for these events and right in the thick of it, I will be doing an event round-up as well as a feature on something cool within the WRC, so if you have any suggestions on what features you might like feel, leave a note!

The big challenge for me is condensing everything into just a few bags and sticking to some sort of weight allowance. My biggest problem is this – my trip starts in Argentina, then Portugal, Spain, Italy, then back home. Among those 4 locations I have a total of 22 flights, connecting and internal, from big 747s to single propeller flights (just kidding). I’m governed by the flight with the least baggage allowance, being my flight home from Rome via Cathay Pacific. On my flight out of Australia I flew Qantas and they allow 2 x 32kg bags for Qantas Club members. Wow I was in heaven when I found this out! Hell, I could fit Brenda (my partner) in one… she doesn’t weigh much more than that. Of course, the problem is, Cathay is my lowest weight allowance (20kg).  So, bearing this in mind, clothing had to be kept to a minimum, lightweight pants that also double as shorts, shirts made of lightweight material, instead of a long sleeve shirt, I have cycling sleeves, lightweight ankle socks, a Northface jumper, and a winter jacket that I can wear on the plane. And that’s just my clothing and other non-breakable photography items, which all HAVE to go in my carry-on. Not so easy.

WRC Photographer

Now for my carry-on camera bags. I decided to change the backpack at the last minute, so the pictures reflect my Lowepro bag, but I have changed it to my Dakine Sequence.  I have managed to cram in a lot, even my underwear and socks. I chose the ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60 V2 for my laptop and a few other lenses. Big thanks to the awesome folk at ThinkTank who helped me out.  They also set me up with the modular system, pro speed belt and harness. The UB60 is quite the bag and will fit sooooo much stuff without it looking oversized.. it is quite heavy though :)

1. ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60v2
2. 1 x 1TB Western Digital Hard Drive for Time Machine backup
3. 4 x 2TB Western Digital Hard Drives
4. Garmin GPS & Powerbank Battery pack in the Incase soft pouch
5. Macbook Pro 15′ Retina
6. Click Elite Traveler
7. Ram Mount mounts for phone holder, GPS holder in the soft pouch
8. Canon 16-35mm 2.8 II L
9. ThinkTank Modular Pouch
10. ThinkTank Organiser with Cables, 2 x Lexar USB 3.0 Card Readers
11. Canon 35mm 1.4 L
12. Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS II L
13. Apple Trackpad (I didnt end up taking this)
14. Canon ST-E3
15. 1 x Manfrotto Table top tripod
16. Canon 300mm 2.8L IS (I didnt end up taking this)

WRC Photographer

I am also taking the Clik Elite Traveler (top right corner). It’s relatively small and will carry anything I need on the flight and movement around airports. With so many flights, I need something small that can be by my side all time, and if I need to I can easily attach it to the backpack or hide it under my jacket.

1. Olympus OMD EM-1
2. Olympus 12mm 2.0
3. Olympus 12-40mm 2.8
4. Olympus 75mm
5. iPad Mini
6. Headphones
7. Documents etc
8. Attached to CLik Elite Traveler is my neck pillow
9. Misc items

The following items are in my backpack which is the black backpack on the right of the first photo.

Left side of the Lowerpro Pro Trekker 400

1. (Top left) Dehydration satchels for my flights
2. Giotto Rocket Blower
3. 3 x Canon 1D spare batteries
4. 2 x Go Pro Suction Mounts
5. Kathmandu soft pouch with 1 x Go Pro Hero 3+ Black and 1 x Hero 3 Black, along with a few accessories
6. Mountain Bike sleeves

Right of the bag Lowepro Trekker 400

7. 2 x Kathmandu Packing cubes, 1 has all my socks and the other my underwear, they go in the side pockets of the back
8. Kathmandu large towel, again this goes in the side pocket
9. 2 x Canon 1 DX
10. 2 x Canon 600EX Speedlites
11. Canon 24-70mm 2.8 II L
12. Canon 14mm 2.8 L
13. Canon TC-80N3 intervalometer (I didnt end up taking this, replaced it with the CameRanger)
14. 2 x Pocket Wizard Remote Cables
15.Lens Hoods for 24-70, 16-35 and 35mm which are both in my ThinkTankPhoto UB60v2
16. Manfrotto Magnesium Ball Head
17. 4 x Pocket Wizard Plus III triggers (only took 3)
18. Lee ND Filters and adapters
19. Mount for my GPS
20. Empty space is for my GPS which was updating maps at the moment :)
21. Toolkit with small screwdrivers, small flash light, allen keys

WRC Photographer

And that’s it, that’s everything for 52 days abroad. I am surprised I managed to get everything I wanted to take packed away without too much hassle. But lets see how I go lugging it all around ;)

Below is a shot of my office and how I was putting the gear shots together

WRC Photographer

You can view some of my rally stuff here and WRC Rally Australia 2013 here.

Rally Argentina starts in just over a week, so make sure you keep your eyes glued to Downshift for all that is the World Rally Championship.

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