Fire a burst of shots
Setting the release mode to high-speed continuous obviously increases your chances of catching a fleeting moment, but it can also help you to get sharper results too. The simple action of pressing down and releasing the shutter release button when you take a single picture can be enough to inadvertently nudge the camera, leading to a blurred shot at slower shutter speeds – that’s why we recommend a tripod and a remote release when shooting landscapes. But taking a burst of shots in high-speed continuous shooting mode means that the middle frame(s) of the sequence won’t suffer the potential nudge that comes from firing the camera in the same way as those at the start and end.
Andy used a high-speed burst to capture his shot of John Terry’s bone-crunching impact below, a shot that went on to win him the title of Sports Photographer of the Year. “When I saw John Terry throw himself at the ball to head it away, I let go with a sequence of 12 motor-driven frames. I was using my 70-200mm goalmouth lens at the 200mm end of the scale. The shutter speed was 1/640th of a second with an aperture of f/2.8.”
With the blisteringly high frame rates offered by Nikon’s action-oriented cameras like the D500, it can be tempting to machine-gun the shutter release button, keeping it pressed down from the moment the action kicks off so that you don’t miss a thing. The problem with this approach is that not all cameras have the generous buffer of the D500 (see page 14), which means that they will eventually slow down as they transfer the images from the camera to the memory card. This is why it’s more preferable to shoot in short, sharp bursts, timed precisely around the peak of the action. And to know when that will happen, you need to master the art of anticipation and timing…