Fire a burst of shots

NPhoto - - Feature -

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…

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