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Sequencing

The first accessory I purchased when I worked as a sports photographer some time ago was a motor drive for my Nikon SLR. It enabled me to snap off a series of shots in rapid succession, which came in very handy when a fullback broke through the line and headed for the end zone. Even a seasoned action photographer can miss the decisive instant when a crucial block is made, or a baseball superstar’s bat shatters and pieces of cork fly out. Sequence-shooting simplifies taking a series of pictures, either to ensure that one has more or less the exact moment you want to capture or to capture a sequence that is interesting as a collection of successive images.

Digital cameras provide “motor drive” capabilities that are, in some ways, better than what you get with film cameras. For one thing, a motor-driven film camera can eat up film at an incredible pace, which is why many of them are used with cassettes that hold hundreds of feet of film stock. At eight frames per second, a short burst of a second or two can burn up as much as half of an ordinary 36 exposure roll of film. Digital cameras, in contrast, have reusable film, so if you waste a few dozen shots on non-decisive moments you can erase them and shoot more.


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