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Chapter 5. Action Photography > Shooting Sequences

Shooting Sequences

Whether you call it sequence shooting, burst mode, continuous advance, or “motor drive” mode, the ability to take multiple shots of fast-moving action is a valuable capability found in an increasing number of digital cameras. On the plus side, ripping off five or ten shots as the action unfolds can increase your chances of catching the peak moment(s) in one or more of them. Unfortunately, you can also end up with the best shot of all occurring between frames. Sequence shooting is a valuable tool, but it’s not a panacea.

Back when I was shooting sports professionally, a motor drive for my Nikon was the first accessory I purchased after a 400mm lens. Digital “motor drives” are way cooler than the mechanical variety. The biggest problem with motor transport on a conventional camera was that, at, say, three frames per second, you could eat up an entire 36 exposure roll of film with fewer than a half dozen action sequences. Remember, film can’t be erased and re-used if you point the camera and shoot a busted play. For the big time pros traveling around the world to cover a major sports event, film is likely to be the least expensive part of the cost equation, so special camera backs that could hold 33 or more feet of film and expose hundreds of images in one shoot became common.


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