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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 the high-end professional models are used with cassettes that hold hundreds of feet of film stock. At 3 frames per second, a short burst of a few seconds 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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