1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Burst or single shot mode when shooting action...

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by bonnerkopf, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. bonnerkopf


    Nov 16, 2007
    For those of you who have shot a fair bit of sports with higher end bodies with faster FPS ie 5 FPS and higher, what is your general practice in a couple of "for instance" scenarios?

    1. In volleyball, a power or a middle going up to hit... or someone serving.
    2. In basketball, someone driving the lane, or shooting...
    3. In soccer, whatever is going on...
    4. In other sports such as football, hockey, etc...

    What do you find better, shooting a burst of X number of shots, or squeezing off one at peak action?

    Why do you shoot the way you do? This is perhaps the most important question to me.

    I am particularly interested in comments from those who use "pro" level equipment, but also from anyone else.

  2. McQ

    McQ Just your average, everyday moderator. Moderator

    Generally, I shoot full-on bursts. But I do control them. I don't just spray and pray. I used to use a more "sniper-like" approach, but found that there was a good reason that I could use 11 fps with a D3. You get more shots! :biggrin:

    Seriously, I believe there is a greater chance of getting "the shot" if you fire a burst during a certain "event", like a header in soccer, or a shot, or a layup in basketball. Any sport, any action event, I'd use the same method.

    I shoot at the beginning of the anticipated action and all the way through beyond the finish. As I'm doing that, I'm also thinking about "facial reaction" shots for immediately after the action, and looking for those opportunities. They get bursts too.

    Hope this helps!
  3. Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2008
  4. I do much the same as Brooks does, short bursts of 2-3 frames at a time, sometimes even 2-4 of those to get the action I want. Since I always "shoot through the action" meaning I don't stop aiming with the first shot or burst, the following shots can often get great expressions, follow through, and other action that is worthwhile. If I'm going for that "bat on ball" or "ball on racquet", slapshot, etc. for this kind of picture I do NOT rely upon the burst to get it for me, since I usually get that with the first shot of the sequence. Bursts allow me to follow action and get other action that I might otherwise miss.
  5. When I first went digital, it was so hard to not shoot bursts as it was pretty expensive in film that I was pretty stingy. But then, I went overboard and did the 'spray and pray' method (last year).

    This year I've gotten better at anticipating action and peak timing and now find myself waiting and only shooting the 2-4 shots mentioned above.
  6. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    My technique is similar to the others, I shoot short bursts while paying strick attention to the after-play. I find that my bursts are longing when shooting a batter during their swing. Aside from desiring a ball on bat shot, I also want that look as they view the ball leaving the infield.
  7. Brooks, thanks for that link! I bookmarked that site, I've never seen it before.

    I actually leave the my selector in high, but only shoot short to medium bursts, especially if the lighting is difficult.
  8. jStat


    Dec 11, 2007
    Janesville, WI
    If I am tracking a ball-carrier(in football), I shoot a few shots, but I hold off on the bursts until I see the runner shift his body, which if I'm not shooting with both eyes open, tells me that there is some action coming. Then I open up with Continuous High(6.5 - 7fps on my D300) until the action subsides or the player is tackled.

    Sorry if this doesn't quite explain myself; it's late and I just got done watching "Twin Peaks". My mind isn't quite on track right now....:eek: :redface::frown::Curved:
  9. Ditto Brooks.

    Short bursts and follow through as if shooting trap.

    My problem, well one of many..., is mashing the shutter button too hard causing the focus point/lens to move.
  10. I love to shoot air shows and always use bursts (8fps) until it fills my buffer and then slows down. Shooting an airplane (jet) that is traveling at close to 600mph can be tough and I need every frame possible.

    This can be a really tough shoot. Consider you are shooting at subjects that change from bare metal (highly reflective) to dark colors such as the Navy Corsair F4U which is an extremely dark blue. And you have everything in between.

    Then add in the light changes as the planes move through the sky. If it is cloudy, the light changes from moment to moment. Solid overcast is a bummer as it looks like you hung a model plane from the ceiling of your room and shot it. Background goes basically to either a light gray or white. Looks blown out. Then you have a clear blue sky with its inherent problems.

    So, bottom line, I shoot as many as possible. Two weekends ago I took almost 7,000 pics over three days. All three days had different sky conditions.
  11. bonnerkopf


    Nov 16, 2007
    Thanks for your thoughts.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.