The Essential Guide to Burst Mode & Continuous Photography

More often than not, when you’re trying to capture moving action within the frame, your photograph can appear blurred. This is common when you’re trying to capture sports in action or a fast-moving object, such as a snowboarder performing a move in mid-air, or a football being kicked during a game.

Burst mode is an option on the camera that allows you to solve this common problem. By pressing the shutter once, you are able to take multiple photographs in sequence automatically, which reduces the amount of movements that you need to make in order to capture a moving subject – without blurring the overall image.

Depending on how advanced the technology is within your camera, the number of frames that can be shot per second when using burst mode will change. Some cameras are only able to capture two or three frames per second; others can shoot ten or more.

You will need to evaluate the subject you are photographing and how it is moving before you choose to use burst mode. The amount of shots that you can take per second will determine how well your photograph turns out. By simply using burst mode in the hope that one of many of your photographs will turn out ok, you’re probably not thinking about the way your subject is interacting with its surroundings and the amount of light available.

Once you’ve established how you are going to use burst mode, you can also use ‘object tracking’ to ensure that you’re placing maximum focus on your subject within the frame. This mode on your camera will follow your subject as it moves, hence its name, and aims to make sure your subject is always in focus irregardless of where it moves. By using this feature in conjunction with burst mode, your subject has more of a chance to be in clear focus throughout the spread of images that you capture.

When capturing multiple images in a short space of time, your camera may be able to do this faster than it can save them. What this means, is that all of your shots will have to be saved to your memory card before any more can be taken. This will have to be taken into consideration when photographing your subject; if you release the shutter too early, then you may lose the action shot that you want – as your camera may begin to buffer whilst the action is still happening. This is why evaluating the scene, and how fast your subject is moving before you shoot the frame, is so important.

The amount of available storage on your memory card, and your camera’s battery life, are both factors that you should consider before you use burst mode. If you’re in a situation where you want to use the burst mode on your camera multiple times, your battery or your storage may be used up before the day of shooting is over.

To avoid this, test how long your camera will last when using burst mode continuously throughout the day, and take extra memory cards to your location so that you don’t need to worry about storage capacities on the day (especially if you’re saving your photos in RAW). The key to this mode of photography is that you are always prepared for every eventuality. 

As always if you're interested in learning more please don't hesitate to give us a call on 01453 548 128.

  • By Matthew Ward
  • 8 Aug 2017

Category Menu