Advantages of Continuous Mode and Shooting in Bursts

If you’ve ever taken photographs of children, animals or insects, chances are you’ve most likely ended up with images that look quite blurred. This is because they tend to move around a lot and by the time your digital SLR camera has focused on the subject, it has moved or is moving while shooting the photograph.

The trick many professional photographers use in these circumstances, is to put their digital SLR camera in continuous mode (check camera manual) and shoot in bursts. Taking numerous photographs in continuous mode gives you a higher chance of getting at least one sharp as a tac image. This is especially important for once off moments that may not occur again.

example of sharp grasshopper macro from continuous mode

Grasshopper / Katydid 

Digital SLR Camera: Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi
DSLR Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/11
Focal Length: 100 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Program: manual

Why this image worked

When photographing nature, one thing I’ve learned about insects is that they are unpredictable. Within seconds they can fly or hop away. Furthermore, they rarely stay still and are always moving around. Even the slightest head movement can cause an image to be blurred, especially when working with DSLR macro lenses.

This is why I always have my digital SLR camera set to continuous mode when doing macro shots. This way I can shoot off several images in bursts, all within a one second time frame. Normally one will end up sharp and in focus. Unlike the ole days, photographing in digital doesn’t cost you any extra and you can easily delete all the bad ones later on.