“Perfect Timing” is the recipe of many a great picture. In a Sports magazine, the picture of a footballer suspended in mid air perfectly poised to grab the ball makes me marvel at the perfect timing of the photographer. The good news is lesser mortals like us can use a simple technique and achieve similar results. Let me now share the secret how.
The technique is so simple, even a beginner can do it. All you need is a good point and shoot or better still, an SLR camera. I call it the “gun spraying” technique. Because it is very much like spraying bullets from an AK-47. A spray of bullets maximizes the chances of one of the bullets hitting the bulls eye. Using a camera, you can do something exactly similar using “Continuous shootingâ€ mode.
Here Is how:
- First, set the camera in â€œContinuous shooting modeâ€. (Check your camera manual to find the button for continuous shooting more. In canon, it looks like multiple overlaid rectangles) .
- Now, just fire away by keeping your finger pressed on the shutter button. The camera will keep firing away at rapid succession as long as you press the shutter button. As an example, if you want to capture the footballer in mid air, aim just before he takes the leap. Keep your finger pressed on the shutter all the way through his leap. You will get multiple pictures in different positions. Of the several shots, pick and chose the one that was â€œperfectly timedâ€. Remember to use high shutter speed ( 1/500th of a second or more ) so that you freeze the motion of a fast moving target. That was easy, wasnâ€™t it?
Do all cameras have â€œcontinuous shooting modeâ€ feature? The higher end point and shoots and all SLR cameras do. Obviously, the more the advanced the camera, the faster it gets. When I got my first SLR, the most noticeable difference was how fast I could shoot using the SLR compared to my good old point and shoot.
Here are some situations where I use the â€œgun sprayâ€ technique to maximum effect. Sports and action photography are obvious choices where perfect timing is so important to capture that defining moment. Another situation where it is very helpful is capturing the expressions on faces of people. Particularly, the million dollar smile on your baby’s face. Here is one of my favorite shots that I captured at a Dolphin show.
My friends saw this and thought I was a genius. Now that the secret is out, we know it doesnâ€™t take a genius to achieve perfect timing.
The author works for a tech company by day and during his pastime, he is a photography enthusiast, a dilettante blogger, a gadget buff especially Apple toys. He is happy to receive feedback and questions on photography.