This article discusses the benefits of pulse shooting and shares a selection of osprey images captured on Middletown Road in the Flamborough Ontario area, using this technique.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Rather than taking long, uninterrupted continuous auto-focus image runs of birds-in-flight, I’ve been using multiple series of short bursts (i.e. pulse shooting) instead.
One of the benefits of pulse shooting is buffer management. When photographing birds-in-flight it can be difficult to predict what a bird will decide to do next on its flight path. Committing too many frames of our available buffer early in a bird’s flight can sometimes result in missed images if we use up our available buffer.
Pulse shooting enables us to capture photographs of critical movements during a bird’s flight, while avoiding unnecessary repetition. Due to the impact of rhythmic motion we can often get repeating body positions every 4-6 frames during an image run.
Limiting the number of repetitive photographs we capture directly reduces our editing time spent in post processing, and can save hard drive space on our computer systems.
Using pulse shooting technique also encourages us to be more discerning about what specific actions and body positions we are planning to photograph with birds-in-flight. This helps develop our critical thinking as photographers, and can also contribute to improved shot planning.
During my short visit to Middletown Road I had the opportunity to capture a short series of consecutive images of an osprey landing in a tree, as you can see below.
The 9 photographs above are from the third pulse shooting series I captured after the osprey flew from its nesting box. If I would have fired off one long run and used up my buffer I would have missed these images of the osprey landing in a tree.
Pulse shooting can be used with a wide range of subject matter regardless of the camera format, brand and model that you happen to use.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are noted. This is the 1,034th article published on this website since its original inception.
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