Burst mode Fun, Run Forrest, Run!

People asked me to dive into some smartphone photography and I am going to try to discuss some techniques I use. Taking pictures of pets and children can be daunting. They always seem to be moving in the wrong direction and you are always taking the shot at the wrong time!

I use the “Burst mode” a lot to get the right shot of my dogs. The Burst mode feature is mainly used when the subject is in successive motion such as wildlife, or sports photography, or moving children. You can get multiple frames in one second. iPhone burst mode is 10 frames per second, which is pretty amazing for any camera, period. You can get the greatest funniest action shots that you would not normally get.

You open your camera app on your iPhone or Android smartphone. On iPhone, you have to move the “Shutter button” to the left and hold it. In Samsung phones, open the camera app, press and keep holding the shutter button. In both scenarios, the Burst mode automatically gets activated and you hear lots of shutter clicks and voilà you have now multiple awesome photos to choose from. Remember for it to work, you need to be in a good lighting scenario so outside with plenty of light. Indoor action photography like taking a picture of someone riding a horse using burst mode can get blurry, see the image below. Never use the zoom on a smartphone and Burst mode. The result is a disaster! Zooms on smartphones are not the greatest and you combine that with Burst it gets even worse. Picture in Bust mode has slightly lower quality than single-shot pics in general in smartphones.

Low light and Burst mode on smartphone = blurry photos

In contrast to above, a sport action shot taken with iPhone in good lighting can look pretty professional as seen below.

Good lighting and Burst mode = much sharper photo

I made short videos of how this is done below. There are two techniques I use. One is I am in front of my subject that is running toward me or on my side and I am aiming my camera at them and shooting in Burst mode. The other is I am walking or running with my subject I want to shoot in action behind me and I will hold the camera upside down when I am ready and activate the Burst mode and walk or run ahead of my subject. You can see my shadow and how I hold the smartphone in one of the pictures below, and both are taken with the latter technique. s

How to activated the Burst mode on iPhone
Reviewing the images taken via Burst mode, and selecting the one you want.

The first video above shows how to activate the Burst mode on the iPhone and start taking images. The second video shows how to select the images you want to keep.

In the end, 2 pictures ended up being the best ones which were cropped the way I want it and presented below.

Below are more pics I shot using Burst mode on my iPhone 12 Pro. It is my favorite thing to do to get those happy faces of Mona (our Standard Poodle who is from an awesome Breeder in Reno, NV) and Shadi (our Miniature American Shepherd-mini Aussie who is from an awesome Breeder in Minden, NV) when we are outdoors.

Hope to see some of your active wildlife and sports shots with smartphone.

Happy Shooting!

Author: Kouros Farro

I am a family physician, educator, and photographer who loves landscape photography.

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