Nothing Inherently Wrong With Spray-and-Pray Photography

I don’t know everything about everyone’s professions and hobbies, but I bet there are different terms you’ve heard for the same technique — one to praise it and one to put it down, but it is the same technique. When someone doesn’t like it, they call it one name, but when someone likes it, they call it another.

This is how I view the term “spray-and-pray” in photography. Yes, some photographers are good at timing when to shoot when something photographically interesting is going to happen, but many photographers use high frames rate to capture action that moves faster and more unpredictably than most humans can perceive (unless you are The Flash or Spider-man).

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In other words, high frame rate is a tool to overcome our human limitations and there is nothing wrong with it when used correctly.

So, if you are one of these talented or skilled photographers able to get that fleeting moment in one (non-multiframe) shot, great for you!

But if you are a flawed human like me, I’ll:

  • work on my timing and learning when the right moments are coming,
  • but rely on high frame rate to better capture the moment that I want.

Peace! Out.


From a photographer who shoots at 5fps and 8fps regularly, take it from me — most shots are awkward or not optimal for telling the best story. At a slower frame rate, you have a lower chance of capturing the best moment.

Out of 5-8 frames of a cross country runner zipping by, only about 1-2 shots might be usable and out of those shots, 1-none might be story-worthy. It’s hard even at a high frame rate. You don’t get to dictate or pose every movement.

And out of 5-8 frames of a soccer player running with the ball or making a move, maybe 1 shot might have a great pose, have a good expression and not be marred by another player blocking the player.

And don’t get me started on toddlers and little kids. Talk about unpredictable.

Life can be tough to shoot, and photographing it with the wrong tools is just like taking a hike in fuzzy slippers.



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