While I use the automatic focus modes for the majority of my shooting, there are times when I like to fall back on manual focus. This is usually when I know when and where the action will occur and I want to capture the subject as it crosses a certain plane of focus. This is useful in sports like motocross or auto racing, where the subjects are on a defined track and I know exactly where I want to capture the action. I could try tracking the subject, but sometimes the view can be obscured by a curve. By prefocusing the camera, all I have to do is wait for the subject to approach my point of focus (Figure 5.6) and then start firing the camera.
It is also a good idea to decide how much of the environment you want to show in your image. With these twins riding the tandem bicycle, I wanted to show the oldfashioned buildings in the background to give a sense of Mackinac Island. I could have cropped in tighter, but I would have lost the essential background information (Figure 5.7).
The drive mode determines how fast your camera will take pictures. Single Frame is for taking one photograph at a time. With every full press of the shutter release button, the camera will take a single image. The continuous modes allow for a more rapid capture rate. Think of it like a machine gun. When you are using one of the continuous modes, the camera will continue to take pictures as long as the shutter release button is held down.