A photojournalist is looking for a visual narrative in every photo. That takes time, thought, observation, timing, skill and a bit of luck. I'm still learning and my keeper rate is much lower than that. I wouldn't show even 5 percent of my shots. My reaction time is not fast enough to pick up the ideal wing position of small birds in flight so I have to rely on the camera burst mode. I like the idea of 10 (or more) fps in burst mode and lots of other bird photographers trying to keep up with those damn hummingbird wings seem to rely on the evil "spray and pray". Please tell me, how do I improve my reaction time by a factor of ten or more?
Landscapers are looking for the best light, this takes time, thought, observation, timing...and getting one's ass out of bed at inhumane times of the day / night.
Wildlife photographers are looking for perfect specimines doing interesting things with clear backgrounds. This takes time, thought, observation, timing and patience.
Sports....do I have to go on?
Natutrally there's a host of piccy grabbers who just pray and spray, picking out the successfull chance shots in post production....but that's not skill. Yes 12fps is helpful, but a lot of sports photographers I know still use 5 fps becuase they are good and judging the timing and don't want to fill their cards with time consuming throw aways.
My last wedding, I shot 1127 photographs. An all day shoot of 14 hours. Final edit...down to 537 photos. That's slightly under 50% keepers. A collegue of mine who is a pro football photographer has simular hit rates. A pro landscaper friend of mine has a keeper rate of well over 75%. This pray and spray behaviour supports my previous statement.
I shot this with my 7D at 8 fps. My girlfriend shot the same image with her Rebel XSi at around 3.5 fps. I did shoot it in a small burst, as did she.
Her images did not have this capture. She had one with the ball about 10' away from the glove and one with the player coming back down with the glove closed and facing away and the ball almost hitting the grass, yes he missed it... 8 fps made the difference. For some reason his parents liked this image better...
That being said, I'd have even more difficulty believing that someone can sit there and just take one shot and get this image. Can it happen, certainly. Will it happen for you? Unlikely... Most sports photographers and wildlife shooters are certainly using burst modes. It's not only that I want a bird in flight with his wings in the down position, I want them in the spread eagle position, the up position or perhaps that last second "all stop" mode when the bird sees a fish in the water at 100' up in the air and gets into that crazy, almost still mode as he looks down at his quarry.
Unless you can see what the bird sees or read his mind, you don't get that shot often times on purpose, unless you're just following the subject waiting for that move... and then you miss lots of other great images just waiting for that one.
I think it's ridiculous to think anyone shooting sports or wildlife photography should put their camera in single shot mode. That's what the technology is there for, use it... why wouldn't you? To suggest that it makes you any less of a photographer or that it's somehow evil or wrong is just plain ignorant. Unless of course you just can't get those shots with a nice burst rate any better than you can with one shot at a time... Then I guess you can say anything about it you want, pushes the attention away from one's self and to one's crappy gear...
Reminds me of the statement that someone put in one of these forums that we are not a fraction as capable as our cameras. How ridiculous. My camera can't snap one photo without me... It's totally incapable without me telling it what to do.. or turning it on... otherwise it just sits wherever I leave it, doing nothing... 12 fps would be great!