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While clicked often seems to be followed by an object, I did find occurences of it being used alone, e.g. in The photographer clicked as Marilyn worked.

Clicked away, however, seems to be used mostly (only?) whithout any object.

But these considerations aside, are there any real differences between the two? I'm not a native speaker, so it's hard for me to tell.

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  • "Clicked away" implies a bit more randomness -- shots not carefully posed and framed. – Hot Licks Nov 7 '14 at 16:44
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    I think "spontaneity" is a better word- just because a photographer shoots a lot of exposures doesn't mean he isn't working hard to make each shot a good one. – JenSCDC Nov 7 '14 at 16:52
  • @HotLicks - or that the viewer is just not paying attention to the process enough to note the posing and framing. – Oldcat Nov 7 '14 at 17:32
  • @AndyBlankertz - But it sort of implies that he's not instructing the model. – Hot Licks Nov 7 '14 at 17:36
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"Clicked away" is better, as it implies a continual process, which meshes with "as Marilyn worked", while plain "clicked" invokes a single event.

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  • Yes - [verb] away implies continually or repetitively [verbing]. It's often a figurative "spatial" allusion - moving along towards some long-term goal, gradually getting there. "It was a huge steak, but he chomped away and eventually finished the lot." – FumbleFingers Nov 7 '14 at 18:22

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