I was searching the Internet this week for tips on using my Kodak CD1013, when I came across a review condemning this inexpensive, little camera because the auto focus prevented it from taking close ups of nature. I couldn’t help but empathize, because I often find myself growling things like: “Focus on the bird, doggone it, not on the stupid grass out in the yard!” Though I am still experimenting with the auto focus feature, I thought perhaps it might help out a few owners of the CD1013 if I passed on some of the ways I have learned to deceive this feature into doing what I want.
Important note: When taking close ups of small things, that little red, yellow, or green hand in the upper right hand corner of your view screen is not your friend. It works great for other shots, but for close ups of this type, it inevitably tells you that lousy out of focus photos are great and perfect ones are out of focus. Ignore the thing.
When photographing a small animal such as a bird, mouse or chipmunk, aim the camera at the animal’s feet, push the button in partially to activate the auto focus. When the picture on the screen is clear, hold the button there, line up your shot, then click without lifting your finger.
On a bigger animal such as a squirrel or dove, take aim at the largest part of the animal, push the button in partially to activate the auto focus. While holding the button line up your shot, then click.
Bad light, bad photos. I cannot express the importance of proper lighting. The DC1013 takes its best photos in bright light. Yes, it does have a flash, but that flash is a poor substitute for proper lighting.
Get close to your subject, but be safe. Wild animals carry disease, and they bite!
There are several methods to clear things up if your DC1013 is refusing to focus on small flowers.
1. Place your fingers close to the flower. Aim the camera at the end of your fingers, press the button down partially to activate the auto focus. Hold the button, move your hand, line up your shot. This also works for twigs and buds.
2.Use the same technique that you would for small animals. Aim the camera at the ground at the base of the flower, focus, then line up your shot.
3. Try a different angle. Try as I might, I couldn’t get a good photo of these little guys. The petals on these flowers were a little larger than the head of a pin, and the camera refused to focus properly from this angle.
By placing the camera on ground level and focusing on the base of the plant before lining up my shot, however, I finally managed to get a clear photo.
4. Take advantage of the blur to add depth to the photo.
5. Buy your camera a pair of dollar store reading glasses. Seriously, I’m not kidding.
Buying your camera a pair of glasses can make the difference between this photo of a tomato seedling…
And this one.
As you strive to get to know this good little camera, remember that the CD1013 is digital. Slip in a sixteen gig SD card, slide your camera into the pocket of your jeans, pull on your hiking boots and go out and take a few hundred photos. All it costs is a little battery life, and you just might get a masterpiece.
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