Taking Clear Fireworks Photos With the Kodak CD1013

fireworks10Of all of the cameras I have owned in my lifetime, the Kodak CD1013 is my favorite. My little Kodak has seen so much use that not only has the color worn off the corners, but the icons are completely missing from the dial, and the word Kodak on the upper left hand corner reads only as “ak”. It has seen years of abuse from being tossed into purses and suitcases and being stuffed into the pockets of jeans and sweaty T-shirts. It’s gone with me on vacation and nature hikes, endured the tortures of children, and been slept on by cats. It’s been under the hoods of my cars and inside the walls of my house to get photos of places that the human eye cannot see. If I ever drop my purse in the river, my first thought will probably be: “Oh no, my camera was in there.”  My Kodak CD1013 goes with me everywhere. The clarity of its photos and the camera’s sheer endurance have taught me that the quality of a camera cannot always be judged by the price.

But learning to use the CD1013 to the fullest of its potential has been a challenge, and in spite of the time my camera and I have spent together, I am still learning.

Today, I thought I would pass on some simple lessons I have learned about using the CD 1013 in fireworks mode.

I was so excited to take my camera to its first fireworks display. Since I am heavily into PowerPoint, I had big dreams of implementing fabulous photos of exploding light in my presentations. After a couple of hours of sharing a patch of grass with a few adventuresome spiders and ten or twelve hungry mosquitos, my camera and I managed to produce a couple hundred photos that looked like this:fireworks 5

or this:fireworks 3

What a disappointment. (For me, not for the spiders and mosquitos. They had a blast.)

Hours wasted, but lessons learned.

Lesson number 1: Do your homework. Find out where they will be shooting off the fireworks. Not just “at the mall”, but where are the people setting them off going to be. Once you know that, scout out the surrounding area ahead of time, taking into consideration distance and possible obstructions. Choose your spot and get there early. If you wait until the last-minute, you might find that everyone in town thought that was a good spot.

Lesson number 2: Don’t deceive yourself into believing that you can hold the camera still enough. In Fireworks mode, the lens will be held open for several seconds, so you will need to find a way to  stabilize the camera. I have found that the hood of a pickup works in a pinch (as long as the kids aren’t in the back.), but a tripod works the best.  Once you press the button keep your fingers off of the camera until it has finished processing the shot. The CD1013 will pick up movements that we find undetectable and ruin your photograph.

Lesson number 3: Press the button the second you hear them set off the fireworks. If you see the shot, by the time you press the  button, you will have missed the shot.

Lesson number 4: Take as many photos as you can. The more photos you take the more chances you have of capturing a masterpiece.fireworks1More about using the Kodak CD1013 at (Deceiving the Auto Focus on the Kodak CD1013)

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