DR. K's WRITING
CHAPTER 4: Kodak Digital Camera
The Kodak Digital Camera
40 is one of the most advanced digital cameras available. It allows
the user to take a photograph and store it as a digital image on its
built in hard drive. This image can then be "dumped" into the
computer and manipulated in a variety of ways using various programs.
In order to maximize the
use of the digital camera some basic photography tips will be useful.
It is always good to
have an idea of how you will be using the photograph as this will
assist you in composing the photograph. Therefore, as you plan your
paper plan what photographs you need to enhance it, plan what you
want to show your reader through your photographs.
Remember that the camera
viewfinder is offset from the actual camera lens a few inches. This
means that there is a slight difference, greater as you move closer
to the subject, between what you see and what the camera sees. Use
the guide lines in the view finder to compose the
Be sure to be as close
to your subject as possible as this will show it best. While it is
possible to enlarge a smaller item using the computer, the clarity of
the photo will suffer.
When you compose a photo
look at it carefully to be sure it shows what you want it to show and
not a lot of extraneous material. If there are too many things going
on in the photo, it will look "busy" and distract from the
Compose the photo so the
lighting is as consistent as possible. The camera will try and pick
the best possible exposure and if there are areas that are very
bright and/or very dark it will throw the camera off.
Do not get too close to
the subject as the camera, without close-up lens, will only focus to
a minimum of about four feet.
If you are using the
flash on the camera, you should not be more that about fifteen feet
away from the subject. This is as far as the flash will reach.
Be familiar with the
camera controls and use them to your advantage. For example, adjust
the exposure (see below, section III. C. 3. Exposure) if your subject
is in the shadows or there is a very bright background behind the
B. Basic Use of the
The camera is very
simple to use but, since it is an expensive electronic instrument, it
needs to be handled with care.
Turning the camera on is
done by moving the slide on the top front of the camera which also
opens the lens cover. (See figure 4) When the camera is on the
controls mentioned in the next section will be visible on the rear of
After manipulating the
controls, simply hold the camera firmly using the strap on the right
side and view your image through the view finder. Remember that what
you see might be a little different from what the camera sees. Use
the guide lines in the view finder to adjust accordingly.
To actually take the
photograph simply press the shutter button under the fingers of your
right hand on the top of the camera.
To shut off the camera,
simply slide the lens cover closed.
If you leave the camera
on, it will automatically turn itself off to conserve the battery. To
reactivate it, either open and close the lens cover or press the
shutter button. The latter action will not take a picture at this
time. It will simply reactivate the camera.
On the rear of the
camera are located two buttons alongside the window showing the
camera controls. The button to the right will allow you to move from
one control to another, as shown by the triangle above the control
selected. The rocker button to the left will then allow you to
manipulate the possibilities for each control.
1. Flash: The lightning
bolt symbol allows you to regulate the flash for the camera. The
variations are to have the flash used only when the camera senses it
is needed, to have it permanently off or to have it permanently on.
2. Timer: The self timer
is either on or off. If it is on there will be a delay of
approximately fifteen seconds after the shutter release has been
pressed. This delay
3. Exposure: The
exposure control allows the user to increase or decrease the exposure
by two units. The normal setting is in the middle and the controls
allow you to move the arrow either two units to the left, making the
photo lighter, or to the right, making the picture darker. This is
useful for times when the subject is not under the same lighting
conditions as the majority of the photo.
4. Delete Pictures: This
control allows you to erase either the last photo taken, the "X" on
the single piece of film, or all the photos in the camera, the "X" on
the three pieces of film. The first option is useful if you decide
the photo you just took is not going to be what you want while the
second one allows you to erase all the photos after you have dumped
them into the computer.
5. Battery: This icon
tells you the condition of the batteries that run the camera. If you
are going out into the field it is a good idea to turn the camera on
and verify that the batteries are good. If not, put in new batteries.
6. Shots Taken:
This number indicates the number of photos that have been taken, with
the maximum being forty-eight.