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Macro Pictures

I have a Fujifilm S2959 14MP and can't seem to get clear closeup pictures of small objects like two week old Dionaea or three week old Nepenthes. Even with the camera set to high macro and I attempt to shoot pitchers under .75" it's hard to get a good focus because the camera is reading the entire field of view rather than the small object in the cross-hairs. .75" and larger objects will usually become focused and clear if I am within 1 inch or closer. Is there a particular type of lens for magnifying tiny objects that a macro just can't do. The camera is a point and shoot but I have added an adapter that allows for optional lenses and filters. Another problem when shooting under the fluorescent lights is what appears to be too bright light, should I get a filter set to correct this flaring effect?
Macro photography with a point and shoot is very difficult. It is often nearly impossible to focus on what you want to. This is because the optical viewfinder does not line up with the objects at close range and the lag time on the LCD screen. This means the focus hot spot will not be where you want it to be when you take the exposure.

A tripod will help as the camera won't be dancing around.

As for flare it depends on what you mean. Is the picture over-exposed with highlights blown out? Or do you mean actual lens flare - streaks of light or washed out areas along the axis of the light source in relation to the camera? In the first case shorten the exposure or add a neutral density filter. In the second case use a lens hood or flag or gobo (mask/shield) the light source from hitting the lens directly.

If you have a "bridge" camera - a point and shoot that looks like a DSLR but without interchangeable lenses you can probably find close-up lenses, filters and lens hoods for it. If it is a compact P&S with retractable lens you'll have to improvise filters and lens hoods although Cokin has a filter holder system for cameras without filter rings.

When I use a point and shoot for macro I just "spray and pray" - take lots of photos and discard the ones that don't turn out.
Thanks for responding,
It's a DSLR lookalike and I have already added a 58mm adapter with threads to except additional lenses. The adapter came with an expansion adapter that takes it to 72mm I assume for filters. I screwed on a 0.45 wide angle lens that has macro stamped on the tube but it just makes the image smaller so no help there. What lens am I looking for specifically, what is it called?
The flare I mentioned isn't a lens anomaly, the lighter flytrap seedlings next to the dark brown coir are washed out or whited out and have no detail. Is that what filters would correct.
The flare I mentioned isn't a lens anomaly, the lighter flytrap seedlings next to the dark brown coir are washed out or whited out and have no detail.
You just need to adjust your exposure compensation. Find a square symbol with a +/- on it. That symbol should lead you to a screen similar to this. For more detailed instructions just Google 'exposure compensation' & you'll find lots of articles (like this one). As NaN mentioned above, I'm a definite "spray and pray" pic-taker -- and I regularly adjust the EC so that when the gobs of pics are uploaded to the computer, some might be ok ...
Perhaps you should revisit the camera manual: there should be a way to either 1) switch to manual focus, or 2) lock focus at the shortest focal distance, so that you and the camera aren't dancing around trying to establish a point to lock focus on. As for addressing the loss of detail in the whites, you need to either control the lighting more carefully (avoiding any conspicuously brightly lit areas) or adjust exposure, as Ron suggested.

Even with most PAS cameras, there are ways to get the results you want, but often you have to fight with the automation features to override them in order to get what you want. This requires that you experiment and practice until you have tamed your particular camera, and determined what it can and cannot do. Ultimately, most PAS cameras are never going to allow you to do the things that a full-featured DSLR makes possible, but if you can find a way to make it happen, it will be through trial and error to a large degree.

If you can show us examples of the problems you encounter, we may be able to provide you with more useful suggestions. ;-)
Exposure compensation and/or spot metering will help on overexposures if you camera has these features. Manual metering and underexposing (essentially the same as EC) should work too.

A lower or higher ISO will help, depending on what the camera is doing. If it's hitting the smallest aperture and highest shutter speed try increasing the ISO
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I have been doing the 20 shots to get one decent shot technique and it works fairly well and besides, my bathroom / greenhouse is just down the hall and I can always return for a replacement if none of the 20 are usable. Before the digital age someone documenting the progression of plants would really have to know about their camera and how to use it considering all the money going to film and development costs. Digital allows a novice to at least experiment without the expense. Love it.
I decided to add some filters to the camera so I am looking at several on eBay:
Vivitar 1 2 4 10 Close Up Macro Filter Set (200776498979)
Neutral Density Filter Set (230895232197)
POLARIZED PL + UV + FD FILTER SET (130485651973)

I am also considering a photography course at one of the local junior colleges, never hurts to learn something new.
Thanks for the info.
I finally figured out how to fix the whited out pictures of the seedlings by adjusting the "EXPOSURE COMPENSATION" setting in the camera. It toned down the seedlings and lightened the dark coir background.
Nepenthes rafflesiana 'Green'


Nepenthes maxima 'Lake Poso'