TPF Noob!
May 9, 2018
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Ontario Canada
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Hello I'm a beginner with macro photography. I have only used the auto settings on my Fuji Film Finepix S5200. Recently I've wanted to branch out and explore the other settings on my camera like S, M, A. My special area of interest is macro. I have taken some pretty decent photos on auto but would like to see if I can do better on the other settings. I have been googling and youtubing info on the settings but most of the info involves expensive macro lens which I can't afford and won't fit my point and shoot. Can anyone give me some tips on ISO, F-Stops, Aperture, lighting? I shoot mostly flowers in macro. I realize I'll never get the up close some get using a macro lens but I would like to improve on what I've been using. Lately, I've been practicing with my flowering house plants because here in Ontario there is not much blooming yet. But once Summer comes I want to get some awesome photos. Any help, tips instructions would be welcome.
Have you looked into the Raynox brand close up attachments?
Agree with Derrel. Get the Raynox DCR-150. It will clip on to the end of your lens.

It's hard to give tips when it comes to camera setting with macro without a specific scenario. What I do suggest is to learn about Depth of Field. That is probably one of the single most important thing to know when it comes to macro. The closer you are to a subject the narrower your depth of field. The smaller your aperture (higher f-stop) the more DoF but less light gettig through the lens requiring a light source, in most cases a flash.

After learning about DoF start playing around. Start by turning your flash on and put camera in aperture mode. Take shoots at different f-stops and see how it effects focus of your subject.
I would get a sturdy tripod and a remote trigger. Go out on an overcast day and shoot in A mode. That let's you control the aperture / depth of field, and the camera will handle the rest. If you are able, turn off the image stabilization when using the camera on a tripod. That's where I'd start, then add the Ray thing mentioned above.
A few thoughts:
1) Whilst your camera isn't a DSLR the exposure modes you've got work exactly the same as they would on a DSLR camera body. So your aperture priority mode, manual mode etc... all use the same fundamental operation as a DSLR. So any camera guide will work for your camera in teaching you the basics of exposure control.
Where you'll have more difficulty is

a) The controls might require you to go into menus to change the settings instead of having dedicated buttons/wheels on the camera. This is mostly because even good bridge cameras (like yours) still mostly expect the user to use automatic modes most of the time. So it might be a little slower (esp at first as you learn the interface) than a DSLR.

b) Depth of field. Essentially your depth of field is the area of the photo that is in focus and sharp. How great it is also affects how fast the fall off into blurry backgrounds is, a deeper depth of field will in general result in less blurring of the background, whilst a much thinner depth of field will give you fr more blurring of the background.

Now a greater depth of field is achieved by using a SMALLER aperture and a smaller aperture means using a BIGGER f number. So in simpler terms bigger f number = bigger depth of field. So f4 will give you less than f16.

Now these properties are also affected by other elements, such as the distance to the camera and also the size of the sensor/film inside the camera. The latter on a bridge camera is very small which means that getting less depth of field and blurrier backgrounds is more challenging than on a DSLR. For macro this is most often a bonus because you want a much greater depth of field. This is because moving subjects closer to the camera reduces the depth of field (similarly moving them further away increases the depth of field).

2) So your camera should do pretty well, indeed macro is one area where bridge cameras can actually to exceptionally well as it plays to most of the cameras features very nicely. So I'd recommend leaning about the shooting modes and getting more practice in.
One thing you might find of great benefit is to disable the auto focus and focus manually if your camera allows it. The standard method (even with DSLRs) in macro is to focus the camera as close as it can focus (using manual controls) and then to move the camera closer to the subject to focus and take the shot. This is often done because the rocking motion of your body naturally makes the camera move back and forward by tiny amounts; and at close distances this makes it hard for AF to keep up (esp when you might be moving just outside of its focusing range). So manual is most often used.

3) The Raynox macro attachments are a fantastic brand used on DSLRs as well as bridge cameras; whilst a lot of articles will speak poorly of this kind of macro attachment, they are by and large referring to experiences with cheap/poor quality macro attachments (the kind sold in start up kits or in kits at £20 for 10 adaptors of varying powers). Raynox brand attachments are top quality. I would think the DCR150 and DCR 250 would be the best starting point with your camera (I'd start with the 150 and see how things go and if it works well consider adding the 250 later). They've got some even more powerful attachments, but I'd get practice with the lower powered ones first. Macro is an area where each increase of magnification makes things more and more challenging.
I posted in your other thread and I agree with Overread that the settings seem about the same for a p&s and for just about any camera; it's probably a matter of learning the controls on your particular camera (how/where to set aperture or shutter speed, etc.).

There's no hurry I don't think to get equipment. You don't necessarily need a tripod (although people use them) or even a flash (I've opened all the blinds and turned on lamps and angled lamp shades - and sometimes used a flash), it depends on what you're doing. I would say if you find yourself thinking that you could do better if you had ____ then you'd know it's time to look into getting something.

You could try taking a house plant outdoors, or any object, and get in some practice. Try P and when you're getting a better understanding of how the camera's meter reads light and adjusts settings, you could try M and adjust the aperture (size of the lens opening), shutter speed, and ISO yourself. Try a series of photos where you vary a setting one stop each time, say start at f2.8, f4, and keep going to smaller apertures of f11, f16. Notice how the shutter speed/ISO changes to adjust each time the aperture changes. Then go thru the pictures and see how the depth of field changes.

There's a lot of online crap and/or 'click bait' from those who want clicks and viewers to get money from ads, etc. You might do just as well experimenting and practicing or taking a class if there's anything in your area. There are good books by John Szarkowski; his 'The Photographer's Eye' would be good (there's one of the same name which I don't know about other than I wonder why the same name was used because I think they get mixed up and people might be not buying the best one...).
I was thinking you might be interested in florals by Georgia O'Keeffe; her paintings might be worth looking at as far as composition. She got in close and seemed to see the shapes and lines etc. that she was able to portray so beautifully in her art.

Or look up Anna Atkins; she was one of the earliest to use photographic processes. I think she was cataloging various plants and flowers but did them as cyanotypes (blue & white) and I like the beauty of the simplicity of her images.

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