Flower Photo, Missouri Botanical Garden, posted 2012-07-20

Missouri Botanical Garden – “That’s a beautiful flower.  What kind is it?” (pause) “Uh…a red one…”  Okay, I admit it.  If you ask me about most of my flower photos, the answer you get is likely to be something like the one here.  While I can identify most North American mammals with no problem and most birds (especially when I have my Audubon Society Field Guide handy), I’m terrible with plants.  It’s not just plants in the wild, it’s true for things in the garden as well – I wouldn’t know the difference between a Big Boy and a Better Boy even if someone told me (at least I know they are both tomatoes :^)).  Sometimes I even know the difference between a lily and an iris, but not always.  So why, then, do I take photos of flowers?

A few weeks ago I was watching a photo critique on-line.  One of the reviewers made a comment that you should never include a photo of a flower in a professional portfolio.  He then went on to explain that it was almost impossible to take a bad photo of a flower (he obviously hasn’t seen some of the photos I’ve discarded) so including one in your portfolio did not show how good your work was but might, in fact, show how bad it was.  Interesting viewpoint but maybe it explains why I like shooting flowers.  With wildlife, you have to worry about the animal cooperating, backgrounds, movement, etc.  With landscapes, you need to be there during the “golden hours” and you may need to travel hours just to get “there”.  With almost any other subject, there are tons of things to worry about.  But with flowers, photography is fairly straight forward.  Yes, you still need to think about background and lighting, but a photo of a beautiful flower can often mask the challenges it may have presented.  So I shoot flowers when I want to relax.  If I miss a shot, odds are I can try again — the flower isn’t going anywhere.  So, while I can take a bad photo of a flower, if I do there is no one or nothing to blame but me.

This photo raises another  question.  I have it posted a couple of other places and in those postings, the flower is bright red.  In fact, if you click on this photo to enlarge it, the colors become brighter.  I wonder why the thumbnails and smaller images I post here seem to lose some of their color.  If anyone has ideas, please feel free to let me know.

By the way, what kind of flower is this?  Uh…a red one…some sort of day lily, I think.  But don’t tell my botanist or gardener friends — they will only laugh and tell you how wrong I am!

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