Surest Sign of a Newbie Shooter

I read an article a while back that was entitled "Telltale Signs You're A Novice Photographer" or something like that. It was one of those things Facebook thought I should like, and I took the bait. There were bits about focus and this and that, and may have had some valid points. One thing bugged me, though. One of the biggest "Telltale Signs" was this:

"A sure sign of a novice shooter is that they take a lot of photos of flowers".

Ouch, See, I take a lot of photos of flowers. A lot. A massive file folder on a hard drive taking up crazy space, with flower after flower after flower after... you get the point.

Lily - Nampa, ID
Sony α6000 | E 60mm F2.8 | 60mm | ƒ2.8 | 1/200s | ISO 160

Wanna know why? It has nothing to do with how long I've been a photographer, and I'm not saying I've been shooting too long, but I've been at it long enough to not be a "novice" anymore, by a fair margin. Diminishing the art of photographing flowers simply because it's a fairly simple process doesn't seem fair to the flower or to the photographer. The reason I shoot a lot of flowers is simply that I like flowers. A lot.

Found An Angel - Nampa, ID
Sony α58 | 50mm F1.7 | 50mm | ƒ1.7 | 1/400s | ISO 100

There are so many humanly expressive qualities about flowers, and they help me be expressive too. It's the trite old "1,000 words" concept at play in many senses. Honestly, a pretty pink tulip on a sweet spring morning is a great way to convey happiness.

Tulips - Nampa, ID
Sony α58 | 50mm F1.7 | 50mm | ƒ1.7 | 1/4000s | ISO 100

When things aren't so great, the flowers still have a way of saying that without uttering a word. Black and white or sepia tones say it even better.



Pink Rose - Nampa, ID
Sony α58 | 50mm F1.7 | 50mm | ƒ2.8| 1/200s | ISO 100
I'm not an expert on horticulture or gardening. I barely know which flowers are which without asking, but I like them anyway. Sometimes people ask me lots of questions about the flowers themselves. My answer: "They're pretty". Beyond that, it's mostly a lot of Google searching to figure it out.


Peony - Nampa, ID
Sony α58 | 50mm F1.7 | 50mm | ƒ1.7 | 1/100s | ISO 100

Do I have a favorite? Of course I do. Dogwoods. They're beautiful and strong and fragile and ephemeral - all such distinct human qualities, and they're even relatable. Maybe that's one of the reasons I'm partial to them - I feel like they're resemble most humans in many ways, and I see myself in them, too. I know, they aren't even "real" flowers, but they're so pretty and floral-esque that I can't help but love them.

Dogwood - Nampa, ID
Sony α58 | 50mm F1.7 | 50mm | ƒ1.7 | 1/800s | ISO 100
Maybe I'm just defensive, but I don't think that taking photos of flowers is necessarily indicative of a person's skill level or experience in and of themselves. Flowers have a lot to say. They deserve to be heard by being seen.

Dark Dogwood - Nampa, ID
Sony α58 | 50mm F1.7 | 50mm | ƒ2.2 | 1/80s | ISO 400