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Do some people look down on flower photography?

iancrowson Plus
7 211 146 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2012 1:23PM
Do some people look down on flower photography? What I mean are club/RPS types snobby about flower photography and see it as less nobel, lessor art, peoples art suitable for birthday cards?.
Serious question but no chip on shoulder yet.

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alansnap Plus
14 577 26 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2012 1:59PM
As an RPS "type" I take offence. Not only does the RPS NOT look down on flower photography, it part sponsors the the Garden Photographer of the Year competition. I indulge and so do many others in the RPS/Club circuit. What you might find in one club is similar to comments on birds like "It's a bird on a stick" that I have come across. Judges who are disparaging should be pulled up.
The difficulty with nature photography in general is a magnified version of other forms of photography. That is the plethora of flower and animal shots is so great that it is hard to be different. What satisfies us as photographers and what grabs the attention may not be the same thing. It's a sad fact, but nature photography has to be exceptional to succeed. Have a look at my portfolio of wildlife and a few flower photographs. I got very few votes on what I thought were pretty good shots of tigers, monkeys and birds in India.
Best of luck, but don't paint people by their affiliations.
Alan Cameron LRPS
I prefer to shoot them at their level.

Seriously though, yes some do. The same way done look down on any wildlife shots that aren't 'exotic', or street candids, anything using photoshop, pics taken using certain cameras and so on.

It's just they way things are. There will always be some who think that other styles and areas are below them, just as there are those who can't see the worth of what's in front of them while they dream of bigger and better things
JackAllTog Plus
8 4.9k 58 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2012 2:08PM
Some people will look down on some things - that's life.
My club as a whole liked good interesting photographs and this would include flowers sometimes along with everything else.

I think generalisations are dangerous, personally i love good flower photography but struggle to get is as good as some on here so mostly leave it alone unless I've free time or a super specimen i want to try shooting. I'll do a few next spring/summer.

I know some of the micro stock agencies have closed their books on genres like flowers as they now believe they have every variant they will even need for selling purposes.

We are all different, lets enjoy what we enjoy and leave other things for others to enjoy.
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
30 Nov 2012 2:22PM
I've been a garden photographer to a fairly involved degree, and certainly there's a lot of snobbery towards 'pretty pictures' (a fairly common put-down). I think the trick is to not make it about you. Not every subject in a garden has the potential to be a masterpiece, but if you take a photo to the best of your ability and it's appealing to those that appreciate the subject, that's surely enough much of the time? It's really no different to any other genre - keep working it until you see something with more artistic potential.
MikeA Plus
13 1.3k England
30 Nov 2012 3:20PM
I am a RPS member and I certainly DO LOOK DOWN on flower photography, especially when the plants are low growing Smile)
iancrowson Plus
7 211 146 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2012 3:24PM
I meant no offence, i do apologise. As regards painting people by their affiliations I was interested in the views of club and RPS people as they are likely to better more in the know and probably more skilled, certainly they will associate more with fellow photographers.
I do not belong to a club, I work alone so ephotozine is excellent for seeing others work and getting comments on mine. I have learnt a lot by using the site, not least that there are some fantastic photographers around.
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
30 Nov 2012 3:31PM
...in fact I think it's largely a mono/colour thing. A lot of B&W purists are very switched off when it comes to pictures that depend heavily on colour for impact. Personally I have no such misgivings—it's just another way to appeal to our senses—but for broader appeal it's always good to look for shape and form in plants. I remember being impressed by Clive Nichols' 'New Shoots' book when it came out a few years ago, which contained a lot of well observed pictures.
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
30 Nov 2012 3:36PM
I was an SPF judge for 15 years and entered international competitions.

I had one cracking portrait that had never got below 19 in any competition - one international judge said "I don't like portraits - 12 marks"... so I guess the moral of the story is to be happy as the photographer of such fine pieces of work and to look down YOUR nose at the people that can't appreciate good photography when they see it.

Some stunning work in your pf by the way Ian, enjoyed looking through it.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
30 Nov 2012 3:40PM

Quote: What I mean are club/RPS types snobby about flower photography and see it as.......

As a "club/RPS type" and exceedingly proud of it, I can assure you that members of camera clubs and the RPS are the least "snobby" of all photographers and probably have the widest and most catholic tastes when it comes to valuing different genres of our art.

30 Nov 2012 4:12PM
Our club is not in the least snobby and any judge who looked down on an image because it was only a flower would not be invited back. That said flower photos have to be good, you generally have a level of control over lighting and distractions in the area so the image quality is expected to be slightly better than say a butterfly which might fly away if you mess about too much. I read somewhere " the judge doesn't care that the plant/animal was rare or that you spent 3 months sitting on a pole in the arctic or up to your neck in muddy river water, they are only interested in IS IT A GOOD IMAGE"
alansnap Plus
14 577 26 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2012 4:16PM
Hi Ian, no offence taken, but this shows that maybe you should give a local club a chance for a while. You will get some help and stimulation to improve your photography.

Clubs have an unfair image as being full of old fogeys (like me), but in the last few years as use of SLRs has increased so has membership often from the younger end of the age range. Have a look at the PAGB site and see what's going on where you live. Most clubs will let you come along for a few weeks to see if it suits you.

Thanks for your kind comments and votes.


tomcat Plus
12 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2012 4:29PM
A lot of folks, look up to astronomical photographyWink
iancrowson Plus
7 211 146 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2012 4:53PM
Good response, interesting comments, apologies to those whose took offence, was n't meant to be a go at anyone or any group. Just something I wanted to know and take into account.
I guess you might call me a RPS type having got an L and going for an A. An A panel needs to be more specialised. I've got two possibilities: flowers and a local theme which would mainly or all BW. If there is a downer on flowers why make things hard for myself?
30 Nov 2012 4:59PM
The only photographers I look down on arethosewho are shorter than me Wink

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