Just about any camera, regardless of how good or bad it is, can be used to create outstanding photographs for magazine covers, winning photo contests and hanging in art galleries. The quality of a lens or camera has almost nothing do with the quality of images it can be used to produce.
Your equipment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image. The less time and effort you spend worrying about your equipment the more time and effort you can spend creating great images. The right equipment just makes it easier, faster or more convenient for you to get the results you need.
Here's a great article about how to capture flower portraits, written by Winston D. Munnings and published in the JPG Magazine last month: Get Upclose & Personal Shooting Portraits of Flowers. Excerpt:
Before I shoot a Portrait of a Flower, like a predator, I go hunting for my prey ... for that elusive flower in someone's garden, on the side of the street or at a public location like that of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden here in Miami, Florida. However, I am not looking for just any flower. I am looking for a flower that has a very special feature. I am looking for a flower that has A Face. That's right, a flower with a face.
And finally, a useful article by Andre Gunther about how to rescue, or at least get the best out of your not-so-well-exposed shots: RAW HDR Processing in Photomatix. Excerpt:
Every travel photographer knows the scenario. While most photographers advise not to shoot during the harsh light of the day, we often have little choice. Often I find myself at a place and I know I will have to move on, either because I have a travel schedule or because I am on a weekend trip and have to get back to my daily routine. Believe me, if I could afford it, I would follow the good advice and spent a lot of time on each location waiting for perfect conditions to make my photos shine.
Hope you enjoy,