There are some situations in which I cannot see well enough to sketch like I used to. A close up of a flower is one of those situations. Now I must wear my glasses and sometimes even they are not up to the task. One can carry a loupe like some of my botanically oriented artist friends do. I like to take close ups with my tiny pocket camera, for later viewing.
The camera doesn't take the place of sketching for me—I would still have to sketch the shape and aspect of the flower on site to be happy painting it later. Perhaps if I had better camera skills this wouldn't be necessary—but I doubt it. There is something about seeing the object in life that allows my eyes to find nuance that I might later decide to include. And I don't have to read a manual on how to set the aperture of my eyes for best lighting.
Additionally sketching and painting are about sensing the dimension of something and the movement (even swaying in the wind) and the smell of something. I have to connect in some way or I'm not interested in sketching the subject.
As my eyes age, however, I admit to being more and more amazed by what the little camera sees that I no longer see.
Sketching was out of the question on this day (a tour in a meticulously planned garden, where the only bug was a persistent bumblebee who had a crush on me—another reason to not stand out and sketch). But my, oh, my how hairy this plant is when you get up close. It is amazing to think how this hairiness helps this plant and its interaction with pollinators. More on plants soon. Find a non-buggy time of the day when you can sketch and photograph without the mosquitoes! You never know what you're going to find. (Unless you're one of my botanically orientated friends, mentioned earlier.)