The Cahaba lily is a delicate subject and you often find them weathered and ragged. Wind and a full day of sun will make their mark on them. A heavy rain will utterly destroy their delicate beauty. In early morning they are in their most pristine condition because they begin to bloom late in the day and open at night. Once they die they are left hanging among the fresh, beautiful ones.
Dead lilies late in the season or a couple days after heavy rain.
In this photo fresh blooms are ready to open among the ragged ones which will soon die and turn brown. If you take photos of the lilies from a distance then some dead ones are acceptable but if you want closeups you need to be there before they become weathered or dead. If you are working in black & white, a few dead ones in the mix are acceptable because the ugly brown won't show up.
Most lilies are out in the open and on a sunny day that offers
challenges for a photographer. Of course early morning or late
afternoon offers the best lighting. If it's a cloudless day I
would be finished by 10:00 or so and not stick around in the
glaring sun. Another consideration is motion. The less wind the
better. On most days lilies are in constant motion even from the
slightest breeze and working close up means using a fast shutter
speed to prevent blur. Since that requires a wide f/stop or a
high ISO, it is difficult or impossible to get the ultimate
photos. Closeups of Cahaba lilies are a technical as well as an
Clean looking closeups have to be taken before dead lilies start to appear among the fresh ones.