African Violet Photography
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 ~~You Decide Which Is Best--- Part One~~ 
     So on to the fun!  Now it is time to take a look at a few of the many options available every time we photograph our African violets. 
      Remember to keep you 'creative eye' open when browsing the web or your own photos.  Just as we have a drawer full of cooking utensils, we have a jumble of photo 'tools' at our disposal.  Maybe the greatest skill of a photographer is knowing which combination of these 'tools' will create that 'best ever' African violet photo.  A good cook knows how and when to use each utensil... and not always as its original purpose.... such as using  a pancake turner to gently lift tender fried fish fillets.  In the same manner, something as simple as a  tee shirt may serve as a perfect background!  There are many lessons to be learned by studying the many wonderful photos available online.
    One thing I wish to stress here is to be aware of our responsibility to the rest of the AV world!  Uploading a digital photo seems so simple that often we forget it is 'publishing', presenting a record---yet there is no one else to 'guarantee' the accuracy of the variety name, color, etc.!  It is a terrible fault of most internet surfers to assume anything on the Web is accurate.... consciously or unconsciously, we accept everything as Fact.  Please be sure to correctly identify your photos.  Accurate colors of the blossoms and leaves is an area open to a bit of creative license, but at all times, remember that others will be depending upon your photos to use as a comparison to their own plants, a means of identification, or while ordering plants.
     There are many opinions regarding the 'best' way to photograph African violets, and I, like most of you, have my favorites.   And I have the bad habit of using the same methods over and over again, without realizing another way might be better for this particular plant or blossom.  So, the only advice I give here is to 'experiment'... try new things!  Maybe some of the photos in this and the following lesson will inspire you to try a slightly different approach the next time you take your camera into the plant room!
     The one question I am most often asked is "Should I use flash or not?"  Look below and decide for yourself.  Again, I think some situations just call out for flash, while others are harmed by its use.  Also use of background color and the intensity of available light will have important impacts on your final decision. 
      All of the following photos have been taken as nearly as possible from the same angle, with the same basic camera settings, and within seconds or minutes of each other.
Available Light
Flash Light

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