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African Violets and Gesneriads: Somebody Turn On A Light Please!

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Forum: African Violets and GesneriadsReplies: 26, Views: 185
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Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 9, 2011
5:19 AM

Post #8922366

There are so many amazing plants I'm seeing! The problem is, a lot of them are very, very dark so you can't see the true colors and detail! Since Gesneriads prefer low light, taking bright clear pictures without a flash can be a challenge. With most digital cameras there are easy fixes for taking pictures in low light.

Since plant photography is one of my strong suits, what I'd like for everyone to do, if interested, is tell me the make and model of your camera so I can look up the manuals online and tell you exactly how to take better pictures.

X

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

December 9, 2011
5:26 AM

Post #8922372

I just move them into natural light, if I can. I'm so lazy!
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 9, 2011
5:51 AM

Post #8922390

Lol .. your camera probably has settings that can compensate for low light. Grab your manual and look for EV - Exposure Value - that's usually one of the easiest adjustments to make.
aspenjocop
Northeast, MO
(Zone 5b)

December 9, 2011
6:56 AM

Post #8922458

I may have to take you up on that offer. I can't get the true blue/purple to show on my pics. This was discussed on another forum and it could very well be my older camera. Can't buy a new one right now. I guess some cameras can capture the true color better than others.

Connie
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

December 9, 2011
11:17 AM

Post #8922761

Mine is old.It's a Sony Cyber Shot DSC-F505V.It also takes movies.

Lynn
aspenjocop
Northeast, MO
(Zone 5b)

December 9, 2011
11:30 AM

Post #8922771

OMG...I can't stop laughing!!!! Mine is a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W50. Must run in our blood. Now you can laugh with me, Sis!!!

Connie
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

December 9, 2011
11:59 AM

Post #8922817

I'm laughin'.I can't really take credit though.My son gave it to me when he upgraded several years ago.He took fantastic pictures with it!

Lynn
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 9, 2011
12:14 PM

Post #8922854

Ok .. give me some time to look up your manuals.
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

December 9, 2011
12:40 PM

Post #8922894

Also, you can post process the pictures in any photo manipulation software. It doesn't have to be Photoshop. For simple manipulations like filling in some light or changing the color balance to make the blues and purples look a little more realistic, Picasa or any number of free photo editors will do.
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

December 9, 2011
1:18 PM

Post #8922936

Right now I am using Picasso.My Photoshop is on my old computer and I don't have the installation disk anymore.
lilypad22
(tish) near Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

December 9, 2011
3:59 PM

Post #8923126

Low light for gesneriads? I don't know, I think most like a lot of light. Pets and Chirita are happly with lower light. I think I just don't take good pictures, ha and its very nice you want to help us do better. I was told by a photographer the reason some blooms like av's don't photograph true color is the irridence, sparkle in the petals, its reflective and causes untrue colors. Sometimes moving the plant into different kinds of light will take a more true color, or take a picture from farther away and zoom in. That is what I was told and and what I try. Sometimes, several times before I get something I think is close to true color. I know my camera has setting changes in the menu someplace, but that scares me, ha.

tish
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 9, 2011
6:55 PM

Post #8923300

But that's just the thing .. most digital cameras now have settings for different light conditions which handles white balance, also spot and centered light metering .. that's the big thing .. most cameras are on auto for light metering and the camera reads everything in that mode - on extreme closeups I always use spot so the camera is only reading what is directly in front of it - they also have light variable light sensitivity aka ASA or ISO. And as Olaf said, graphics programs are really a must.


Thumbnail by Xeramtheum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Vadis
Alum Bridge, WV

December 9, 2011
9:01 PM

Post #8923426

I've got a more basic problem...How do I load a photo onto the web? On to Dave's? I have a KODAK with 10 times Optical zoom and 10 mega pixels that was recently given me. I do not know its model number.

No trouble taking plant photos and the results are pleasing. But how can I share them? D-mail me...Please, anybody, please.
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

December 9, 2011
9:21 PM

Post #8923440

Picasa, for example, lets you organize, post process and do all kinds of other nifty stuff with your pictures. It also copies the pictures from your camera onto the hard drive of your computer. It's real simple to use and it's free.

http://picasa.google.com/
Sallysblooms
South, TX

December 10, 2011
5:25 PM

Post #8924370

Photobucket is nice for sharing also.

Thumbnail by Sallysblooms
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

December 11, 2011
7:42 AM

Post #8924840

X - I am always looking for help on my camera! I have a Kodak EasyShare Z950 . . . Thanks a bunch!
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 11, 2011
8:54 AM

Post #8924988

Found your manual Syrumani, Aspenjocop and lbrabec. If ya'll can put your hands on your manual that would be great! I'll put together something sometime this week.

Also it would be helpful to know who has graphics editing software and who doesn't.
Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

December 11, 2011
9:06 AM

Post #8925006

I've got a link to my manual online. I know there is a setting on my camera that automatically detects outside, inside, plants, etc . . . but the rest of the manual may as well be in chinese . . . I did figure out a few weeks ago how to work the panoramic setting on it . . . quite by accident, I assure you! :-)

This message was edited Dec 11, 2011 11:16 AM

Thumbnail by Syrumani
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lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

December 11, 2011
11:20 AM

Post #8925176

I have Picasso.
Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

December 11, 2011
1:08 PM

Post #8925307

Oh yeah . . . I have Picasa 3
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 14, 2011
7:15 AM

Post #8929094

First you want to take your camera off of Automatic A and set it to P - Program Auto Mode which allows you to make some adjustments.

For those of you who have and can use picture editing programs that allow you to crop and resize pictures, youíll want to set your camera to the highest pixel settings. With my camera it creates about a 20 meg picture at itís highest setting. For those of you who donít and have to upload pictures directly to the internet, probably what the default is when you first got your camera is best.

White Balance .. what that does is adjust the color tones to the light conditions .. everyone should have a setting on their camera that has a list like incandescent, cloudy, fluorescent, daylight etc. Found under Menu

So if you are taking a picture of a plant that is being lighted by a regular light bulb then you want to choose incandescent.

Light Meter .. Most cameras have a setting that you can choose the way the camera sees the light. Sony has Spot, Center and Multi. Spot adjust exposure for what is directly in front of the lens. This will usually cause the background to be lighter than normal but the flower you are shooting will have detail instead of being muddy or washed out. Center adjusts for a wider range average and Multi adjusts for all the light and takes an average. I usually use the Spot for extreme close-ups and Center for shooting a whole plant or groups of plants. Found under Menu

EV Ė Exposure Value .. This is a great feature found on most cameras but usually not on ones that are totally automatic. When in this mode, you can increase or decrease the amount of light. So if what you are shooting looks particularly dark or light you can adjust the amount of light using this feature. Usually found as a button on the camera and not in the Menu.

Exposure Bracketing Most adjustable cameras should have this. In this setting what it does is take 3 pictures of the same thing with each picture exposed a bit differently using the EV. You can see the differences in the picture below. I always use this setting no matter what I'm shooting. You cannot use it with flash for obvious reasons.

Start with any one of the 4 described above and become comfortable changing the settings then move on to another.

Thumbnail by Xeramtheum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 14, 2011
8:00 AM

Post #8929156

xeramtheum, thanks for the great info. you are so much better than the manuals that come with camersa. now maybe I can take some better pictures.
Eileen
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

December 14, 2011
8:12 AM

Post #8929177

Thanks for the great advice, Xeramtheum!

What I would like to add is this: If you have an "all automatic" camera that doesn't allow you to make many adjustments, what always helps is to make sure that you take your picture in a well lit environment.

It's also always a good idea to try not to use a flash on "difficult" flowers like Violets or Streps.

Olaf
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 14, 2011
9:38 AM

Post #8929282

You're welcome! Yes manuals can be a bit daunting. Information overload. What I do when I get a new camera is go through and learn one feature every week or two. It's kind of like learning the Latin .. at first you say no way but discover after you have learned a few and can actually spell them the rest come a lot easier.
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 14, 2011
12:25 PM

Post #8929506

I just bought Corel PaintShop Pro X4 It was on sale for $39.99 at Staples. I had an old version on my old computer, but won't load onto new computer. Now I just have to learn this version.
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 14, 2011
2:53 PM

Post #8929690

I use PSP 7 - before Corel got a hold of it .. it's really old but I like down and dirty software .. I have newer versions including Photoshop but keep coming back to my PSP 7.
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

December 21, 2011
1:23 PM

Post #8938411

Thanks for the advice.I will try it out after Christmas.

Lynn

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