You might be curious as to how photographs are chosen for inclusion in the First Class database. A number of factors are considered in choosing them. Among them:

  1. Is the cultivar in the First Class database? If not, we cannot use the photo. (We will save it for possible future use, if and when the cultivar is added.) The First Class database is an electronic representation of the African Violet Master List of Species and Cultivars (AVML). Cultivars included in the AVML are submitted by the hybridizers; they cannot come from secondary sources.
  2. Is there already a photo of the cultivar in the database? If not, we will use almost any photo of that cultivar. It's better to have a photo of only fair quality than to have none at all.
  3. Does the photo match the description? Nobody can be familiar with all the different cultivars, so sometimes an incorrect one slips through, but if the photo shows a plant that is significantly different from the description, it will not be used.
  4. If there is already a photo for the cultivar in the database, a second (alternate) photo can be used. In this case, a fair-quality photo most likely will not be used.
  5. If there are already two photos of the cultivar in the database, a decision to replace one of them will be based on the following factors:
    • Is the quality better? If the quality is only slightly better, the photo may be saved for future use (when there is a smaller update), as each photo added to the database increases download time. To add a photo as a primary photo, switching the current primary photo to the alternate position, requires adding two photos to the update, so in that case the new photo must be significantly better, otherwise it will be added to the alternate position.
    • Do the current photos show differences (blossom vs. whole plant, presence vs. absence of a variable trait, differences due to different growing conditions, etc.)? The decision to replace will depend on how the new photo can help to portray the differences. For example, a great photo of a fantasy plant with a moderate number of fantasy markings is contributed, and the photos already in First Class are mediocre ones -- one with just a little fantasy, and the other loaded with fantasy markings. In that case, the new photo might not be used, as the two current ones better show the wide variance that can be seen with this cultivar.
    • There may be someone who has contributed hundreds of photos, but the quality is generally not so good, and only a few are actually used. As I'm sure you'll understand, sometimes it's very difficult to replace one of those photos.

So if you contribute a photo that you feel is certain to be included in the database, don't be disappointed if it doesn't get chosen. We do appreciate good photographs, and we will do everything we can to use it. But keep in mind that the database is not a photo contest. Its purpose is to give the grower a visual description that supplements the written description.


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