Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

February 17, 2003


Dan Paulsen called the meeting to order and introduced Dick O'Kell, our guest speaker.

Dick O'Kell talked about the basics of landscape photography. He said any format is good. A medium format gives better negatives, but is heavy and costs a little more than 35 mm.  He said he is not in to digital very much yet because the quality is not as good if the price is affordable.

He primarily uses 35 mm for landscapes. To avoid camera shaking, he thinks mirror lock up is an important accessory, as well as a remote shutter release so you don't have to touch the camera. A depth of field button can let you see what the camera will see when you trip the shutter.

Many accessories depend o what the photographer wants to use. A level in the viewfinder helps keep images straight.

Dick knows more about Canon lenses than other brands. He uses lenses ranging from 20 to 400 mm. He uses a polarizer on everything, but few other filters except an 81a and an 81b. He carries these with him in the Southwest to heighten the red color.

He believes that you should buy the heavies and sturdiest tripod you can get and it should have a ball head. A heavy tripod is annoying to carry but he fixes his backpack so it can be carried more easily. He also uses a vest for the convenience of carrying small items within reach. He has a special vest he uses in the Colorado high country, where he lives in the summertime.

He uses plastic to cover his camera in inclement weather. It can be as simple as a plastic bag, or a small tarp or rain poncho. He says the photographer also needs to be warm and dry with good breathable raingear. Batteries need to be carried in pockets to keep them warm.

Dick says he shoots Velvia almost exclusively. He thinks that Kodak VS is too yellow. If a faster film is needed, you can push Velvia a stop. You can do that as well with Chromia.  Sensia is a Fuji product and it's quality is not consistent.

He likes to store his film at the bottom of a chest freezer at home. The freezer above the refrigerator doesn't work as well and it will change the film.

Dick showed slides to demonstrate composition of landscapes. There can be man made objects in a landscape. A close up of a building or other object is not considered a landscape. Many of his slides were of places in Utah, such as Arches National Park, Canyonlands, and places in Colorado such as Maroon Bells. There were all very beautiful.

Next he talked about color. He showed a color wheel. Generally complementary colors (those found on opposite sides of the color wheel) go best together.

The theory that evening light is warmer than morning light is not always true. Yu just have to get up earlier in the morning and start shooting earlier to get a jump on the red colors. Thirty minutes after sunset is still good for shooting.

Mid day usually makes a landscape washed out. You have to work at it to get good color saturation at midday. The time of year and the sun placement make a difference as well. Dick carries a compass and a guide book to tell him where the sun and the moon will appear.

Light coming from the side shows more texture. Some dynamic images can be made on overcast days or during a  storm.

We certainly did appreciate Dick's very informative presentation.

As we went on with the meeting, Jim Rendina said he got a note from Conrad in Kenya saying they were having a great time.

Marie said that she needs new ideas for future programs. She suggested that you might talk to photographers that you know and see if they would give a program. Also we could get someone from the Zoo to give us some updates. If you have any ideas about future programs, E-mail Marie at marieb43@kc.rr.com

Next we saw some slides taken by Crystal Nederman. She had taken a trip to Northern Michigan, and photographed a number of lighthouses. Every one of her slides was excellent, and it was interesting to see all the different kinds of lighthouses.