Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

May 19, 2003


Dan Paulsen called the meeting to order around 7:15 p.m.  He began the meeting with a discussion of old business.

Dan asked if anyone had followed up on the special paint that works like a projector screen for the room.  It was noted that we would need permission first to paint the wall, and the zoo director position is vacant currently.  Dan said he would get with Jim Rendina on this later.  We are not sure whom to contact – possibly Steve Wiley.  Bill Pasek asked if another room might be a possibility, but doubt was expressed that there was another room large enough that would be available.

Steve Brewer said there was a minor problem on the Website.  He has tracked it down and found that we were three months in arrears on the Web site fees.  The company in Florida wants $53.09 to take care of the bill for the domain, etc.  If it is okay, he said he was willing to send this to them by certified mail to get it resolved so we can move on.  Steve moved that we do this, and Marie Bohndorf seconded the motion.  The motion passed.

Steve said when we change the Web site, we will have the domain through Network Solutions.  This will prevent the domain from being stolen.

Carol Mitchell said that the trip to Savanahland is this Saturday.  The weather should be okay, but you can call Carol that morning after 8 if you think it might not be.  Carol brought some copies of the directions for those who don’t have Internet access.  Also you must sign a form.  The cost is $10.50 per person for two hours.  We pay when we get there.  There will be a session with the chimp.  You can bring your lunch and eat in the pavilion.  She needs 20 people to go.

Barbara Chase said that Libby McCord, our treasurer, e-mailed a roster to Barb.  Barb identified some errors so said she would send it around and have people correct anything that is wrong.

Tracy Goodrich told the group that Libby’s mom passed away Friday night.

Stuart Riley said that this weekend an astronomers meeting is being held.  About 400 people are coming, two of which are from NASA.  If you are interested, you can e-mail Bob Nederman, Chris’ husband, for more information.

It was announced that Megan is here as zoo representative tonight in lieu of Sarah, who is out of town.  She brought a nice projector with her so that we can connect a laptop and display digital images.

Megan also said the zoo needs more pictures, including animals, visitor interaction, and plant life.

Megan learned from Sarah that the zoo can give us $5 off of Friends of the Zoo memberships for camera club members.  She has sign-up forms and can take checks, credit cards, and cash.

She also said that they checked with the zoo staff and the only time they are free to help with a zoo walk-through for the club is June 28 at 8:30 a.m.  The club will discuss this further at the next meeting.

Lastly, Megan said that they are reconstructing the quarterly newsletter at the zoo.  She is thinking it might be good for us to submit a page of pictures every month.  We could have a page specifically for the Zoo Camera Club.  The photos would not be in color, however.

Carol said if you haven’t been to see Wayne Hickox’ exhibit at the Prairie Village City Hall, you should go.  It is very nice.  It closes May 30.

Michelle Riley handed out business cards for a gallery in Weston that would like photos to sell.  The split would be 70/30.  Size and framing is up to us.  She said we could submit one to five prints of fine art; they must be of archival quality.

Dan then introduced our speakers for the evening – Nancy and Blake from Wolf Camera.

Nancy explained that she was the manager of the Shawnee shop on Quivira, and Marie invited her and Blake to come and talk to us.  Marie is a good customer of theirs.  Nancy said that Blake is her top salesperson.  Blake won the zoo photography contest last year.

She said she would like to open it up to questions from our group about equipment, processing, services, and so on.  She said they have access to anything made.  The biggest store is at College and Metcalf; it has darkroom equipment and items that are not available at Nancy’s smaller store.

Nancy mentioned a new system at some stores called the Fuji Frontier System.  This printer is a step up from the former walk-up self-serve printers found in photofinishing shops.  It is a hybrid system that uses digital technology.  You can crop, use red-eye reduction, print black and white, and so on.  It can print wallet photos to 12x15 prints, as well as slides.  Several stores have it – the ones at Metcalf and Mission have it and Olathe will later.  Shawnee should have the system by the end of the year.

She was asked what scan DPI was used.  Nancy said she didn’t know, but it was at least 4000 and better than a film scanner.

Nancy was asked how Wolf’s print-to-slide quality compares to Costco.  She said they think it is better.  They are strict about calibration, cleaning, and so on.  The cost of a 4x6 print to slide is about $1.50.  You can get a quantity discount.  (Someone stated that 4x6 prints from slides at Costco are 29 cents!)

You can get glossy or matte prints.  An 11x14 is $14.99.  If you join the Frequent Photo Club for $15.99, you get a ten-percent discount on enlargements, reprints, and so on.  They send out E6 and black and white for processing.

They are working on a system where you can e-mail prints to them and come in later to pick them up.  This should be available in late summer or early fall.

They can’t print larger than 35mm film in the stores.  They send 4x5s out.

Ritz Camera bought Wolf Camera about a year and a half ago.  Both stores exist in Kansas City.  Ritz also bought a mail-order company called Camera World, plus Pro X in the Wisconsin area and some other companies such as Camera Shop and Inkley’s.

At the Overland Park, Oak Park, and other stores, they have a deal where you can get a Provia 100 36-exposure four-pack for $19.99.  Kodak Royal Gold film has been discontinued and replaced by High Definition, which Nancy feels is not as good.  It comes in 400-speed only and the color is not as vibrant, plus the contrast is lower.

Nancy was asked if there was any difference between Provia 400F and Sensia 400.  She said professional film has a shorter life span, and amateur film has a longer range.  Unless you are doing your own darkroom processing, however, it’s not going to make much difference which of these films you use.

Wolf has switched to Fuji paper because its archival qualities are guaranteed for 100 years, whereas Kodak is only about six years.

Wayne pointed out that he has been going through his photos and has been throwing away a lot of 3x5 and 4x6 prints created from an inkjet printer because the colors have faded.

Nancy said Wolf doesn’t sell anything that isn’t archival quality.

Some discussion ensued about the walk-up self-serve photo copier/printer stations and the archival quality of the prints.  Nancy said the Kodak ones only last a year or so.  Mickey Norton said he thought the Kodak stations use dye-sub thermal wax prints and have lasted for years.

Blake then talked about equipment.  They brought some examples of equipment with them tonight.  Blake demonstrated the Nikon Coolpix 5700, a 5-megapixel digital camera for $1,100.  You can make 16x20 prints from it that are considered photo quality.  No one has a printer that will support that, but you can crop it to 8x10 to print.  It has an 8x optical zoom, which is a good lens for such a small camera.  You can add on some accessory lenses too, but you will lose some light and some quality.

He talked a little about Canon cameras with the 70-200mm 2.8 lens.  This is an enormous lens, but with enough light, he found he had no problem with camera shake.

He discussed the Nikon N80, using a 28-300mm lens.  He likes the range of wide angle to telephoto in one lens.

Blake said the waiting time for a Canon 10D is about four days.  It runs about $1,500.

Most newer digital cameras have a noise reduction system that removes digital artifacts.  This allows you to get some good nighttime shots.

Dan asked about using filters on digital cameras.  Blake said some can accept filters with an adapter.  Cokin makes some square filters that will not affect auto-focus capabilities.  You do not need a circular polarizer; you can create that effect later in the digital darkroom.

Blake was asked what to recommend for someone wanting a good slide scanner without spending a lot of money.  Minolta makes a good one for about $330.  It is a negative scanner with an adapter for slides.

Scanners with ICE technology by Applied Science (now purchased by Kodak) are great for removing dust particles.  Linda Hanley said the new Nikon scanner is fantastic.

Canon makes a good flatbed scanner that works with negatives or slides.  It just came out and costs about $150.

After Nancy and Blake’s informative presentation, we took a break around 8 p.m. and enjoyed treats provided by Steve Brewer.

Steve gave the next two presentations.  First, he shared a slide presentation that he and Suzanne Busby put together for a first-grade class at Barstow.  The children were getting ready to take a field trip to the zoo to photograph animals, and they had their cameras with them.  Suzanne and Steve shared a slide presentation of animals from the zoo based on pictures they pulled from our Web site.  Steve said there were about 50 slides in all, and the kids loved it.  The club members enjoyed the presentation.

Next, Steve demonstrated his progress on the updates to our Website.  His intention is to have the Web site up by the first of next month.  He proposed some changes.  For example, instead of using the image of the film canister as the page heading, perhaps we should go with the kangaroo photo club logo.  What does the group prefer?  Marie said the kangaroo image was our official logo and suggested we go with that.  Everyone agreed.

Jim brought in about 20 photos that we have sent him recently that Steve used as examples.  Steve said an improvement on the new Web site will be that each image will not open in a separate page anymore when you click on it.  Instead the photo will pop up with a strip of white at the bottom with information about the picture and photographer.  This will make the Web site much less maintenance-intensive.  When complete, the Web site will consist of perhaps three dozen Web pages, instead of the current 100 to 200 Web pages, making it much easier to maintain.

Should we include the name of the animal with the slide?  The group agreed we should, but that we should check the names for accuracy first.  Steve noted that if you send a CD of your images, you can include a readme file with the names in it.  Or you can rename the image with the name of the animal.

Steve said we need new images for the site!  In 11 days or so, we will have a new site on Earthlink, so we need the images as soon as possible.  Send them at 640x480 resolution, and Jim will resize them.

We discussed Steve’s slide presentation again.  Would the group like to have something like it on our Web site?  Dan said it might be nice to have something like this for schools, etc.  The group discussed and agreed that this was a good idea.  We need to have consistent credits on all the images.  We could create a template on the Web site that each member could use to note his or her information.  We need a copyright notice of some kind to cover us from a legal standpoint.  Jim could put a copyright symbol in front of each name, since the photographer owns the image.  Are there issues with the zoo if we do this?  Megan said she would have to check.  We also can downsize the images to a low enough resolution that they won’t print well.

Do we want to list e-mail addresses of members on the Web site?  We can have 30 without paying extra.  We discussed the number of paying members and how many will have images on the Web site.  It was agreed that those who submitted images would have their e-mail address included if they want.  If you don’t submit images, your address won’t be listed.

Finally, we discussed the issue of selling images from the Web site.  In general, we can’t do this as a nonprofit site.  With the e-mail addresses listed, however, interested buyers can contact the photographer directly.

The meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.  The next meeting is on June 16 at 7 p.m.

                            -- Tracy Goodrich