Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

July 21, 2003



Dan Paulsen is in Seattle, so Marie Bohndorf called the meeting to order around 7:15 p.m.  We began the meeting with a discussion of new business.


Did we have a walk-through last weekend?  Yes, but only one person showed up.  Marie reminded the group that we will have regular walk-throughs on the third Saturday of every month, but for July and August, we are on our own.  After August, meet at the ticket counter at 9 a.m.


Gary Gingrich told the group that he and his family went to St. Louis recently to the World Bird Sanctuary.  It is one of the largest centers for birds and provides birds for presentations as well as performing rehabilitation.  It is on about 280 acres and is government-funded.  It has over 400 animals.  In October, a behind-the-scenes open house is planned.  It will be open to the public, will be free, and will provide tours of normally closed-off areas.  This will occur the weekend of October 18.  The center has lots of raptors – bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and so on.  It has a nesting pair of Andean condors (it was noted that the zoo has a pair too, though they are nonbreeding).  The male has a 15-foot wingspan!  Gary said there is a Web site.  He will bring more information about the center to the next meeting.


Sherry Leonardo talked about a trip she took to the Memphis Zoo.  The zoo has two giant pandas; they are on loan and the zoo is trying to breed a panda it can keep.  The exhibit also has monkeys, pheasants, ducks, and deer.  Next door to the pandas are three komodo dragons.  She brought photos and slides of her trip.


It was also noted that the Omaha Zoo now has the upper and lower parts of the Desert Dome finished – and it’s air-conditioned!


Marie said that at the November meeting of the Great Plains Nature Photographers (GPNP), the guest speaker will be Joel Sartore.  He has been featured on the National Geographic channel and did a program on chasing killer pigs.  He is based in Wichita, so the November meeting will be in Wichita.


Marie explained a little more about GPNP.  The group has a Web site on Google – type in “Great Plains Nature Photographers” to get to it.  Carol Mitchell stated that the meetings were definitely worthwhile to attend.  There is stiff competition at the meetings.  The meetings are held twice a year, and every two years a meeting is held in Kansas City.  The meeting only costs about $15-20 when lunch is provided or $10 when no lunch is offered.  Send Marie an e-mail if you want an invitation to the next meeting – she is a Kansas City contact person for GPNP.


Michelle Riley said she talked to some folks from Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge recently who were in Kansas City doing some programs.  Turpentine Creek is near Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  A representative will be here doing a program in August.  She’s not sure who is coming, but they have a Web site and a staff photographer.  Wayne Hickox noted that at one time, it was pretty expensive to go there and do a photo sitting – something like $250.


Marie called for any old business.


Chris Nederman reminded everyone that she is still looking for a volunteer to take over maintaining the photo wall at Deja Zoo.  She has done it for three years now and is ready to pass it to someone new.  Let Chris know if you are interested.


We had two guests tonight, Ronita Thomas and Gerry McReynolds.  Welcome!


Marie introduced tonight’s speaker, John Wright.  John is affiliated with the United Methodist Church in Grandview.  People donate old computers to the church and John puts digital pictures on them and gives them to Children’s Mercy Hospital and other areas that serve those who are shut-in or elderly.  He is going to tell us more about this special program.


John said that he considers himself a lucky man.  He told us how he ended up doing what he now is doing.  He was asked to retire at the age of 55 but wasn’t ready, so he became a natural gas broker.  He retired a second time, but not before making a contact who was a junior college professor.  The professor encouraged John to take a position as a computer educator on a cruise ship!  John was reluctant at first, but took on this challenge, and found that he was teaching “kindergarten” computing to folks his age on cruise ships.  He took 43 cruises in seven years and got to see a lot of the world this way.  He really enjoyed it.


As a result of his travels, John has slides from all over the world.  He quit doing cruises because of health problems.  He is involved with a computer lab at his church and has found that people will donate computers to the church, but they aren’t very good ones – they are older and out-of-date.  He realized, though, that he can put pictures on them and donate them to hospitals, retirement homes, and shut-ins.  He installs as many digital pictures as the device will hold and then disarms the CD and the hard drive, and the PC becomes a “picture appliance”.


He has given or would like to give the appliances to retirement homes, to the burn center at Children’s Mercy as a way to distract the children being treated, or to dialysis or chemotherapy centers, where people are waiting for treatment.


He can take images of any resolution, whether slides or prints.  He uses Photoshop Elements and reduces the images to 640 x 480.  He can put almost 11,000 photos on a CD.


While John talked, he shared some representative slides with the group.  He has found that people like pictures of animals and gardens.  He said some of the most beautiful churches are in South America, and he has pictures of some of them.  He likes to include some humorous pictures and has some of old Burma Shave signs that folks seem to enjoy.


He appealed to the group, telling us that he needs extra pictures for the appliances.  He also can use old monitors if anyone has an extra one.  In addition, he will take old hard drives.  He passed out business cards so anyone wanting to donate can contact him.


He helped create a computer lab at the church that gives free lessons to anyone interested.  It is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. when the weather is good.  The lab can accommodate 11 people at a time.


The church is a 501(c)(3) organization.  The lab is never open when it is raining or storming, as a surge protector is no good against lightning.  He always backs up his images on a CD burner.  He backs up his 40 GB hard drive to an 80 GB hard drive.  He uses an external hard drive on a USB cable.  He backs up to it and can plug it into a laptop.  He burns to CD and stores the CDs at his daughter’s house as an extra precaution.


Chris asked if he wanted pictures in electronic format.  John said no, he prefers that you give him prints (or slides).  Put your name on the back and he will give you credit.  If you give him slides or prints, he can scan them in.


He was asked what size hard drives he would accept.  John said anything smaller than 8 GB would be good.


John was asked if we could e-mail images to him.  He said yes, but he has AT&T and there is a limit to the size of file he can receive.  He thinks the limit might be 3 MB but isn’t sure.  John said if you want to bring prints or slides to the next meeting, he’ll come pick them up.  Peggy Lowry also said she could take them to him; she is a friend who has donated some images to the cause.  Sherry also said she lived near the church, so she could make a delivery sometime.


John’s informative presentation ended around 7:50 p.m.


Club members then took a break to eat cheese, grapes, and crackers provided by Beverly Nichols and to share prints they had brought with other members.


The meeting reconvened around 8:10 p.m.  Sarah, our zoo liasom, said the zoo will be hooking up the Photo Club Web site to the Zoo’s Web site in a week or two.  She will let us know when this has happened.


She said there was some discussion going on at the zoo about a possible display in Deramus of photographs from the Photo Club of featured animals or just the zoo in general.  This would be great, but there is no display area built to house the images.  Sarah said that if anyone is crafty and can build a display area, let her know.  Jim Rendina apparently has a drawing that might work, and Bill Pasek does a lot of woodworking, but Bill said he would need something to work off of in the way of a design/drawing.  Sarah said she can put together something nice to work from.


Regarding the list of animals that the zoo needs pictures of, Sarah said you can send them to her.  Her e-mail address will be included in the newsletter.


The meeting adjourned around 8:20 p.m.  The next meeting is on August 18 at 7 p.m.


                            -- Tracy Goodrich


Don't forget that August is Dues time again. Single memberships are $20.00 per year and family membersips are $30.00 per year. The dues are payable to the Treasurer, Libby McCord.