Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes
February 16, 2004

The meeting started around 7:05 p.m.  Bill Pasek said that Stuart Riley, a club member, would be the guest speaker tonight and would give his presentation at the end of the meeting.

 Bill welcomed one guest for the evening, Dick Hulse.  Dick said that Peggy Lawrey got him to come after meeting him at Powell Gardens.  Welcome, Dick!  Bill invited him to come to several meetings before deciding whether to join.

 There was no Treasurerís report this evening.

 Bill called for old business.

 Jim Rendina said that the display board is back in place at Deramus.  He intends to get out this week or early next week to change out as many photos as he can.  He has received some new photos but still needs more.  Jim was asked how many 8x10s he needs that are landscape versus portrait.  Jim said he needs about 4 landscape and about 4 portrait, some 8x10 and some 5x7.  Last time he was short on 8x10 portraits.  Also, the actual size on the board of these larger prints is about 7x9.  Bill told Jim to call him when he is ready to change out the pictures, and he will come help.

 Bill took a draft of the Photo Club promotional brochure to Kinkoís and ordered 1,000 copies.  It costs the same to get 1,000 as it does to get 500.  We built a place on the display stand for the brochures, and Bill will take some to the Friends of the Zoo office.  If you have other ideas for where to distribute the brochures, let him know.

 Bill also asked anyone needing a name tag or correction to a name tag to let him know.

 Bill said that our zoo representative, Sarah OíBrien, called recently and said that with recent staffing cuts and additional workload, she would be able to attend only every other meeting.  Bill assured her that this was okay and that he would call her with any updates as needed.

 The Kansas City Zoo Web site has been updated and has a new look.  A picture of the baby rhino is included on it. 

Peggy was asked whether we need more photos for display in the Deja Zoo gift shop.  Peggy said yes.  She explained that she hasnít done a lot there because of the recent snow, and she imagines that not a lot is selling right now, but she could still use some prints.  We had made a policy of accepting only two prints at a time per person.  She could still use some more for the other part of the wall that we are going to fill up.  Peggy said that if you have some prints to display, you can contact her between now and the next meeting.  She can meet you somewhere to get your images from you.  She lives in Raytown, which is about ten minutes from the zoo.

 Bill asked if anyone had anything for this monthís Buy-Sell-Trade session.  He reminded the group that Steve Brewer had brought a bunch of film to sell last time and may still have some left.

 Dan Paulsen said he wants to sell his Nikon F100 film camera and an SB28 flash, since he is interested in getting into digital photography exclusively.   These are only about a year old, and the camera is just one step down from a professional F5.

 Bill asked if we needed to plan a photo shoot sometime soon.  This was discussed briefly by the group.  The consensus seemed to be that it would be great to head south, but nothing specific was decided.

 Bill then explained that Stuart would be doing the Tech Talk for the evening.  The subject this month is digital versus film.  Everyone should feel welcome to participate and join in.

 Stu explained that he tried to capture a representative sampling of cameras on the market today for his presentation.  Almost everything is digital right now.  Film has been around a long time, and we are familiar with it, but it is going to be phased out over time.

 Stuart asked the group which is better Ė film or digital?  He explained that this depends on a few fundamentals Ė value, availability, intended use, and total cost.

 Stu explained his background.  He started out using film, with an 8x10 LandView camera.  Fewer places now process the medium-format and larger cameras, though you still can get 35mm film processed everywhere; black and white, less so.

 If you really like film, you probably can get some good deals on film cameras now.  Prices have been compressed somewhat.

 For those who really like digital, some say that you cannot get the resolution that you get with film, but CMOS sensors are getting more and more sensitive, so this is improving all the time.

 With digital, you can play with the images in PhotoShop.  You can print in large format using dye-sublimation techniques, and so on.

 Stuart asked those who like film, why?  What are you losing by going with digital?  He suggested that we also ponder the reverse question.

 Bill said this was a good question.  He can buy his Panasonic film camera for $1,500.  The digital Leica M6 replacement costs twice that much, $3,000.  If you do not have a computer, however, you can view your images on the back of your digital camera.

 With regards to comparing costs, you can buy a film camera for less than $1,000.  You could not get the equivalent in a digital camera for $2,000.  It would be $1,500 to $3,000 just for the body.

 Jim said you have to think past the camera costs.  You must use either a digital or chemical darkroom to express yourself.  Of these, which is the easiest to master?  Jim said that itís not even close, digital is so much easier, faster, and cheaper.

 Linda Hanley pointed out that with film, you could pay for tons of film and processing just to get four or five good shots.  With film, you are forced to think about your shots.  With digital, it costs less to take a picture.

 Carla said she finds she is concentrating more with digital, because she can see what she is doing immediately and can get a better idea and make any corrections necessary.  She is still going to try to take a good picture, of course.

 To print really large images, you must set it on the highest resolution and you need to save images as .EPS or .TIFF.  .JPG will deteriorate as you open and close repeatedly.

 Gary Gingrich said time- and cost-wise, his black and white darkroom is now a storage shed.  It takes a lot of time to set it up versus using a digital darkroom.

 No money is spent on processing, but it does take paper and time.  You become the developer, but you have more control.

 Stuart talked about latitude.  Black and white has a latitude of about seven, while slide and print film has a latitude of about five.  Digital latitude is about the same as slide Ė almost five.  But with the new sensors, latitude is supposed to be about like black and white, or about seven.

 Carla said she still takes her digital images somewhere to be printed.

 Who donít more people take film shots and then scan and print them?  You can get 4,900 dpi with a good scanner.  Resolution is phenomenal and getting better and better.

 Dan Paulsen said he liked seeing the pictures immediately.

 What resolution is good enough?  None!

 Bill thanked Stuart for leading tonightís Tech Talk.

 Bill said he put some 3x5 cards on tables.  If you have suggestions about what we need to do or not do, fill out a card.

 The group took a break around 7:45 p.m. and enjoyed treats brought by Carla.

 Around 8:10 p.m., the meeting reconvened.  Bill asked for a volunteer to moderate the next Tech Talk.  We could have one on how to price your photos at the zoo, or tips on composing a picture.  Marie Bohndorf said she would do one on how to price your pictures.

 Bill inquired as to any new business. 

Marie said the Great Plains Nature Photographers have a new Web site:  www.GPNP.org.

 Marie was asked about the reference to Petersonís Photographic Web site in the newsletter.  This is a photo magazine. 

Gary said he noticed that with the new baby rhino, the zoo has a newly updated Web site, but he could not find a direct link to the Photo Club yet.  Marie said she would check on this.

 She also will check about a photo excursion to shoot the new baby rhino.

 Bill then led a discussion on trips the club might want to plan.  Pat Whalen of Missouri Department of Conservation talked about leading a trip to a nearby prairie.  This would probably need to be a full-day or half-day trip.  Also, Maxwell Wildlife Refuge near McPherson has bison, elk, etc.; this also would be an all-day trip.

 Jim suggested that we handle this like the clubís sign-up to bring treats, and have different people sign up to organize and lead a trip each month.  At the March meeting, we could bring an idea, and folks could sign up for an April outing.

 Dan explained that a trip he would like to do in May is to the Z Bar Ranch, part of the Konza Prairie.  This is a huge prairie that you can walk around in or take a bus tour of; it is worthwhile.  Bill asked if Dan would be willing to bring details about the trip to a meeting, and Dan agreed.

 Jim volunteered to bring an idea for a trip to the next meeting.

 Next on the agenda was Stuartís program.  Stuart said this would last about 20 minutes and would be a bit unusual.  He will not be talking past the introduction.  The rest of the program will be slides, together with the tranquility of listening to music.  This is a walk-through of the zoo that he hopes will show details to those who are not attuned fully to what is in the zoo.  It is a three-year composition shot in all four seasons, with a predominance of fall shots because Stu loves the fall.  He said he hoped we enjoyed the program.

The program included shots of various scenes throughout the zoo, as Stuart explained, including a butterfly, waterfall, the Deramus building, and many birds and animals, including peacocks, sea lions, flamingos, elephants, and cheetahs.

 After Stuartís enjoyable program, the meeting adjourned around 8:50 p.m.  The next meeting is March 15 at 7 p.m.

                             -- Tracy Goodrich