Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes
March 15, 2004
Bill Pasek called the meeting to order
around 7:05 p.m. He explained that
Marie Bohndorf would not be here tonight due to some health issues. Fellow club member Linda Hanley will be the guest speaker
Linda said she would be showing us half
of her slides from her Fiji trip, since she was asked to make the slide show
about 15 minutes long. She was in
Fiji on Thanksgiving Day and stayed for two weeks.
The view from the hotel room showed
the beautiful island country. They
spent the first day exploring the Valley of the Sleeping Giant, which was at the
foot of a mountain. There were many
orchard farms there.
Some of the grounds at the places they
stayed were manicured, while others were more natural.
It rains there every day, and this is on the dry side of the island.
She showed images of a bromeliad of some type and bougainvillea.
The cane trucks are a common sight this time of year, as they are
harvesting the sugar cane. Fiji is
much like Hawaii was 50 years ago, with sugar a big crop. Some farm with tractors, while others use animals.
Linda had an image of a Hindu
temple. She said the population is
one-half Fijian and one-half Indian descent.
The Indians were brought there to work the fields, and most now are
Linda’s group was there for dive
excursions off a 120-foot boat. She
showed pictures of the captain, the nice lounge on board, and booby birds flying
off the bow. Between dives, the
crew entertained them by playing guitars.
They dived from an inflatable with
a rigid bottom. They saw many soft
corals; fish, including puffer fish; sea fans; and Christmas tree worms.
They dove 60 to 80 feet down. She
used a Nikonos 5 with both Kodak and Fuji film.
They were diving in the same area
in which the IMAX film “Coral Reef Adventure” was filmed.
Some of the first dive shots she
shared were from an area called Mellow Yellow because of the abundance of yellow
soft corals. They saw anemone fish,
nudibranch, and so on.
Sometimes they would put down a
frozen bait ball and have a snapper feed. Sharks
would cruise around to see what was going on.
The divers would settle down on the rocks and watch.
Next, she showed images from the
Cabbage Coral area. These are very
large, heavy corals that depend on a strong current to pick up enough nutrients
to feed them.
They saw all shapes and sizes of
anemone fish, which Linda loves, plus corals in all colors, huge sea fans, and
They would be underwater for about
45 minutes to an hour.
Fiji is known for its kava.
They pound the roots of the kava plant, which is in the pepper family.
They soak it in water and make a drink from it.
Linda said it kind of makes your mouth numb if you drink much of it.
You must take the first cup of it to be polite and drink it down.
They like to sing, so they bring out song books and instruments, and
everyone sings. Her group also ate
well on the trip.
On another dive, they went to a
site called Kansas because the large expanse of coral looks like a waving wheat
field. A huge cave there is covered
with coral and usually filled with fish. The
current can be very strong in places. She
shared images of a moray eel about a foot in front of the camera, a basket star
at night, a nudibranch or sea slug (a shell-less snail), a crinoid or feather
star, a lion fish with very poisonous spines, four- to six-foot-long tuna, and
The colors are so amazing.
She showed an image of two types of coral with a dividing line between
them. This represents a battle zone
where they each put out a poison to hold the other one back as they fight for
available space and nutrients.
Linda was asked how many people
were on the trip. She said 12
divers were in the group. Some were
shooting digital, some video, and some still, so there was a good variety.
Linda’s interesting presentation
concluded around 7:35 p.m. The
business portion of the meeting then was conducted.
Sarah O’Bryan noted that the
group had been asking about a photo shoot of the new baby rhino.
She explained that two media groups had come out recently and scared the
baby badly, so the zoo now wants to limit how many people can take pictures of
her. Only two photographers can go
in with her at a time. Perhaps we
can set up a rotation, so that two get to shoot the rhino, then another group
can take pictures of the lorikeets, then the reptiles, etc. Bill suggested that we draw names of anyone that wants to be
considered. We would need to set up
a Saturday appointment for the shoot, and both photographers would need to go on
the same day. Five or so members
put their names in the hat, and Peggy Lawrey and Ann Moss won.
Congratulations and bring back some good pictures of the baby!
Sarah said she has about half a
dozen yard signs in her car for anyone who wants them to help promote the bond
issue for the zoo that is coming up for a vote on April 6.
The zoo staff cannot really promote it, so she is hoping that some camera
club members who live in Kansas City, Missouri, can take some signs.
Sarah explained that the zoo is not
linking to the camera club Web site yet but will be by the end of the week.
She brought in some zoo event
calendars to share with the group. Saturday
is the Bowling for Rhinos fundraiser at College and I-69.
You can show up and bowl; registration is at 6:30 p.m.
Dan Paulsen asked about the silent auction that is part of the
fundraiser; he was willing to make a donation but never got an e-mail telling
him more about it.
Sarah brought up an issue for
discussion regarding the location of the club meetings.
We can now use the Deramus building conference room for our meetings if
we want. The room has a screen
where we can project our slides. After
some discussion, the group agreed it would like to meet there starting next
month. We will put signs up and
Sarah will be there to direct us to the room next month.
The club members were reminded that
ten percent of any photo sale in Deja Zoo is to go to Friends of the Zoo.
If the person buying your image writes you a check, you can then write
your own check or pay cash back to FOTZ. Give
it to Gretchen in the gift shop or give or mail it to Sarah.
Make your check out to FOTZ.
Sarah said there is an onsite event this
Saturday, since Africa is opening back up for the season.
If you want to support the zoo in
the downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade, be at 29th and Main at 10
a.m. on Wednesday to ride on the float.
Steve Brewer gave us an update on
our Web site. The baby rhino
picture on the home page is actually the previous baby, since we don’t have a
new photo yet.
Steve was asked about the member
galleries and when they would be updated. Steve
said he would take care of this soon. He
will try to have it updated by the next meeting.
A new member list of e-mail
addresses was handed out.
Peggy talked about the pictures on
display at Deja Zoo. She is going
to take them all down soon and at least put them up in a different order, to
vary the display a little. It is
looking good, since a lot of the junk in front of the pictures was moved
recently. The season is picking up,
so there will be a lot more traffic in Deja Zoo soon.
Bill asked if anyone had anything
to buy-sell-trade. Steve still has
some rolls of film to sell. He has
print film for $2.50 a roll.
Jim Rendina said he had one piece of old
business. He apologized that he
hasn’t changed out the photo board at Deramus recently; his wife has been ill.
Jim said he has enough new prints to change out the board.
Bill offered to help him. The
new board will run for a couple of months, through the end of May.
Memorial Day is the opening of the traveling reptile exhibit.
Will that exhibit be a suitable subject for the display board?
Do we want to have one side of the board for reptiles and the other side
for something else? Can we get
close enough to get good shots, or behind-the-scenes shots of the reptiles?
We don’t have to decide this tonight.
Given the limited time the reptiles are here, it might help if we had a
list of the reptiles that will be on display early, so we could see if we
already have some existing photos to use. Sarah
said she would e-mail a list.
Do we want to do mixed animals on
one side of the board, or something else, like the lorikeets?
Sarah explained that the lorikeet exhibit opens on Mother’s Day.
We just broke ground on the exhibit this week.
KCP&L is sponsoring it, and there will be a preview night for them.
After that and before the opening, the camera club could come out and
take pictures. The lorikeet exhibit
will include three scheduled feedings a day, and visitors will be able to feed
The club took a short break at
around 8:15 p.m. to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day cookies brought by Carol Mitchell.
After the break, the club discussed
photo trips. Dan said he brought
about 20 handouts about Tall Grass Prairie Preserve.
He would like to go there May 22, and others from the club could go too
if there is interest. He has been
there before and said it was a neat place.
It is just past Strong City, about 16 miles west of Emporia.
It takes a little over an hour to get there, so it makes a nice day trip.
The Web site tells more about it. There
is a three-story barn there, an old schoolhouse, a chicken coop, some walking
paths, and so on. Dan was asked
what the fee is to go there. He
said he thought there is a bus ride you can take out three or four miles on the
prairie and back that costs about $3. He
believes May 22 will be a good time to photograph wildflowers. If enough people are interested, we could car pool; meet at
the Great Mall in Olathe and leave cars there.
If you want to stay overnight, he
recommends a neat bed and breakfast that is located down 50 highway –
At the next meeting, we will ask
for a commitment from those who want to go.
We can share phone numbers in case we have to cancel due to weather.
Jim talked about another trip
possibly in late April or early May. He
mentioned three places that are close by: Wallace
State Park near St. Joseph, Lewis and Clark State Park, and Knob Noster State
Park. These areas are well-known
for wildflowers in late April through mid-May.
Any of them would be ideal to visit, and we could combine this with a
There also are a couple of places
farther out, like Johnson’s Shut-Ins or Ha Ha Tonka, but those would probably
be weekend trips. Ha Ha Tonka is
about a three-hour drive down and back. A
couple of other neat places near Johnson’s Shut-Ins are Elephant Rocks and
For a close place, the Blue River
Glade was mentioned.
May to June are probably the best
times to shoot pictures on the prairie.
In Pat Whalen’s book on wild
places in the state, he mentions Jerry Smith farm at 137th and
Holmes, but some members have had trouble figuring out how to get there.
The group decided that, given the
proposal of a trip on May 22, a second trip before that would not be enough
notice, plus the Great Plains Nature Photographers meeting is in April, so we
will table this idea for now.
It was suggested that we put
something on our Web site about places to go and when would be the best times to
go – sort of a calendar of locations and dates.
A behind-the-scenes walk-through at
the zoo also was discussed. Sarah
agreed to pick a date and e-mail Marie with details.
The group discussed a walk-through at the end of April, on the weekend
after the next meeting. Sarah
agreed and said she would e-mail Marie.
Bill said that Marie was scheduled
to do the Tech Talk portion of the meeting tonight, but since she is not feeling
well, she will plan to give the talk next month.
Instead, Bill said he would like to
talk briefly about red eye. Dogs
and cats have more reflective lenses, so how do you minimize red eye when taking
their pictures? The group discussed
several ways – change the angle, get the flash up above the head of the
subject, or use a preflash, which doesn’t always work well.
Peggy said that Siamese cats are the worst to shoot.
She likes to shoot in the afternoon when there is lots of sun and she can
get by without flash. You can use a
bracket to get the flash up, and bounce the flash up and down.
Finally, you can fix red eye in PhotoShop.
Bill asked that everyone bring
pictures next time to share. Can we
get a projector that works with a computer?
Sarah agreed to bring it.
The meeting ended with slides shot
by Wayne Hickox. Wayne explained
that he likes to take a series of shots and study the behavior of animals and
birds. These slides were taken at
Port Aransas, Texas, and are of a mature brown pelican.
The pelican had a fish in its pouch.
It had to turn it so the fish was going down head-first.
Wayne said that pelicans can spot a fish in the water 20 yards away!
After Wayne’s entertaining slide
show, the meeting adjourned. The
next meeting is April 19 at 7 p.m.
-- Tracy Goodrich