Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

November 15, 2004


Bill Pasek called the meeting to order around 7 p.m.

He said that Sarah O’Bryan had volunteered to head up a committee to review the results of the member survey and make recommendations. Wayne Hickox, Tom Goodner, and Linda Hanley also volunteered. They did a lot of work and are prepared to present the results tonight. In general, Bill said, club members are interested in quality, not quantity, and want to learn about photography.

Sarah said that Wayne and Tom would be helping her present the topics. As for changes to the club, the committee recommends that we use a white board to post the agenda before every meeting and to post ongoing information. The president could put the schedule up on the white board and list times for each item. This way, the information can be shared through the white board, and we can move on to actual learning, without spending time reviewing things.

The committee recommends that we hold all discussion and chats until the break. The room can be ready by 6:30 p.m., so that people who want to visit can come early and talk before the meeting gets started.

They recommend focusing half the time on digital and half on film. There has been more focus on digital lately, and they want to even that out.

With respect to Tech Talk, Tom will pick a subject for each meeting and will take us from basics to advanced. He can cover 30 minutes worth of information per meeting. He could use Wayne’s PhotoShop training CD to give us more training on that software. He will have handouts for the training sessions.

As far as trips, we need a committee for field trips. Most want one- to two-day trips, plus zoo day trips. The committee could use the surveys or could e-mail members to determine what they are interested in.

Bill said it might be good to change the trips a bit so that we could split up some and pair each group with a seasoned photographer who can go over why they are taking a particular picture, how to format it, and so on, so that we all learn something.

On the topic of guest speakers, Marie Bohndorf and Michelle Riley could use more help finding speakers. We may not want to have a speaker for every meeting; at some meetings, we could focus on the Tech Talk more.

Guest speakers could have 30 minutes for their presentations – 20 minutes to talk and 10 minutes for Q&A. Some will probably go longer. We want them to focus more on technique versus just a slide show of pictures – we should reserve those for members.

Show and Tell is one of the biggest items of interest to members. We want to have a definite time for Show and Tell at every meeting, unless we have a major speaker that night.

Members who are shooting film are feeling a bit left out, so we’d like to structure it so that prints, slides, and digital images are all shared. Each person who brings images should not bring 20 or 30 – rather, they should pick five of their top pictures to share. We want members to talk about each one and review what they were trying to accomplish, how they planned it out, what equipment they used, etc. Other members can then give constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement.

We may want to have slides and prints at one meeting and digital at the next.

Wayne said that he enjoyed good Show and Tell time at the meetings more than anything, especially if we talk about how we created the pictures.

These should not be travelogues. The subject matter should be largely zoo animals. The members said they want to work more closely with the zoo, and cover animals, activities, and plants at the zoo. They want less of a focus on abstracts and buildings.

The kiosk and the Web site are going well. We have committees formed to deal with these.

With regard to communications, Terry Fretz is working on a roster. We need a roster of the committees as well – kiosk, Web site, and so on.

We need a couple of people appointed to send out surveys, etc. for travel ideas, and requests for pictures for the newsletter. Barbara is doing that now.

Deja Zoo and the photo wall there weren’t touched on. It was mentioned that members would like a roster of pictures, posted at the meeting or in the newsletter, of the pictures still hanging, how long they have been up, and when they were sold. It would be nice to know what animals are selling best, etc. Peggy Lawrey questioned how she would know this information. E-mail could be used to notify her.

It would be good if we could make it easier to bring pictures in for the photo wall in Deja Zoo and to have a place to store them. Sarah said we do have some cubbies and could reserve them for the photo club, as a storage area so Peggy doesn’t have to lug them home and back.

Sarah said she needed to get better at letting us know what the zoo needs. For example, Carla Ferris and Linda Hanley came to the annual board meeting recently, so they have an idea of slides needed by zoo for the year.

It was recommended that we could have a speaker from the zoo on the animals, or one on reptiles, one on cats, and so on. Perhaps a docent and a keeper could talk.

It was also suggested that we could have a best-of-show night, with half the meeting being Show and Tell, with less analysis. We could invite zoo staff to participate and see what the club has done, so that we all can get to know each other better.

The club members could donate pictures for silent auctions for AZA and Jazzoo. These could help showcase the photo club. Perhaps we could rent screens and hang club photos at some big events.

Wayne asked how many were interested in PhotoShop Elements versus PhotoShop Advanced. More are using Advanced. Wayne then asked whether there would be interest in going through a training disk on it that we could project through a computer. This has been done in the digital camera club, and the disks are quite good. They are a bit more advanced, though, because they go pretty fast.

Wayne brought up the issue of meeting decorum. When we are discussing business or Show and Tell, we have so many side discussions that it is hard to hear the person speaking, so we need to limit those.

It was asked who does the postcards at Deja Zoo. That would be Fran Baker, a co-founder of the club. But the gift shop finds these often don’t always sell well, nor do greeting cards.

Bill said we need to hear from members about the proposed changes. What do you think?

Bill said we could post a schedule similar to the one below for the meetings:

7-7:30 p.m. Presenter

7:30-8 p.m. Tech Talk

8-8:15 p.m. Break

8:15-8:45 p.m. Show and Tell

8:45-9 p.m. Mundane subjects

Business Reports:

Web Site Carla Farris


Treasury $1,819.36

Kiosk Photos

Zoo Update Sarah O’Bryan

Deja Zoo Photo Wall Peggy Lawrey

Club Name Tags Bill Pasek

Field Trip Name Tags Jim Rendina

It looks like we might need more time. Jim said we can’t ask a guest speaker to present much less than 30 minutes; most will want at least a half-hour. It was proposed that we cut Tech Talk to 20 minutes.

Bill said we could try this for a couple of months and see how it goes.

We discussed the idea of keeping Jim’s slide projector here. That would be possible and might help with setup.

Critiquing prints was discussed. This is hard to do from across the room, and sometimes people bring whole scrapbooks of prints. We could limit it to three or four each, and have a table for prints.

We could have Tech Talk with a short Show and Tell one month, and no Tech Talk but a longer Show and Tell the next month. Or we could skip the presentation some months. We could rotate digital versus slides/prints each month, and e-mail the members in advance of the meeting to remind them which to bring for that month.

It was generally agreed that we would reduce the Tech Talk to 20 minutes for now, and try the schedule that Bill posted on the board. We can adjust as we go along if it doesn’t work out well.

To wrap up our survey follow-up work, Bill said that he, Marie, and Michelle would work on programs. Michelle and Marie will work on field trips; they will see if Dan Paulsen is willing too.

Peggy invited a guest by the name of Maryann Kelroy to talk to us briefly. She is with the Kansas City Star, and is in charge of the Community Faces section at KCStar.com. She is trying to get more people, and especially young people, to the Web site. She is looking for photographers willing to capture fun, diversity, social activities, and cultural events going on in Kansas City. She was hired to coordinate and edit the effort. Photographers will work on a volunteer basis. She wants photographers who want to do good work and who are interested in improving their skills. You might be asked to cover tailgating at a Chiefs game or a day at the zoo. This will give you an opportunity to get published. She can publish 80 pictures per album. Peggy has contact information if you are interested.

We have two guests tonight – Liz Bickel and Irv Weinberg found out about the club through Marie. They were taking pictures out at the zoo. Bill welcomed them to the meeting and invited them to attend a few meetings to see if they are interested in joining.

There will be no club meeting in December.

The group took a break at about 8 p.m. to enjoy treats brought by Terry and to review and vote on the scavenger hunt pictures. Voting tickets were passed out; you get one ticket per category to vote for the best print in that category. Sarah explained that some categories only have one print, so you don’t have to vote for those.

The meeting reconvened around 8:15 p.m.

Tom passed out a quote from a famous photographer. He said we will get one of these every month, as inspiration.

A sign-up sheet for refreshments was passed around.

Sarah tallied votes while the club moved on to Show and Tell.

Wayne shared a few slides. He used a Minolta Maxxum 9 with a 200-400mm Tamron zoom and Provia 400 film. One was taken at the zoo a couple of years ago. Another was a grizzly taken at Omaha. The bear was constantly in motion.

Another slide was of an immature brown pelican at Port Aransas, Texas, taken with a Minolta 800si and a Tamron 28-300mm lens. He did not use flash.

Next was a graphical shot under the pier. It was shot around 2 or 3 p.m. He took meter readings in matrix mode and bracketed. He lightened it a bit in PhotoShop. He said he likes the picture because of the repeated patterns. He had it printed on canvas and won $150 at a Lenexa art show for it.

Linda shared a shot of an okapi, an animal that is a cross between a giraffe and a zebra, at the St. Louis zoo.

Guest Liz brought some pictures taken with an Olympus C-2100 digital camera. She used spot metering. The pictures of buffalo at Hodge Park were taken last year around Valentine’s Day. She also had some of the red panda taken last weekend, as well as a bird in the bird show, a giraffe, the six-month birthday of our baby rhino, Jill the orangutan, a gorilla, and a peacock at the Peacock Pavilion restaurant.

After viewing members’ slides, we moved on to discuss the Web site. Carla Farris said the Web site is updated. She put together the collage on the home page; we can rotate it with other pictures. Carla put a couple of additional photos at the top. She said that Randy Wisthoff had wanted some pictures of Boo at the Zoo, Jungle Bells, etc. If you get pictures at special events, be sure to send them to Carla.

Names are on all of the images on the Web site.

She discussed changing Upcoming Events to just Events. An upcoming event like Jungle Bells could be on the home page, with Boo at the Zoo (having already occurred) under the Events page. Carla took the events information from the zoo’s Web site, and included a link to that Web site.

Carla said she is missing July and August minutes. Barbara Chase or Tracy Goodrich can send those to her.

There are three pages of zoo galleries now. Carla said she wanted to include as many animals as possible. Lots of the ones on the site currently are hers, but she will take hers off as she gets more from others in the club.

All pictures have a black and white border around them to help them jump out. Carla thanked everyone for sending images.

Carla said she had no pictures of the lorikeets yet – Sarah said she had some from members, so she will get those to Carla.

Send images to kczoophotoweb@aol.com.

Carla said she got rid of a few pictures – some that weren’t from members, plus one person asked that his be taken off the site. She has room for more pictures.

She updated the Resources page; feel free to send information to her if you want to add anything.

As for the member galleries, as long as we have space, there seems no reason not to include them.

Steve Brewer sent her the information about the hosting company. They just increased the size of the Web site for no additional fee.

It was discussed that we might want to group the zoo gallery pictures by area or something. It would also be nice to include the name of the animal.

Carla said you can make a version of your signature that we can use to stamp the images. She can go over how to do this when she reviews how to resize images for the Web.

Jim said this was hours and hours of work on Carla’s part. She is being modest about the effort here. He feels our Web site now can match any of the other club’s sites. The club appreciates what Carla has done to help get people to our Web page.

Peggy gave an update on the kiosk. She has received some images for it. Since Africa is closed for the winter, we could show animals from Africa on one side of the kiosk with a sign that says "Sorry we missed you. See you next spring!" or something similar.

Sarah announced the winners of the scavenger hunt. Marie Bohndorf won for her photo of the baby rhino. Kathy Hinkle won for her statue of the elephant. The winner for the rides category was tied – Linda Hanley and Peggy Lawrey won that. Marie won in the kangaroo category, and Kathy and Peggy tied in the elephant category. Marie won for the butterfly shot and for the photo of the lorikeets. Peggy won for the hippo picture. Congratulations to all the winners!

Mickey Norton got Honorable Mention in the Zoo Photo Contest for his shot of a meerkat. Congratulations, Mickey!

Anything for Buy-Sell-Trade? Bill said he had sleeves for negatives and two 5x7 frames to sell.

Since Deja Zoo gift shop is closing for the winter, Peggy will take the pictures down from the photo wall and we will start fresh next spring.

Linda said that Thomas Mangelsen, a famous wildlife photographer, has opened a gallery on the Plaza.

The Great Plains Nature Photographers meeting is at 8:30 a.m. this Saturday. It costs $15 for the day, and the speaker is Michael Forsberg.

Sarah said the zoo is trying to select a photo for its holiday cards. If you have pictures of the baby rhino, let her know – they are trying to select it in the next week or so. If you have other photos for her, send them to her on disk.

A draft roster was distributed. Please check it to be sure your information is correct.

Don’t forget to bring things for Show and Tell to the next meeting!

The meeting adjourned at 9 p.m. The next meeting is January 17 at 7 p.m.

-- Tracy Goodrich