Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

May 16, 2005


Bill Pasek called the meeting to order around 7 p.m., after members had been through the new zoo exhibit featuring the white tiger, Silver.

Bill said he has a photo taken by Ann Moss that he is trying to get back to her. If anyone knows her or can reach her, please have her contact Bill.

He also brought some name tags for people that needed them.

Tom gave the Tech Talk for the evening. He discussed flash. He said a lot of people use the flash on top of the camera. There are lots of problems with this type of flash, however, such as red eye. You can eliminate red eye by raising the flash above the plane of the lens. You can accomplish a lot with an off-camera cord attached to a flash unit. He encouraged people to experiment with this, because it really improves your photography.

Flash will freeze action to a degree. You can use brackets to mount it to the side or above, and you sometimes can rotate the flash on the mount.

Tom talked about using a photo tent with flash on each side. You can make your own tent inexpensively by using white plastic. Take dowel rods or PVC and glue a bag to it to make a tent. Shoot through the side or the top. It evens out the light and is good for flower photography.

You can bounce reflective light off the ceiling or a hood. You can shoot through two pieces of Kleenex to filter it. You can put plastic around an embroidery hoop and use it as a light modifier.

Tom was asked if you could use flash through bars without seeing the bars in the picture. Yes, if you have a long enough lens to shoot through the bars.

You can get radio-controlled flash to use with your digital camera. One flash can trigger the other; a lot of people use slave flashes Ė they will pick up the burst of light from the other flash and then fire. But if others around you are using flash, it can set your slave units off, too.

Tom keeps an 81B warming filter on his digital camera all the time because he finds it shoots too white.

You canít use your film flash on a digital camera, unless they are the same voltage. Peggy Lawrey said there is a Web site that will tell you what flash is compatible with your digital camera. You need to look at the serial numbers to determine this.

It was pointed out that you can sometimes use an extra battery to make the flash cycle faster.

Digital cameras use up batteries so quickly, it is best to use rechargeable batteries.

After Tech Talk, we took a break around 7:20 and enjoyed cookies brought by Linda Hanley.

Then Show and Tell was presented. Peggy had half a dozen images from the Burr Oak Woods trip. She had pictures of flowers, the bridge overlook shot with a wide-angle lens, a tree shadow, thorns on a honey locust, and the elusive Dan Paulsen taking a picture! Bill thanked Dan for organizing the field trip to Burr Oak Woods.

She also shared photos of a hummingbird, a cardinal, and some turkeys.

A shot of a Baltimore oriole made it to Don Harmon on Channel 4 and was aired. (Did you know that a flat dish with grape jelly in it will attract Baltimore orioles?)

Bill asked Carla Farris if she had updates on the Web site. Carla had no news. Marie Bohndorf said she had some pictures for Carla to use on the Web site. She will try to get them to her this week.

Terry Fretz was not at the meeting, but Bill said the treasury has around $1,800.

Bill discussed the Deja Zoo gift shop and our photo wall. He is not making much progress, but plans to call the person who oversees the gift shop and discuss the location of our photos. There is a bare section of wall available when you first enter the store, and our rack for matted prints could go near there.

Linda shared some images of cranes, turtles, a frog, a snake, the tawny frogmouth, a straw-necked ibis displaying, the black swan, a fruit dove, the tiger, and the orangutans, among other birds and animals.

Last month Susie Perkins talked about using clear sacks to cover your matted, unframed prints in cellophane. Bill asked if the members would like him to check into what it would cost to purchase a quantity of these for membersí use, or would everyone like to get their own? The club seemed interested. Linda said she had used these, and they come in 8x10 and 11x14 sizes; they have resealable closures and seal the print comfortably snug but not like shrink-wrap. Bill said he would get some numbers and share them with us.

Jim Rendina raised the topic of the projector the group is considering buying. Do we want to do something on this or not? This would be a digital projector, and a Toshiba would cost from $1,200 to $1,800. NEC is another brand we could purchase. We are probably talking about spending in the $1,200-1,400 range. They are rated by lumens, with a range of, say, 1,000 to 2,500.

Phillips is another good brand.

The projectors in the $1,500-1,800 range are very compact, but size doesnít matter that much to the club.

How do the members feel about making a purchase? We have just under $1,800 in the treasury. We have had that amount in funds for some time.

Would we leave the projector at the zoo? No, it would be better to have someone responsible for bringing it to the meetings and taking it home.

The bulbs donít last that long and are expensive. Each bulb lasts about 2,000 hours and costs $300-500. You donít want to turn the power off until the fan turns off automatically; this is hard on the bulb.

Dick Ross said he got his projector off the Internet for about $700 used. You can get some good things on eBay.

NEC has a Web site, and if you contact them, they put a sales rep in touch with you by phone.

We could get a Toshiba from the Micro Center. Also, KC Audio Visual on Troost sells projectors.

Could we have a salesperson come out and show us models, and perhaps let us try one out? That could probably be arranged.

Linda said that the local canoe club recently bought one that will play DVDs and CDs, and it is very good.

Bill said we would vote on this issue at the next meeting. If you have input or advice, contact Jim before the next meeting.

We discussed the Web hosting for our site. Steve Brewer has been paying it. We need to find out what we owe him.

The meeting adjourned around 8:20 p.m. The next meeting is June 20 at 7 p.m.

-- Tracy Goodrich