Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

August 20, 2001

Dan Paulsen called the meeting to order around 7:10 p.m. He said our speaker will give the presentation later. He asked if there was any new business to discuss.

Marie said we need photographers to work with Ollie MacMillen on taking some pictures of animals for the docent education program. She said we’d be working with the zookeepers to go behind the scenes for some of the animal shots. We would need to shoot slides. The zoo education department will pay. They need pictures of 38 birds, 16 mammals, seven reptiles, two amphibians, and four invertebrates. The slides should be done by October 1. Can we be flexible on the hours we can be here to shoot the slides? Marie thought we probably could work something out with the keepers. Dan asked that we get with Marie at the break if we wanted to volunteer.

Marie also said that Jeff Wagner of Studio 7 was having another Autumn Gold Art Festival in his parking lot on Saturday, September 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It costs $25 for two sides of a six-foot-wide by seven-foot-tall art display panel. Marie has entry blanks if you are interested in displaying your work.

Marie said she had received an e-mail from Doc Briscoe about the possibility of an ecological photography workshop put on by Bill Silliker and Rob Sheppard. They are looking for sites for these workshops and wondered if the zoo would be interested in hosting one. Marie wanted opinions on the feasibility of this. It would be a one-day “Great American Photography Weekend” workshop. Are we interested in having one here and in participating? It was noted that some camera club members went to a workshop by Moose Peterson in Wichita. This seminar would probably include some actual photography time. It would cost about $50 per person. They would need to know the number of people we thought we could attract and the meeting room location. They could return some of the meeting fees to us if we had enough people sign up. It was suggested that we talk to Friends of the Zoo about this, and also follow up with Doc et al to find out how many they’d need in attendance. Jim Rendina said he thought it would be great to have this, but he is not sure our club could underwrite it. We would probably need 50 to 100 people to sign up, and we can’t guarantee that.

Wayne Hickox took first place in the Johnson County Fair! He actually took two blue ribbons, one for a photo of a flower and the other for a head shot of a tiger. Way to go, Wayne!

Wayne handed out a new roster. He said the membership will be somewhat in flux for the next two months, since it is dues-paying time and he needs to update the roster based on who pays and who does not. He asked that if you see a mistake in your information in the roster, please update his master during the break.

Wayne gave the Treasurer’s report. He said we have $706.21 in the bank. We owe Carol $20.25 for the newsletter and $5.78 for printing the roster. Wayne also said that membership dues are payable tonight – $20 for a single and $30 for a family membership.

Crystal Nederman reminded everyone that we still need new photos to hang at the Deja Zoo gift shop. If you have a picture to show, call her.

Dan Paulsen said the lady that runs the gift shop in Australia would like to show/sell photos similar to what we display in Deja Zoo, but just of Australian animals.

Moving on to old business, Jim asked who had been on our Web site lately? It is looking good! Our Webmasters Denny and Brian are doing a super job and keeping up on activities, etc. But he noticed that the size of the images varies greatly from one to the other. Some of Marie’s are so large that you can’t see the whole image at once. Conversely, Dan’s images are very small. You might want to double-check your images. It would be nice if we could come up with a common size that all images could be displayed in. This has to do with file size, DPI, etc. Can our Webmasters ensure that the images are the right size? We aren’t sure if they are able to do that or just post the images. Wayne said he e-mailed them the roster, and Tracy Goodrich said she did e-mail them about the issues discussed at previous meetings and they had responded, but she failed to follow up further. At any rate, we need to standardize on pixels and resolution for our images. If you pick “e-mail” as the choice when saving the image, it should be standard size.

Dan said we have some member slides to show, and some folks brought prints in that we can look at on break. We viewed slides next.

Wayne had some from his trip to Alabama. He was at Orange Beach and Gulf Shores State Park last February. This is a good place to go in the winter. It is warm, very relaxed, and has lots of older people there. It is just west of Pensacola, Florida. Wayne said he tried the new Provia 400F film and was impressed at its low grain. His images included pelicans, sunsets, and patterns in the sand. He also went to Bellingrath Gardens, which is 30 to 40 miles south of Mobile, Alabama. Wayne also had shots of water lilies at Powell Gardens. He was lucky – it was rainy and overcast that day, and he shot with all natural light. These were shot with Provia 100F.

Terry Fretz’ slides were next. Terry had slides of orangutans, gorillas, and flamingos at Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Kathy Hinkle explained that her slides were taken while others in the club were at Wolf Park, Indiana. She was at a bridge tournament instead and took some outdoor night shots from the 10th floor of the Westin Crown Center without a tripod.

We had a visitor at this evening’s meeting – Sharon Smith, who is also a zoo docent and who put together the graphic display using some of our pictures in the chimp building. Welcome, Sharon, and nice work on the display!

We took a quick break and enjoyed treats provided by Crystal while we looked at member’s prints.

At about 8:10 p.m., Conrad Schmitt, animal curator at the zoo, began his presentation. He said he had planned to show slides but a few other urgent matters came up (such as monitoring a very pregnant elephant!). Conrad explained that they think Lady the elephant may be in labor. Mom weighs about 8,000 pounds; the baby should weigh several hundred.

Conrad said they have another trip to Africa coming up in February 2003. He passed out a few brochures about the trip. It is a 14-day trip to Kenya and Tanzania, with a “pre-trip extension” to Uganda to see mountain gorillas, making it a total of 23 days. The cost is $8,400 (with the extension) but that is all-inclusive from Kansas City, including meals and lodging. The accommodations are pretty spectacular. Deadline to sign up is about 120 days before departure. If you are interested, call and check availability frequently. The education department will probably have a trip in 2003, also.

Conrad said he would take any questions we have. He noted that we have a pregnant lion. She is due about the first week in September. There are at least three cubs. We are not making a big deal of it yet, as we have not had good luck with lion cubs so far. We will not separate the mother from the cubs.

We have a tree kangaroo “in the pouch”. Conrad thinks it’s a male.

Joseph, the Baudet du Poitou donkey, has laminitis and is at the University of Missouri in guarded condition. We are not sure why he foundered.

Conrad was asked whether we were going to have a pregnant orangutan again soon. He said we are giving Jill a year off to recover (her infant died last year). A short-term fix for the ape house is in the works, as the facility is very old. It should be ready by end of the year.

Work on the Asia exhibit has been backburnered due to the public-private partnership initiative. In this partnership, day-to-day management of the zoo will be through Friends of the Zoo. We are working on raising the $5 million founders funds and $3 million transition funds that are needed.

Casey the elephant is doing okay, but he is on his last set of teeth.

The baby rhino is well over 1,000 pounds now.

We thanked Conrad for the informative update on the zoo. The meeting adjourned around 9:05 p.m.

                            -- Tracy Goodrich