Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

February 18, 2002


Marie Bohndorf called the meeting to order around 7:10 p.m.  She said Dan Paulsen was sick tonight, so she will be leading the meeting.

Marie explained that a group of people from the club is signing up for the Rocky Mountain photo seminar that is coming up the weekend of March 23-24.  If you want to get the special club rate, tell them you are with the Kansas City Zoo Camera Club when you enroll.  You will get the two-day seminar for $100 or one day for $60.

Is there any other new business?  Jim Rendina said we need some new pictures for the Web site.  He said this is getting to a critical point!  He posted some new images from Gary Gingrich the other day, which helped, but he said some of the images now on the site are over a year old.  Those will be coming off the Web site, because it hurts the club if people come back and find the same images are there.  For each member’s gallery, it doesn’t matter if you have the same images on there forever, but for the zoo gallery, we have got to have some new pictures. 

Crystal Nederman asked if she could send some photos to Jim and have him scan them for her – her scanner is broken right now.  Jim said yes, he could do this.  He also said it is fairly cheap to get a CD of images created by Wolf Camera or other photo shops.  If you have 30 or so good images, you can get a CD of them made for about $9.  Also Jim reminded everyone that the images you send should be no less than 600 pixels.  Bigger is okay; he can always downsize them.

Tracy Goodrich pointed out that the last set of meeting minutes is not on the Web site.  She sent the minutes some time ago, right after the ice storm, but they bounced back from Malinda Welte’s e-mail server.  Jim asked that she send them to him again and he will be sure they are posted.  (Malinda later came to the meeting and said they were posted as of today.)

Chris thanked everyone for the prints they have given her for the wall at the Deja Zoo gift shop.  There is a good variety of images now and it looks nice.  She said there is always room for more, though!

Chris explained that the gift shop will call you if you sell a picture.  Friends of the Zoo (FOTZ) gets ten percent of the selling price.

Gary said he and his family were at the zoo recently and they looked at the display in Deja Zoo.  He noted that it looks nice, but said the bin that holds unframed prints could probably use more prints.  Chris agreed and said that if you want to put matted prints in that bin but don’t have a mat cutter, let her know and she can do it for you.

The zoo is now being managed by FOTZ.  It has a new name, The Kansas City Zoo, instead of the “Kansas City Zoological Park” name.  The new logo for the zoo is the old FOTZ logo with the words Kansas City Zoo around it.

The lion cubs can be seen now.  There is a special overlook with a sign posted where you can see them in a cage.  Any time the temperature is above 35 degrees, you should be able to see them.  They won’t actually be out on display until the spring.

Someone asked about Photo Club nametags.  Jim asked how many people still needed them and a couple of members responded.  Jim said he would get them made.

The evening’s speaker was Gary Gingrich, a member of the club.  Gary did a more technical presentation to the group back in November.  He is going to go over a tray or two of his animal slides tonight.

Gary explained that this will cover a variety of shots he took at different zoos across the country – Kansas City, Omaha, St. Louis, and a few others.  He noted that he hasn’t shot slides lately, as there is more demand for prints right now.

He started with an image of the name obelisk outside the St. Louis Zoo.  He loves its design – clean and straightforward.

He showed some slides of the chimps here at the zoo, but these were back when they were in the old monkey house, in 1993-94.

He had a nice image of a gorilla from the Omaha Zoo, in front of a painted wall that made it look almost like a natural background.

He followed that up with a slide of a gorilla from the St. Louis Zoo, which has a great gorilla exhibit.  It looks like an almost natural environment.  There are lots of vantage points from which to take pictures.  This one was looking down into the exhibit from a high vantage point.  He sold this image to the Kansas City Visitors Bureau about seven or eight years ago for a brochure to promote the Kansas City Zoo, since you couldn’t really tell where the gorilla was located.

Gary showed a few other gorilla shots as well.

He had an image of a peacock from the Kansas City Zoo.  He said he is always looking for a good peacock shot; it is hard to get them in full fan.

Gary moved on to some images of tigers.  He said that Omaha has a great cat exhibit, and a few years back he found some young tigers playing outside in the moat area.  They were playing with an empty beer keg.  He was happy with these shots.

Gary explained that these slides have been taken with three or four different camera systems over the years.  For example, he had a Minolta that had good autofocus when shooting horizontally, but not vertically.  He’s shooting all Canon now.

Next he showed an image of a komodo dragon found in the cat house in Omaha.  It was on loan to the zoo and was about 10 to 12 feet in length.  It was partially in shadow and Gary waited for about a half-hour for it to move, but it wasn’t too active at the time.

Omaha also has a great polar bear exhibit, and Gary shared several slides of the polar bears.  These were from the older exhibit.  The new exhibit has a very large pool in the front.  If you get down low in front of the glass wall, you can see the bears swimming underwater.  In one of his shots, the polar bear is playing with a ball.  Gary pointed out that you can tell he was shooting through glass because of the image of a reflected cup and the fact that the colors are a little green.

St. Louis also has a good bear exhibit.  The bears are fed three to four times a day, so for 20 minutes or so before feeding, they line up, move around, and so on, and you can get some good shots.  He shared one of a polar bear standing up on its hind feet.

Gary noted that Omaha has a good aviary.  He shared several bird shots, including ones of the emu and cockatoo here in Kansas City and some ostrich pictures.  He also had pictures of a cockatoo from the Cincinnati zoo and some parrots in Topeka.  He often tries to shoot on the shadow side to get some backlit highlights on the subject.

Gary said he has a Canon EOS Elan camera.  He typically will set it for shutter priority and let the f-stop fall where it falls.  For the parrot picture, he handheld probably at about 1/90th of a second at f11.  He was using fill flash and would have liked a little more flash in the picture, but said he can scan it in and tweak it in Photo Shop if needed.

Gary shared a number of slides of birds taken at the Renaissance Festival.  He explained that he has been going every year since 1991.  His wife is an enthusiast and got him going there. They do three to four bird shows a day, but in the morning, you have better lighting.  After two p.m., you also have pretty good lighting.  Gary explained that helpers go out about 30 to 40 yards from the stage and let the birds do fly-overs.  He shared images of a peregrine falcon, a red-tailed hawk, a Eurasian eagle owl, and others.

Gary showed a picture of a hornbill from the Leid Jungle in Omaha.  He said he could spend the whole day there.  There are lots of birds and animals roaming through the exhibit.

The alligator exhibit in Omaha is also good, though the gators are not too active.  It’s located next to a snack bar, and people torment the gators sometimes – as in the picture he shared of an alligator with a penny on its nose!

The sea lion slide was probably taken here or in Omaha.

Gary also shared an image of turtles taken at a dinosaur exhibit in St. Louis.  He was shooting 100 speed Ektachrome and was focusing on a single shaft of light in a dark aquarium when two turtles swam into the picture and he snapped it.  Very nice!

Some of Gary’s other images included donkeys, llamas, and deer from the Kansas City Zoo taken around 1995; the dingo, which he hasn’t had much luck getting a great picture of; kangaroos; elephants; one of David Nieves’ snakes during a presentation at the KC Zoo; a rhino in St. Louis, giraffes in Cincinnati, and the old monkey house in Kansas City.

Gary closed his presentation by showing some images of his dog, Pinto, and a self-portrait (a shadow of Gary shooting the picture)!

After Gary’s interesting presentation, the group took a break around 8 p.m. and enjoyed cookies brought by Jim Rendina.  Marie brought some prints from the Cedar Cove trip and others brought prints to share of the ice storm, owls, etc.

The group reconvened at about 8:25 p.m.  Linda Hanley announced that her friend Bill Chapman’s seminar would be March 9. She had some brochures on the seminar for anyone interested.  She said she hoped some of us could come.  He is also giving a show on Tibet to the China club she belongs to on Sunday, March 10.  There will be a sit-down, multicourse dinner at China Garden on Wornall at about 2 p.m., and the show will start around 4 p.m.  The dinner costs $10 and the show is free.  Give Linda a call if you want reservations for the dinner. She said his book Face of Tibet is beautiful.

Malinda said that Jim had sent her some pictures from Gary that showed some very nice work.  She is putting them up on the Web site but has been having some technical problems and will have them up in a couple of days.  The minutes also are now posted.  She pointed out that she e-mailed a few people about the fact that she has a slide scanner now so she can scan anyone’s slides and put them on our Web site.  It is a high-resolution scanner and she lives in the Westport area.  Linda said she also has a slide scanner.

The meeting adjourned around 8:30 p.m.  The next meeting is on March 18 at 7 p.m.  Linda Williams will talk about close-up photography.

                            -- Tracy Goodrich