Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

October 15, 2001

Jim Rendina said that Dan Paulsen was sick and unable to make the meeting tonight.

We had a guest at the meeting, Tammy Coville. She brought several of her pictures to share. She's been to the zoo taking pictures quite a bit lately. Welcome, Tammy!

Marie Bohndorf said she had brochures from Denise Rendina on the photography exhibits going on right now at the Nelson Art Gallery. One is on daguerreotypes and the other is on photographer Carrie Mae Weems. It is free during the construction that is going on at the Nelson. You have to park at Manor Square and take a shuttle over to the Nelson. It’s best to park on the 5th floor; a golf cart will take you to the gate. There is also handicapped parking at the back of the building. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 10 to 4; Friday, 10 to 9; Saturday, 10 to 5; and Sunday, noon to 5.

Linda Hanley’s friend William Chapman is coming to Kansas City on October 24 at 7:30 p.m. He will be at Unity on the Plaza discussing his book, Face of Tibet. It should be a good presentation. The fee is $10.

Marie brought in advance copies of the registration form for the Great Plains Nature Photography meeting that will be held on November 17 at the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita. The presenter will be Cold Snap Photography.

Jim said that Dan was supposed to give a presentation on composition tonight, but he’s home sick. Jim did bring a photography exam for us to take and discuss. He explained that at the last meeting we discussed devoting time at every meeting to photographic techniques. This quiz will tell us what we need to focus on. It is a multiple-choice quiz.

After the quiz, Jim and Malinda will discuss the situation with our Web site. After that, we will take a short break and then view slides.

Jim then handed out the exam. After taking the quiz, we went through it and discussed it.

Chris Nederman said that her husband is an astronomer. He belongs to a national club. He owns about 40 acres south of Osawatomie where they let people go to look at the moon with a telescope. He would be willing to let us come out and take pictures. You can camp but there are strict rules. He offered, so we might want to think about it. This would be something that would be good to do in the summertime. Jim said he thought that would be great.

Jim was talking to his brother about digital photography recently, and his brother pointed out that digital film is different – whereas regular film builds up exposure, that’s not the case with digital. Jim wants to investigate and find out more. He has found that he can leave the shutter open longer and it doesn’t seem to matter as much. Carol Mitchell observed that the color was great with her digital camera. Linda said that she’s seen some exceptional digital photos. Carol noted that she went to the digital photography club meeting recently. She found it interesting that the members there actually shoot mostly regular film, not digital.

Jim moved the discussion to the topic of the Web site. He reminded everyone that last month we got official word from Brian and Denny that they would be unable to continue as our Webmasters. It was apparently taking too much time and they got caught in the Sprint move. Jim volunteered to do what he could to maintain the site, but he admitted he knows little about it. Malinda volunteered also, and between the two of them, they’ve got it down! Jim said he could resize the photos we send in and download them to the site, and Malinda can position them on the Web site. They haven’t made many changes to the look of the Web site. Jim said the design is great, but it’s too static. We need to be changing photos every 30 to 60 days, both on the individual galleries and the zoo gallery.

Malinda said that Jim is resizing the existing photos on the site. She is making all pages on the individual galleries have the same background. She has fixed Chris’s, Dee’s, and Jim’s, and she is working her way through the others. She’s got a CD backup of the site from last night now. (She accidentally deleted some pictures before backing it up, but has notified the person to get replacement images.) We have physical possession o f all of our Web files. The Web hosting rate will stay the same – nonprofit organizations get a 50 percent discount anyway, so that won’t change. We did have a few problems recently because they moved us to a different server.

We talked about the main picture on the home page of the Web site. Jim and Malinda propose that we draw names to see who gets to have a picture on the home page each month. It needs to be a photo of a zoo animal. Does this seem fair to everyone? The group agreed this would be fair.

Malinda suggested we make a list of things to change. The group threw out suggestions and we discussed them:

1.    Include a “last updated” date – Malinda said this was already done.

2.   Possibly shrink the roll of film image that displays across the top of the home page; it seems a little too big.

3.   Include the name of the animal, along with the photographer’s name. This idea was discussed further. Where would the name display – on the image itself? That won’t work with all images; some are too dark. We should be consistent and always put the name in the same place. Therefore, it needs to be on the page itself, instead of on the image. Malinda will put the name next to the picture. She asked us to send captions to her of photos that are already on the Web site. (Anything that you send to the Webmaster@zoophoto.org address will go to both her and Jim.)

4.   There used to be a Q&A section – do we still need that? The group decided it wasn’t needed – we can just direct people to contact Webmaster@zoophoto.org if they have questions.

5.   What other features would we like added – Technical Tips? This would be okay, but someone would have to write them!

6.   An animal index for the zoo gallery page was suggested – this would be easy to do. Right now there are about 40 photos in the gallery. We should probably limit it to four to six pictures per member at a time. How do we want to control this – shall we say you can only submit so many at one time? Jim said he is concerned about getting too many from each person. He suggested we think in terms of submitting 4 zoo photos and 6 to 8 personal gallery photos at a time. If you want to send him 24 pictures at one time, that’s okay, but he won’t promise that he’ll get all 24 photos on there at one time.

7.   On the member galleries, each member will be responsible for keeping theirs up-to-date. Updating those galleries every 6 to 8 weeks might be good.

Malinda and Jim said that some of the scans they received were kind of light and not cropped that well. They can try to fix these for us. 

Someone suggested we have a class on scanning. Jim said that could be done.

We discussed file size for the images we send. File size has to do with how the image will fill up the page – not with resolution. If you have the option of selecting “400 ppi tall,”  use it. If less than 400, it will lose lots of quality. Jim received some images at 215 x 185 – this was not good; when they were blown up, there was a total loss of image sharpness and color saturation. At 600 x 800, they will look great on the Web site. You don’t need send anything much bigger than 400 – 600 to 800 is okay, but 1600 would take too long to download. The Kodak CD has 72 ppi resolution.

How do we adjust the size of the image? You can use Photo Shop or Adobe Photo Deluxe.

We took a break and had treats, and at about 9 p.m. we viewed slides. Because of the time, we didn’t view all the slides brought in. For those we missed, please bring your slides to next month’s meeting!

Terry Fretz had slides from Colorado to share, including some of elk and some flower close-ups.

Linda Hanley had some shots from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, including ducks, moose, and buffalo.

Malinda took some slides of the exhibits at the Nelson. She went on the media tour. The daguerreotypes are 4 x 5 photos in folders with individual lighting. The International Daguerreotype Society is having its meeting here in November. There are some Hallmark images in the exhibit that have never been shown before. The Carrie Mae Weems exhibit was also interesting – a number of digital photos are displayed on large fabric banners.

Linda Williams brought in some great framed shots of insects that she has had on display at Powell Gardens. Last spring she asked about putting up some pictures at Powell, and they asked her if she had any insect photos. She put some together quickly and displayed them there for a couple of months. Nice job, Linda!

The next meeting is on November 19 at 7 p.m.


                            -- Tracy Goodrich