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  Colour Pictures in Aroidiana
From: Christopher Rogers <branchiopod at gmail.com> on 2011.11.18 at 12:28:21(22319)
Hiyer!

Speaking as an an editor of an international scientific journal and guest editor for another, I can answer that question (Derek, I hope you do not mind my jumping in here . . .). Colour is very nice, very pretty, but has drawbacks. There are actually a couple of reasons:

1) Cost. In the journals where I publish my research, black and white images are free for the author to publish. Colour plates usually run $300USD each. Do we pass that cost on to the authors? Well, yes, and Aroidiana does just that. If you want to publish a colour picture, you must bear the cost. If we require that all photograph submissions are in colour, do we increase the cost of the journal? Will we lose subscriptions? If the cost goes to the authors, will they then publish elsewhere, where the costs are lower? By making this a requirement, we could harm the journal and the IAS. And Aroidiana does publish colour on occasion (see volume 34) when the authors will pay for it.

2) Detail. When preparing a scientific account, such as a species description, black & white photographs are often superior for the simple reason that in a black and white image more detail is apparent. This is why some famous photographers (such as Ansel Adams) chose to use black & white film. Obviously, this is not a concern on our articles that are not of a specifically taxonomic nature.

I hope that this is helpful. The role of the editor is not always obvious or transparent to the readers.

Happy days,

Christopher

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From: Corey W <cewickliffe at gmail.com> on 2011.11.18 at 15:27:37(22327)
Having worked on graphics to be submitted to an international scientific journal I can also attest to the costs - I've gotten rather good at gray scale! If you go to self publishing sites like lulu.com, you can get a better idea of how quickly the costs can add up - the prices don't look that different per page, but how many pages are in each issue of Aroidiana? How many times a year? Over how many years? Then calculate how much they have saved (and not passed onto the reader) by going black and white, it may be an interesting number! (Sure was to me first time I compared a couple of books I had and ran them through that - YIKES!)

When looking at self publishing a book that HAD to have color photos, the limiting factor of my book size has ended up being a page count based on what I feel my customer base would be willing to pay for a book on my subject. I can't go over that page count without blowing my price up to a point that the majority of my audience wouldn't pay, not matter HOW important I think that info is.

The other thought that bothered me is the "film is dead" idea... digital cameras are just getting to be really comparable to some film (at least some of the really expensive ones) and you still lose quality of the photo. The larger the megapixels, the larger you can get your photos before you see degradation in quality. For science purposes film is still the way to go (also less likely to get "destroyed" or messed up), particularly slide photography. I know at least one scientist that loves his digital SLR, but learned to use a slide film camera so that when he took photographs of holotypes (frogs in this case which significantly change color when preserved) they would be in a format anyone in the world would be able to read, and you could blow up that pic as big as you want without losing quality (but why you'd want to blow up a frog's nostril to the size of a person and see how slightly off your center of focus was I have no idea - but you could!). Digital media is easier, handy, and takes somewhat less knowledge to handle... but it's "superiority" varies greatly depending on who you're talking to.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big DSLR fan, but it's a whole different realm than film and I've had that ground into me by photography teachers over the years.

Corey

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From: Marco Motta <marco.giovanni.motta at gmail.com> on 2011.11.18 at 22:50:55(22332)
Ho to all,

I know that the publication with color picture is more expansive then b&w but fortunately there are many other solution as PDF files and so on

I think that IAS can ask to subscribers if are interested to switch to color publication in electronic format, I think that all have a computer at work or at home.

There are many way to protect the publication, as to avoid illegal copy and deny the printing option.

Using electronic publication IAS can have less expensive work and capability to manage more article or use more money for research, and finally publish the Wilbert's book on Amorphophallus.

Best regards

Marco Motta

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From: "E.Vincent Morano" <ironious2 at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.19 at 10:39:38(22335)
For crying out loud, all this talk about costs! There are two small book per year! how expensive can it be??

From: Corey W
To: Discussion of aroids

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From: "E.Vincent Morano" <ironious2 at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.19 at 20:12:30(22336)
Might I add, I'd gladly pay a higher membership fee if it had color images. As it is, I dont know if I'll renew.

From: E.Vincent Morano

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From: Marco Motta <marco.giovanni.motta at gmail.com> on 2011.11.19 at 21:45:40(22341)
Hi to all,

I know that the publication with color picture is more expansive then b&w but fortunately there are many other solution as PDF files and so on

I think that IAS can ask to subscribers if are interested to switch to color publication in electronic format, I think that all have a computer at work or at home.

There are many way to protect the publication, as to avoid illegal copy and deny the printing option.

Using electronic publication IAS can have less expensive work and capability to manage more article or use more money for research, and finally publish the Wilbert's book on Amorphophallus.

This is the only way to contain maintain or increase the subscribers, I have subscritions to many other plants related publication, AROIDEANA is the only one with B&W pictures!

Best regards

Marco Motta

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From: Walter Greenwood <waltergreenwood at gmail.com> on 2011.11.20 at 06:22:10(22345)
The ICPS (International Carnivorous Plant Society) journal has been published in color for many years. Perhaps they could offer some information about how they do it affordably.

WG

Sent from my iPad

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From: Sheldon Hatheway <sfhatheway at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.20 at 07:44:23(22346)
Great idea, Marco!! I would prefer a digital edition of AROIDEANA myself. I've been the newsletter editor for my local plant club for a number of years now and we converted to digital several years ago. What I like best is the ability to use the search function to track down something I knew I'd written, but couldn't remember where or when. Also, not having piles of paper publications cluttering up my work area is another definite plus. I do, however, print and mail hard copies for the six remaining technologically challenged members of our club.

Sheldon Hatheway

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From: Marco Motta <marco.giovanni.motta at gmail.com> on 2011.11.20 at 13:28:27(22347)
Lookink the IAS website seems that some publications are already available as electronic format, we need only to continue in the same way.

Marco

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From: "Greg Ruckert" <greg at alpacamanagement.com> on 2011.11.20 at 14:09:18(22348)
This is an important discussion and I hope it doesn't degenerate to personal abuse or further disparaging remarks.

Not everyone sees paper publications as
clutter! I have been involved in and used the internet, almost since its beginning, but still prefer using hard copy when it comes to important matters.

Aroideana has been around for many decades, servicing both the hobbyist and professional botanist. I believe, in that regard, the IAS is unique.

Digital is not everything, and, as some of the professionals on this list have alluded to, has its own problems in relation to photographs.

This is actually a part of a much larger discussion that the board of the IAS needs to have regarding the future of the IAS and what it offers.

The professionals can publish information in a range of other publications which makes life harder for those of us who don't have access to those publications. This would be our loss.

If some chose not to pay the pittance that is our annual membership because Aroideana is not published in full colour then that is their loss.

I have seen comments from individuals that they won't join the IAS because they might only access the website once or twice a year. I use it a few times per week!

As one of the non-professional I say "What the Hell?" On average I spend more money on plants/seeds per week than what one year's membership (including my copy of Aroideana) costs me.

Maybe there needs to be a balance between professionals wanting black and white or line drawings versus the "eye-candy" of glorious colour pictures.

What must not be lost sight of is the incredible value of our organisation, the work it does and its publications (both hard copy and internet based).

What must also be kept in mind is the wonderful work that is done by volunteers within our society. I, personally, give them ALL my thanks and appreciation to them.

For most of us we put in a small amount of money and receive access to a phenomenal resource.

It would be good to see those that want change putting in effort to do something within the IAS to bring about change or improvement.

While on my soapbox, I have also seen negative comments about the CATE-Araceae website. This site is part of a much bigger botanical vision but has the potential to be the most incredible resource for aroid nuts. There is a mountian of work to be done there but very few volunteers actually contributing. I have seen some of the capabilities in development on CATE and they are spectacular.

I welcome discussion but rather than critics these things all benefit by having more volunteers giving input!

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From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973 at wp.pl> on 2011.11.20 at 14:41:08(22350)
This is a great idea. I would pay the membership if I got a paper issue with b/w photos and a pdf with colour photos.

Marek

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From: Christopher Rogers <branchiopod at gmail.com> on 2011.11.21 at 08:57:32(22356)
Well met, Greg!

I also am very appreciative of the the efforts of Derek and the others who volunteer their time to make this wonderful journal, the newsletter and the website happen.

To one and all: the issue is simply this: if someone wants to submit colour and pay for it, they may. It is the author's decision. The newsletter is published as a .pdf with colour pictures. Maybe we can add a supplement to the newsletter with colour versions of pictures in the journal . . . however it is first and foremost up to the authors whether they want their work published in colour. Another option, would be that all photos submitted to the journal would be added in to the appropriate taxonomic gallery on the website.

Many good reasons have been given as to why colour is not always the best choice. There has long been a dichotomy in the IAS membership in that it is a combination of horticulturalists AND scientists. We need both. Each side learns from the other. It is truly difficult to balance a journal such that it caters to these two very different groups. Invariably, someone will not like the journal regardless of what is done. So, the journal is produced to be as balanced and pleasing to all as is possible. If there is something that you want to see in the journal, write an article about it (or convince someone else) and submit it.

I think there was some talk awhile ago of having the newsletter be more horticultural and the journal more scientific. Maybe this would help. Remember that having our journal being a scientific periodical raises the journal's credibility, increases the library subscriptions, and increases the number of submissions. Remember the last issue of the journal had six horticultural submissions out of 16. If we did not have as many scientific manuscripts submitted, we might not have a journal.

Happy days,

Christopher

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From: Marco Motta <marco.giovanni.motta at gmail.com> on 2011.11.21 at 11:32:03(22362)
Greg no one have commented the great work of IAS, it only a suggestion to switch to color pictures.

Your comment seems to be a replay to an attack.

I know that on the back side there are many idea and great work, but comunication it is the first rule to consider when you manage information.

I think that IAS survive just with the fee of subscriber, no subscriber no work, or like Italian say, no money no play!

if you have new ideas about ias or aroideana please update us, maybe discussing together could suggest more solution to common problem.

BR

Inviato da iPhone
Marco Motta

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From: The Silent Seed <santoury at aol.com> on 2011.11.22 at 06:37:45(22371)
On another note, I certainly would prefer to pay for hard copies, as well.

______________________________________________

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From: Hannon <othonna at gmail.com> on 2011.11.22 at 13:54:59(22373)
Greg,

Your comments resonated with me and I would like to add a few thoughts.

The main issue with any technical or semi-technical photography is accuracy and usefulness, whether in color or b&w. Black and white film is often the best choice for showing features in light contrast that tend to be drowned out by color. When I think of the IAS and the material benefits I have enjoyed most I think of the earliest issues with those iconic b&w photos by Mayo, Bogner and others, usually of very rare and exciting aroids. Quite often the same photos were useful in trying to decode the cultivation of the plants. Those photos were inspiring because of the subject matter and the quality; color had nothing to do with it.

Paper is archival. We know that Aroideana will last 100++ years when stored with care. Papers published in printed journals provide a fixed record that cannot "go down" or become corrupted by the vagaries of digital media storage. The "back up" consists of copies in the hands of many people around the world.

The situation where hobbyist and scientific venues must be balanced is capably managed not only in Aroideana but in the Cactus and Succulent Journal (US) and Orchid Digest. I believe all of these groups have been built on the idea that the two realms are complimentary and not antagonistic. Contributions from hobbyists provide essential information about cultural experiences, sourcing plants and travel, while botanists provide leading insight into new discoveries that help drive interest. The distinctiveness and appeal of these journals lies in the fact that science forms the foundation for further understanding and enjoyment of the respective groups.

Until membership grows to a point where color can be considered for all Aroideana issues, online color and printed b&w seems like a reasonable dichotomy.

Dylan Hannon

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From: "Greg Ruckert" <greg at alpacamanagement.com> on 2011.11.23 at 01:25:02(22376)
All my photography is digital with very reasonable quality gear. I see two major issues with getting "true" colour pictures into print.

The first is colour trueness to the subject. I could show many examples of photos taken, with different settings, where the subject appears to be very different colours. Then there is the quality of the viewing screen. I have loaded photos onto my computer and thought the colour looked reasonable - but not the same. Four inch screen on my camera then my twenty-one inch computer monitor. I have then taken the same pictures to my sister-in-law (an internationaly awarded photographer) and looked at them on her computer and the colours looked different!

Heaven help Derek! If I were to submit an article to him, complete with colour pictures. He would look at them on his computer - is the colour the same as my subject? How would he know? Then he has to submit them to the printer and check the proof. But what is he checking the proof for? Does it look the same as the picture on his screen? Does that matter? What really matters is if the printed picture looks the same as the original subject, isn't it? How could he tell? Would he then send me a digital proof? What would be the point unless his computer technology was calibrated the same as mine? Nine months down the track I can't remember exactly what the colour of the subject was anyway. Maybe he could send me a printed proof but then I would still have the same difficulty as a digital proof.

Don't get me wrong, I love colour pictures and I take thousands of them. I am just trying to make the point that they are not the be all and end all.

I love the colour pictures in "Genera of Araceae" but I certainly wouldn't think any less of it if the colour photos weren't in it.

Cheers,

Greg Ruckert

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From: Christopher Rogers <branchiopod at gmail.com> on 2011.11.23 at 07:24:36(22379)
To further support Dylan's explanations, there are two other issues with electronic only publications:

1) Technology advances at a tremendous rate. The .pdf files prepared using the earlier versions of Adobe are not readable by the most recent versions. The technology is no longer supported. It is costly and time consuming to go back and rescan all those files.

2) Many libraries (especially in universities, colleges and museums) have been switching to on line versions journals, because they can free up more space by not having back issues cluttering up the shelves. The problem is that when budget cuts come and some subscriptions are cancelled, there are no back issues available. All access to the journal is severed. The subscription is all or nothing. So even though the library has been paying the subscription for years, there is nothing to show on the shelf as soon as the subscription is ended.

That being said, this is a false dichotomy: it does not have to be an either/or proposition. Many journals offer both online and print versions. We could do the same. This will not alleviate the second problem I described above. But it may help some of our members. In the journal that I co-edit, the online version has the photos in colour, while the print version has the photos in black and white, unless paid for by the author.

Happy days,

Christopher

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From: hermine <hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2011.11.23 at 08:45:44(22383)
has anyone suggested making it available on line for a fee and then
the person can print it out on the paper of choice and have it bound
at STAPLES? with the option of a black and white version?
what do I know.
hermine

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