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  Colour Pictures in Aroideana
From: Jason Hernandez <jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.20 at 04:37:18(22344)
I will weigh in on this, too. As one who spends a lot of time in the field, I too, am only too aware of the drawbacks of colour photos in certain applications. Field giudes, for example. A colour photo depicts a specific plant, growing under specific environmental conditions, and most plants have a degree of phenotypic plasticity that can obscure important identification characteristics unless one knows what details to look for. All the technical floras used by professional botanist use plain line drawing for this very reason: a line drawing is based on a number of specimens, averaging out the phenotypic plasticity so as to highlight the characteristics that really matter.

I like to use the example of Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowrrs of the Northeastern and North-Central United States. In the plate of Prenanthes and similar taxa, the line drawings show details of the involucre, pappus, and similar small but taxonomically-important characteristics of several species. All these species would tend to look alike in colour photos. Indeed, on those occasions when I have attempted to use photo-based field guides, a large number of the descriptions mention that there are several similar species, of which only one is shown. This is so pervasive, I find photo-based field guides nearly useless. Give me line drawings any day!

But people nowadays are so taken with the wonders of digital photography, it seems every new field guide coming out eschews line drawings in favor of pretty, but not very helpful, photographs. I have despaired of ever being able to fill the gap in my field guides: Peterson's has wildflower guides for the Northeast/North-Central; the Great Plains; the Rocky Mountains; Texas/Southwest; and Pacific States -- but none for the Southeast. And every guide to the Southeast I have ever seen uses color photographs and therefore leaves out many similar species. It looks as though I am going to have to pony up for the technical floras for that region -- and they are not cheap!

Jason Hernandez

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From: Peter Boyce <phymatarum at googlemail.com> on 2011.11.21 at 08:27:17(22353)
To pick up one point raised by Jason. While I am the first to admit that plain line drawings are the preferred identification medium for professional botanist (indeed, professional biologists) they ALSO raise problems with the available number of skilled biological artists AND the very high cost of producing. The line plates in Genera of Araceae took almost 3 years to produce and cost on average over 350 UK pounds each. And that was in 1993-1996.

Peter

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From: Walter Greenwood <waltergreenwood at gmail.com> on 2011.11.21 at 17:12:58(22357)
Bob Ziemer (Robert.Ziemer@humboldt.edu) is the managing editor of the ICPS journal, and works directly with the printer. They do color pages at a very reasonable rate. He would welcome any questions from his counterparts at IAS.

WG

Sent from my iPad

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From: brian lee <lbmkjm at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.21 at 18:02:03(22361)
Dear All,

Aloha.

I personally appreciate a hard copy of Aroidiana. As long as the IAS has the funds to run within it's budget, the goal should be to continue the quality currently being produced. There are color covers and plates and line illustrations. I have been very happy with the quality of Aroidiana. If one looks at the humble beginnings of Aroidiana, the IAS membership has a lot to be thankful for.

Aloha,

Leland

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From: Theodore Held <oppenhauser2001 at gmail.com> on 2011.11.21 at 19:56:32(22363)
Well, the color issue has certainly been interesting. Here are three comments.

1. From an amateur's point of view, a color picture is better than a black and white one. In the old days of real film, black and white came equipped with much better detail and resolution than color. But now a digital photo is a digital photo. On a same-pixel basis, detail is the same, technically. But color shows things that B+W cannot. Like color, for instance. And there's no doubt that the public likes color pictures better.

2. The value of a picture for taxonomic purposes is based on the skill of the photographer. Many small details cannot be photographed with your standard hand-held. You need a dissecting scale microscope (10 X to 100X) and you need to know how to do it. Since most people don't have the equipment or the skill, pictures tend to be useless, as has been pointed out. For my money I'd put up a skillful photomicrograph against most of the line drawings I have seen. And the cost per picture (assuming one already has the stuff) is very low.

3. There is still a role for line drawings. Showing the emergence of a feature, for example. Or showing an overlay structure that would be obscured by the background. Or detailing a time-lapse characteristic. None of these are best suited to photography.

I don't see any reason (other than cost, obviously) to favor B+W over color in a publication like Aroideana.

Ted Held.

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From: The Silent Seed <santoury at aol.com> on 2011.11.22 at 14:33:42(22369)
Hi,
I'm just jumping in here - and by no means have any background on this issue - but as somebody who is not yet a paid member, I can certainly attest to the fact that when I sign up for something (and pay for it, for that matter), I certainly would hope for color pictures - it's just the day and age that we are in now. Take for instance, the many hundreds of new cultivars coming out by the day, it seems - how can you capture the colors, or just the markings of a slightly different shade of color, with black and white? Maybe it costs "a little more" - but I think that many new members would be attracted to, and more willing to, spend money on a membership for something that shouts quality, and colorfulness. That said, I have never seen an Aroideana. If the whole idea behind all of this, is to help encourage new members to join, then maybe showing potential new members what they can expect, would be one way to begin. A sample, so to speak. It is for this reason that I have not become a paid member. Only. People like to literally see what they are paying for, and this includes color photos.

But to get back on track; in this day and age, one naturally expects color photos, and if the cost needs to be adjusted (since it seems to have been based on the black/white system) then so be it. In fact, I can certainly see why people would actually pay *extra* for that unique, historic black and white photograph. That could be another way to look at it.

Best,

Jude

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From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill at bellsouth.net> on 2011.11.23 at 16:05:11(22382)
Hello All,

I have been away for a while working on another book, but I will add to your discussion re colored pictures. I am nomenclature editor of the Hosta Journal and also of the OLJ, our OnLine Journal. We have been publishing 3 journals per annum, about 79 pages in large format and all color. The cost per printed journal is about $35.000, $70,000 for the two issues. With declining membership we were forced to publish one copy on line (OLJ) also in full color. Our first OLJ was published last year and contained 220 pages with hundreds of color pictures, important to the accurate color rendition of the many plastogene mutations in the genus Hosta. Our current OLJ, being released tomorrow, contains 550 pages, all color and again hundreds of color pictures. Cost?? ZERO! The OLJ is produced by volunteers without pay but with a lot of recognition for their service. All pictures are in small format embedded in the text as required, but it takes only one click to enlarge the picture to a much larger format at megapixel size. The OlJ has been well received. We have a few members without computer so they are not pleased. The OLJ is published on the AHS website and you can take a look at last year's copy by going to americanhostasociety.org and clicking on the home page facsimile of the "the public copy" of the 2010 OLJ. We make last year's copy available (in part) to all comers as a recruiting tool. It has worked so far. Don't forget to click on the color bar on the contents page to go to the 2010 Convention gardens and pictures. Some items are not in the public copy.

Perhaps the IAS has computer talent to try this method. Check out the AHS last years copy, maybe it will point the way.

I realize that electronic publication is still not accepted by the Codes, but we use our printed journals to publish scientific data and then publish further details in the OLJ.

HTH

W. George Schmid

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From: Jason Hernandez <jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.24 at 03:14:36(22391)
Actually, wouldn't that be even more complicated? Converting the colour photos to b&w for the paper issue would be an expense in itself. It would not work just to photocopy them with a b&w copier -- most of the quality is lost that way, and you end up with a nearly-illegible picture.

Oh, incidentally:
Marco wrote, "I have subscritions to many other plants related publication, AROIDEANA is the only one with B&W pictures!" Well, I do not know specifically which publications he has in mind, but since my subscriptions tend to be focused on scientific journals (i.e. primary literature), I find that very few have colour photos, except in those relatively rare cases where colour is necessary to illustrate a crucial detail. For example, in _Madrono_, the journal of the California Botanical Society, there are rarely any colour photos, even in taxonomic or new species papers. I think perhaps the difficulty we face here is related to what was mentioned earlier, that _Aroideana_ is one of the few publications to bridge the gap between scientists and growers. The two communities have very different needs.

Jason Hernandez

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From: Peter Boyce <phymatarum at googlemail.com> on 2011.11.24 at 05:12:24(22392)
Dear George,

Many thanks for this contribution and β€˜actual’ costs – this is very useful.

Speaking on behalf of the IAS Governing Board, I can tell you that we are at this moment considering our options for changing the format and manner in which Aroideana is produced and circulated.

Regarding your last point – this is no longer an issue following agreement at the Melbourne IBC that from 1 January 2012, works published in electronic form on the worldwide web in an unchangeable Portable Document Format (PDF) are to be treated as effectively published, provided that they have either an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

Our best wishes

For and on behalf of the IASGB

Peter

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From: Marco Motta <marco.giovanni.motta at gmail.com> on 2011.11.24 at 07:07:22(22393)
Jason all the Orchids, bulbs, Cactus and Succulents publication have colors pictures.
We still discuss about "sex of the angels" IAS publish only one time a year, all the other society usually with the same fee give 4 to 12 publication in full color every year.

BR

Marco

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From: Marco Motta <marco.giovanni.motta at gmail.com> on 2011.11.24 at 07:12:25(22395)
OK this is a good new, I do not expect a change in a "snap" but IAS have to change!

BR

Marco

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From: hermine <hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2011.11.24 at 17:43:55(22403)
At 07:14 PM 11/23/2011, you wrote:
>Actually, wouldn't that be even more complicated? Converting the
>colour photos to b&w for the paper issue would be an expense in
>itself. It would not work just to photocopy them with a b&w copier
>-- most of the quality is lost that way, and you end up with a
>nearly-illegible picture.

nah, even I who am not all that savvy about such things, can tell my
printer to make a black and white print out of a colour image.

you might ask the Cycad Society how they manage, their newsletter is
KILLER DROP DEAD GORGEOUS with colour photos and beautiful layout on
glossy heavy paper. and EVEN I can afford it.

hermine

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From: "Sherry Gates" <TheTropix at msn.com> on 2011.11.24 at 18:19:53(22404)
Most picture editing software will convert color to B&W, without losing integrity/details. Sometimes it will even bring out details you couldn't see in color. Then if you also want to keep the unedited color file, use the "save as" command and keep the original filename + BW. That'll keep the files together in the folder, too.

sherry

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From: "E.Vincent Morano" <ironious2 at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.24 at 18:43:36(22407)
I dont think the AIS is very popular and thus doesnt have the funds to put forth the aforementioned books each year. They are very poor.

From: Marco Motta
To: Discussion of aroids

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From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill at bellsouth.net> on 2011.11.24 at 19:20:00(22409)
Peter,

Glad to have added some useful data to the Aroidana query.

I am also relieved that the publication of scientific papers is no longer an isue. Thanksa for this info.

I hope the AIS solves this publication problem to the satisfaction of all members.

George

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From: Susan B <honeybunny442 at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.24 at 20:07:49(22410)
I think the main difference is those other societies have a large amount of members, unlike the IAS.

As George said, Hosta cost $70,000 or $35 each- thats for 2000 copies, I guess. I know there aren't that many members in the IAS.

From: Marco Motta

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From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill at bellsouth.net> on 2011.11.26 at 16:22:22(22419)
May I correct the stats:

We punlish 2 volumes (about 84 pages) in full color and about 3,000 copies. Cost is $70,000

From: aroid-l-bounces@www.gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@www.gizmoworks.com] On Behalf Of Susan B
Sent: Thursday, 24 November, 2011 15:08
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Colour Pictures in Aroideana

I think the main difference is those other societies have a large amount of members, unlike the IAS.

As George said, Hosta cost $70,000 or $35 each- thats for 2000 copies, I guess. I know there aren't that many members in the IAS.

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From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill at bellsouth.net> on 2011.11.26 at 16:30:27(22420)
All,

May I coorect the e-mail below. The AHS publishes 2 issues of our Journal each year and one issue as as an On-Line copy. The firsst two issues are in full color print at a total of $70,000. We print around 3,000 copies each issue so the total cost per issue is about $11.66, not $35.00. The cost of the on-line issue is $0.00.

George

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From: The Silent Seed <santoury at aol.com> on 2011.11.26 at 16:49:22(22423)
But, if there are not 2,000 members, we would not need 2,000 copies.

______________________________________________

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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From: Susan B <honeybunny442 at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.27 at 18:02:07(22427)
Well, the point I was trying to make is that publishers give you a better cost per copy if you are printing A LOT.

$70,000 for 6,000 copies is a good price.

But when you only have 500 or less members $70.000 for 1000 copies is not a such a good price. I'm sure it's hard to find a publisher that will work with a small organization to put out a good journal at a decent price.

I don't know how many members are in the IAS right now, I was just guessing at 500.

From: The Silent Seed
To: aroid-l@www.gizmoworks.com

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From: Riley2362 at aol.com on 2011.11.27 at 19:28:17(22429)
I have worked with two similar publications, Gesneriads for The Gesneriad Society and The Quarterly journal for the North American Rock Garden Society. Both are printed quarterly at Allen Press in Kansas, in full color and for a larger audience than IAS but on a limited scope and tight budget. Allen has full press capabilities including international distribution. They also print several academic journals and extremely professional in every respect..

Michael Riley

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From: Christopher Rogers <branchiopod at gmail.com> on 2011.11.28 at 15:23:03(22433)
Good morning, Jude!

Actually, you need more than the number of members because of the library and museum subscriptions, as well as needing back issues to sell.

Plus, printers typically give discounts for bulk orders.

Happy days,

Christopher

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From: "Elizabeth Campbell" <desinadora at mail2designer.com> on 2011.11.27 at 15:08:10(22435)
Jude - printing fewer examples is actually more expensive, copy for copy, than printing large runs. I'm speaking from experience, as I publish a full-colour journal once a year, in a run of 100 books. They come in at $25 each for 400 page books (I have an excellent printer), but if I were printing, say, 1000, they'd be $15 each.

Whoever it is out there that's doing the actual publishing for Aroideana, please please please contact me - there have been advances in the printing world that allow colour pages to be "dropped in" to text books for a MUCH lower cost than burned plates have. Digital POD technology could really help us out with the whole colour photos thing.

Elizabeth

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From: "Paulindr" <paulindr at gmail.com> on 2011.11.28 at 18:25:55(22436)
Hi.

At risk of repeating what someone already wrote and i didn't read (and following 2 years of silence)...

1. Most printers have a minimum cost for a minimum print run. You can't pay less even if you want less! So small print runs are ALWAYS relatively expensive or even unaffordable.

2. Re the b&w versus colour argument, i believe the pro b&w arguments are spurious (though i'm happy to be proved wrong!). The important thing in any photograph is to capture as much information as possible. A b&w photo fails to capture colours. Thus those colours can never be retrieved or derived from the b&w photo. However, a colour photo can be manipulated to show only greyscale (i.e. b&w). There's no obvious reason why a quality colour photo shouldn't contain sufficient info to allow the rendering of a b&w image at least equal to the quality of an original b&w photo. If you print in colour and publish the colour photo on the web (using highest quality image), all the photo's information will be available to those who want to re-render it.

3. I hate b&w photos of plants and I guess (yes, just guessing) that, in this respect, i am similar to the vast majority of non-professionals who avidly read plant hobby magazines and journals. However, as a scientist, i recognise the value of line drawings. So perhaps in this electronic era, a solution is to use b&w in the journal for scientific and cost reasons but to publish associated colour photos on a website. It won't please everyone but it might be the least worst option!!! (The German
Carnivorous Plant Society bagan life with a very small readership and resolved the colour issue by literally sticking traditional paper-based colour photograps into each copy of the journal. However, it's labour intensive and not exactly cheap!)

Regards

Paul

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From: Albert Huntington <balberth at yahoo.com> on 2011.11.29 at 18:35:33(22439)
Folks,

Sorry for the relative silence from those of us who work on Aroideana more directly.

I've been traveling the last week, and I rather suspect that Derek is similarly involved.

I have not had the time to read everyone's comments, but a few datapoints:

- The IAS has a membership that hovers around 400, and pretty well always has. A print run that small costs about the same as a print run of 1000. We pay around $10,000 per year to print and mail our single edition of Aroideana, using Allen Press. We recently spec'd out a full-color edition and the quote was nearly twice that amount. We would be able to do it if we had twice
the membership ... but Aroids are a very niche interest. We had some extra funds in 2010 and included more color plates ... but we do not yet feel that we can do that every year. We are also working on the possibility of doing a very special edition in full color sometime in the next couple years ... more about that when it comes closer to fruition.

- Yes, there are printers where we could get color cheaper. We stay with Allen Press because of the service they provide in doing layout, working with the authors, and handling mailing ... and much of our cost is in those items, not the actual printing. Certainly a discussion could be had whether this is worth it, but without a dedicated group of folks available in a single location ( Miami ) these days, it is difficult to get the kind of reliable volunteer dedication needed to do our own mailing, layout and packaging. I consider it a
small miracle that even with the help of Allen Press, we've managed to get the journal out more or less on time this past decade ... it was much worse before when we used a different printer and did more stuff by ourselves.

- We've attempted to satisfy the desires for color through the online newsletter - wherein there are published a lot more pretty pictures of plants. Many of the same authors ( Peter and Tom, reliably ) will do both scientific articles for Aroideana and more travelogue-type stuff for the newsletter. We should have something from both of them in the December edition, which I am laying out this week.

In short, I think we'd all love to do more color and all love to publish more frequently, but the small size of the society and a desire to put out a product on-time and reliably has so far limited our abilities in
this area. I'd be happy to personally answer any questions off-list; I am apparently having trouble keeping up with Aroid-L on a regular basis this holiday season.

--Albert

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From: "Tom Croat" <Thomas.Croat at mobot.org> on 2011.12.01 at 02:00:08(22441)
Albert: We have one more short article for
the newsletter, an article by Geniveive Ferry on the French Botanist Ed. Andre
on big anniversary of his life. He seemed to have described all of the really exciting
things before others found them. We will send it Friday.

Tom

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