Re: Colour Pictures in Aroidiana
- Subject: Re: Colour Pictures in Aroidiana
- From: Corey W <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 18:27:37 -0500
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.
On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 3:28 PM, Christopher Rogers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 12:19 AM, E.Vincent Morano <email@example.com>
I sure hope Aroideana starts using color images. The 60's are long gone as should be black and whit photos with them. Ugh they are so ugly I mean, we are entering the second year of the second decade of the new millennium, we should have nothing but hi definition color images now! Maybe even a few holograms haha.
But seriously, my first book of Aroideana #34 was such a disappointment. Why would anyone use black and white film in this day and age? beyond that why would anyone even use film? Digital media is far superior. Aroideana could be very enjoyable if it wasnt for the black and whit images.
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