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Re: Colour Pictures in Aroidiana

  • Subject: Re: Colour Pictures in Aroidiana
  • From: Hannon <othonna@gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:54:59 -0800

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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