Auckland Shell Club
Members were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the digital imaging work being done at the Auckland Museum. The Museum is imaging its primary type specimens so that their details may be made available easily and safely through their website to a wider audience. The new high-resolution digital images use the automontage technique where many photos are taken at slightly different levels of focus and are then merged electronically to give a single sharp image. This "focus stacking" technique is relatively new, and requires specialised high performance equipment (cameras and computers) and sophisticated software.
Peter Quin who is the sole "Digital Imaging Department" employee at the Museum, said it was groundbreaking work. He has wide experience in photography, photo-realistic illustration, and commercial art, but Peter said he is still learning all the time.
Imaging is undertaken for all Museum departments, and everything from micro (Eg. minute shells) to macro (Eg. a swordfish). Normally Peter produces about a dozen images per day, but he once achieved 30 images to meet a deadline. It is painstaking work that requires lots of "patience and coffee", but he loves his job.
For more about this process, and to see some online examples, go to http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/?t=1474
Members could also view the Museum mollusc collection, but the greatest attraction was undoubtedly the recently acquired Douglas Manukau collection temporarily sitting in its wooden cabinet in the corridor.
A handwritten banner on the cabinet reads as follows ...
Photographs of the entire collection, as well as a few pages of Normans meticulous records can be viewed at http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/581677196yncSPw.
Wilma Blom, who hosted the meeting, assured us that the Auckland Museum intends to keep this outstanding historical collection intact.
Next Meeting - Tuesday 8th November
Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm).
A treat from Tony and Jenny Enderby - special visuals from under the sea.
Tony and Jenny are experienced divers photographers and authors, and we always enjoy their presentations.
Bring along a tray of NZ Shells to share and any shells that need identification.
This will be published next month.
Contact Patricia Langford on (09) 479 6149 if you have any queries.
We have an extensive collection of books, magazines, and scientific publications available, as well as a biological microscope.
Your club needs you!
Volunteers are required for some of the clubs more active positions. In particular for the roles of President, Newsletter Editor, & Porieria Editor.
If you have the time and the skills for any of these positions then we would like to hear from you.
Please contact Peter Poortman on email@example.com or (09) 817 1397.
Other Club News
. Saturday 11/Feb/2012 is the tentative date for a club trip to Leigh Marine Laboratory.
. Kerry Walton of Wellington is interested in establishing email contact with club members regarding shells. He has been collecting shells since he was a kid, and this year has been a volunteer at the National Museum (Te Papa) and also DOC. He is currently in his last year of college, and will be going to Victoria University next year to study Marine Biology. His interests are in NZ marine, land, and fresh water shells. He is happy to share knowledge as to where to dredge/go/stay around Wellington, to look for snails around the country and perhaps to exchange some material should anyone be interested. He has, for example, spare shell sand from ~500-600m in the Papanui Canyon off Otago. Kerry’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
. Lost - a shell cabinet drawer, about 5cm high, 60cm wide, 50cm deep, wood with an orange front. Last seen under a table at the right rear of the Albany Hall during the shell auction on 22nd October. If anyone knows where it may be, please advise Peter Poortman on 09 8171397.
. Items of interest for the monthly newsletter are always welcome - email to email@example.com, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.
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