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Check Out Our New Gallery of AAS Meeting Photos!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 13:00

If you’ve been to a recent AAS meeting, you’ve undoubtedly noticed our new photographers scurrying around shooting pictures. The staff of Joson Images — Imelda Joson and her husband, Edwin Aguirre — have taken both the quality and the quantity of our meeting photography up several notches. So, you might ask, where are the results of their efforts? The answer, at least for the 223rd AAS meeting held last January in Washington, DC, is at http://photos.aas.org.

Years ago we’d publish a few dozen photos from each meeting in black and white in the AAS Newsletter, which was printed and mailed to all members. When we switched to publishing the newsletter as a PDF that we’d post online for members to download, we still published at most a few dozen photos from each meeting, usually in color. We also started posting photos on the AAS Facebook page, even while a meeting was still in progress. But we’re still talking at most dozens of photos. Joson Images shoots thousands of photos over the course of a five-day meeting. After you toss the ones in which people closed their eyes or looked away just as the shutter opened, you still have hundreds upon hundreds of really nice pictures capturing the amazing variety of people and activities that make up an AAS meeting.

With the bimonthly AAS Newsletter supplanted by more frequent email communications with members, we no longer had a suitable vehicle for publishing dozens, let alone hundreds, of meeting photos. So we decided to create something new using one of the many online photo services that have sprung up in recent years. After reviewing our choices, we settled on SmugMug for its combination of features, ease of use, and affordability. It took a while, but photos.aas.org is online at last.

Right now all you’ll find there are photos from the DC meeting — more than 1,000 of them! You can get an overview by just looking at the Highlights gallery, which includes some introductory text and more than 60 representative photos with captions. Want to dive deeper and see more photos? There are six folders to explore, each containing multiple galleries: Prize & Invited Talks, Press Activities, Receptions & Gatherings, Exhibit Hall & Posters, Town Halls & Workshops, and Miscellaneous. Every gallery has a brief description, but most of the photos lack captions, as it would be impractical to write so many.

As a demonstration of one of our new photo gallery's advanced features, here's a slide show featuring selected images from the DC meeting:

So far we’ve posted only small image files suitable for online display. If you find one you like and want to grab it for your own website or for other personal use, that’s fine — just right-click (or the equivalent) and choose “Save Image As...” (or the equivalent). We plan to post bigger image files in the future and, perhaps, to add features such as the ability to download high-resolution images and order paper prints.

Now that we have the infrastructure in place for photos.aas.org, we plan to add new galleries with each new meeting, beginning with the 224th AAS meeting in Boston — and our goal is to upload photos within weeks of the meeting’s conclusion. We’ll also work backward to add galleries for the 222nd, 221st, and 220th AAS meetings held in Indianapolis, Long Beach, and Anchorage (the first meeting shot by Joson Images), respectively. We’ll create galleries for photos from some recent Division meetings too. You can find some photos from earlier meetings, though generally without much information about them, on Picasa, which we no longer maintain.

We welcome comments on, and suggestions for, our new photo gallery; please send them by email to Crystal Tinch.

Richard Tresch Fienberg
Press Officer & Director of Communications
American Astronomical Society