PowerPoint and Photography: Conversation with Rikk Flohr

Created: Saturday, November 17, 2007, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 8:20 am

A refugee from 18 years in corporate management and marketing, Rikk Flohr (pictured to the right) turned his attention inward to his 20-year love affair with Photography. He founded his design firm Fleeting Glimpse Images in January 2006 and divides his days between various print and screen design projects, presentation consulting and, of course, photography. He lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself, your work, and how you got started with photography.

Rikk: My first serious camera arrived in the form of a wedding present. I still remember it-Minolta XGM. I still have it. It still works. Within months, I was burning through a dozen rolls of film a month and spending my free time packing my burgeoning gear around they Wyoming countryside. I ran the gamut, shooting weddings, graduations, fine art, landscape and anything I could think of. It gave me a good grounding in the basics. Soon I graduated to Medium Format and things got really expensive.

At the same time, my career with a diesel engine distribution company took off and I found myself having little time for photography any longer. My degree was in Computer Science back in the day in which personal computers were a dream and mainframes the reality. But, as the PC revolution hit the corporate world, I found I could leverage myself into the graphics end, eventually taking over marketing, print and web development and presentations for my company. I still remember my first presentation program, Applause II from Ashton Tate. I did a lot of amazing things with that on that lowly 286.

In 2005, I dusted off my photography passion and invested in the new-fangled digital gear. Eight months later I relapsed and spent all my spare time in the field shooting. My company received a letter of resignation and I founded my design firm to leverage my hard-won marketing and design skills and pursue my twin passions of writing and photography. My firm now works in capture, high-end digital stills or high definition video; design, for prepress, web or other media; and present, building presentations and coordinating events. Photography is where I like to be and when I am not shooting, I am conniving ways to teach photographic skills or teach image editing. Recently, I had the good fortune of serving as Artist In Residence for the National Park Service spending 35 days in the field perfecting my craft.

Geetesh: How can PowerPoint users benefit from using their cameras.

Rikk: PowerPoint users have a unique opportunity to leverage digital photography. Presentations, visually at least, consist of essentially three elements: Words, Illustrations (Including Charts) and Photographic Images.

For content creators, the immediacy and ease of digital capture is a great benefit. An image of a person for the next slide deck is just a digital photograph away. Whether that person needing photographed is in the office next to you or across the country, today’s digital imaging, coupled with email, puts that image into your next slide in the next ten minutes. That was something film could never deliver. The low resolution nature of presentations means that any camera is capable of creating acceptable content for PowerPoint. With a little imagination, modest amount of technique and some basic understanding of image editing software, you can create a photo of your company’s latest product and have it into a slide before the film could be taken to the developer. No longer are slide jockeys limited to the canned clipart or the antiquated photos gathering electronic dust in lost folders on the corporate servers-fresh content is always just a click away. Why use a cheesy clipart image of two hands shaking when you can take a picture of your company president shaking hands with a real live customer? Why settle for predesigned slide backgrounds when you can set your point-n-shoot on close-up (the little flower on most digital cameras) and find a real, contextually accurate image to use?

I feel one of the greatest ways a slide wrangler can enhance their capitol at a company is to embrace digital photography and image editing as a way to enhance and distinquish their company’s presentations. Pictures are worth a thousand words-none of them bulleted.

Categories: interviews, photos, powerpoint

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