Digital Point-and-Shoot Cameras: Pros and Cons

Sales of digital point-and-shoot cameras are tanking. Nikon recently announced it is closing a factory in China. So why be interested in digital point-and-shoot cameras? Here are some Pros and Cons:


  • They are relatively cheap compared to DSLRs.
  • They are relatively small.
  • Most have zoom capabilities (that your iPhone does not have)!
  • They allow you to set exposure to some degree.


  • Most do not fit into your pocket as easily as your smartphone does.
  • The lenses are not very fast. You need the flash in low light (and you often end up with red eyes).
  • They aren’t as good as “real” DSLR cameras as far as ability to make adjustments and the quality of images.

The biggest advantages of point-and-shoot camera are their ability to zoom in and adjust exposure. When smartphones can zoom and adjust exposure point-and-shoot cameras will go into photographic history like the Instamatics have.

Speakers: 3 Reasons To Use Your Own Photos!

I hate to see questions on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn asking for the best places to find photos for a presentation. The obvious, at least to me, answer is to look through your own photos. Here are 3 reasons:

  1. You should be the expert at what you are talking about. If you can find photos online, maybe you are not the one who should be speaking about a topic. I guess I can speak about vacationing in Rome…even though I’ve never been there…just by getting a bunch of photos that others have taken! I don’t do that. I only speak about topics I really know about based upon first hand experience.
  2. It’s also silly to project an image that others may have seen before. Smiling faces around a office table look phony and usually silly. How many meeting have you ever attended where everybody is good looking, smiling, and seem to be intense…at the same time?
  3. Assuming you are not a professional photographer, the audience does not expect perfect pictures. They come to hear you, not necessarily admire your photographic skill.

Take pictures whenever you can, you never know when you can use them for an upcoming speech.

Incidentally, I took the photo of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden several years ago. I was in the perfect place at the perfect time. So when I speak about garden photography I know that nobody has has this shot exactly the way I got it. It isn’t the best photo ever taken at the BBG, but it’s pretty good. 🙂

One photo IS worth a thousand images!

My iPhone says it has 23,333 images stored in it. They take up a lot of space. I don’t really care about most of them. I don’t have any prints of any of them!

However, I do have a picture (of me) taken about 65 years ago. My parents saved it. I save it. It’s real. You can hold it in your hand.

How many memories have you actually printed out. All it takes is a 4″x6″ print. It will be much more important in years and decades to come than your last image, in my case, IMG_5659.jpg.

I like Blackwings…

I like Blackwing pencils. They write very smoothly. They can’t roll off a table. The pencils have their own slogan, “Half the pressure, twice the speed.” You can even replace the eraser. All of that is great.

The reason I really like them is the story behind the company. No, I’m not going to tell you the story. You’ll have to go here to find out about it.

Including stories in your writing and public speaking makes a big difference. Stories make things interesting and sell.

Stories make a difference…even with pencils.

A quarter each, 3 for a dollar.

Teachers have an on-going problem. Students come unprepared. Often, they don’t have a pen to write with. If you let a student borrow a pen, it will probably never return. If you don’t provide one the teacher is “mean.” When I was a middle school teacher I came up with a simple solution. I put a note on the chalk board that looked like this:

Selling Bic pens was not meant to be a profitable business. However, it served a purpose. And, adding a bit of humor made it a fun activity. Several students deliberately got 3 in order to take advantage of the “deal.” Adding humor can make an otherwise serious activity much easier on everyone.


Is this picture perfect? Some people think that the background is a distraction. You can see some greenery and bricks. Other people may question the flower’s colors. They’ve seen nicer colors. A few people would add that it is in the center, thereby ignoring the “rule of thirds.” None would say it’s a perfect photo.

The good news is that it was never meant to be. I have no idea what a perfect photo is, since I’ve never seen one. Every photo that I’ve ever seen, including those by such famous photographers as Ansel Adams, has been criticized in some way.

I happen to like this flower. That’s all. If you do, great. If you don’t, sorry.

Perfection is truly in the eye of the cynic. It doesn’t exist, so try less hard to find it.

Space is valuable…don’t waste it.

It’s true. Supermarkets are much smarter than the average professional…doctor, lawyer, writer, photographer, and on and on. Supermarkets know the value of space. If something doesn’t sell, they won’t keep it on the shelf. Every foot counts.

Professionals on the other hand, give away valuable space…on their business card. The backs of most business card are empty. For a few extra dollars they can have more information that could be a value to your customers. Don’t waist the back of your business card…space is valuable.

Speakers: Do you want good or effective photos?

They aren’t the same. A good photo doesn’t mean that it will be effective. An effective photo doesn’t have to be good.

For a photographer, a photo is good if it is sharp, colorful, composed nicely, exposed properly, and artistic. When a speaker looks at a photo all of these qualities are secondary. Speakers want a photo to be effective by helping him or her make a point.

An effective photo helps emphasize a point. To do so it can be soft, under or over exposed, black and white, and composed appropriately.

Photographers look for art, speakers look for practicality. A bride gazing at her flowers is artistic, a bride looking straight ahead with a smile…sells.

10 Tips for Your First (or next) Presentation

It’s not easy to get up and speak in public. Here are 10 basic tips that may help:

1. Be nervous. The trick is to use your nerves in a positive way. Everybody gets nervous…even actors and politicians who speak for a living.
2. As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared.”
3. Arrive early.
4. Speak to some people in the audience. When you get up to speak, you should think about talking to them.
5. Use props instead of notes…if possible. Looking down at notes is distracting. It is also a problem if you loose your place. Having props lined up in the order you need them will remind you of what you want to say.
6. If you need to use PowerPoint, make sure you are familiar with it and the equipment that will be used when you speak. Practice.
7. If you use PowerPoint, don’t read what is on the slide. However, you can use it to remind you of what you want to say.
8. If you forget to say something, only you will know it.
9. Do not try to memorize your speech. Trying to memorize a speech and then forgetting in in the middle can be devastanating.
10. The audience wants you to be successful. Nobody comes to listen to a speaker saying, “I hope he bombs.” If you have something worth saying, the audience will appreciate it.

Making Your First Presentation Is Like Going On Your First Date

There’s too much talk about the fear of public speaking. It’s not that bad. It can be best compared to a first date.

You get nervous. You’re afraid of what the date (audience) will think of you. You want to make a good impression. What do you do?

You try to find out about the person (or the audience). The more you know the better your date (presentation) will be.

You prepare what you want to say…especially in the first minute so you don’t appear tongue tied. Think about things you want to say…a few important things is all you need. Dates and audiences really don’t want you to fail. It makes them uncomfortable. They want you to succeed.

Dress nicely. Dates and audiences make quick judgements on your appearance. If you look bad, they assume that they are in for a long evening (presentation).

Get there on time…early if possible.

Take a deep breath.

Ring the bell…start talking.

The chances are you will forget some of the things you wanted to mention. The good part is that your date (members of the audience) don’t know what you had in mind to say. Unless you tell them, they’ll never know.

The chances are your date (presentation) will be at least fine. If you get another opportunity for a date (presentation), it will be that much easier. No kidding. Speaking is as easy as your first date.