Picture Methods Podcast 2020 Episode 3

Picture Methods Podcast Art Featuring Scott Bourne

Picture Methods Podcast 2020 Episode 3

Thanks for joining me on the flagship podcast of the PictureMethods blog where we deliver free insights and inspiration for photographers. The show drops on the first Friday of each month.

Today we have a special guest who will pull back the curtain on how camera stores work. More on that in a minute.

Also, in a first, we have TWO guests on today’s show. Skip Cohen is up first with exciting news about the Platyball! Skip and I go way back and he’s a giant in the photo industry with stints at Polaroid, service as President of Hasselblad USA, an executive involved in WPPI and Rangefinder Magazine and now operating Skip Cohen University and acting as CMO for Platypod. We talk about the new ball head called the Platyball. Check out the Platyball Kickstarter.

I also have a chat with Noah Buchanan. He works for Hunt’s Photo & Video and gives us a behind the scenes look at the camera store business, which I found fascinating.


The Camera Imaging Products Association says that camera sales fell year over year in January by 19%. Combining this with a downward trend that has been the main story for the last year or so and the virus outbreak which will be impacting production for some companies, it looks like a bleak year for the camera business.

This trend has been fueled by things like Instagram and TikTok and much better cameras in smart phones. The camera companies had a chance (five or even 10 years ago) to help prevent this from happening but they passed. Had they focused more on teaching photographers to print and/or delivered cameras that make it as easy to share pictures online as it is with a smartphone, I don’t think the news would be so dire. I am wondering if it’s too late now to even try those ideas.

I am the kind of photographer who depends on interchangeable lens cameras. I don’t see a path forward as a bird/wildlife photographer without “real” cameras and lenses. But I do know there are other genres of photography where pros may start moving to smartphones.

This means that ILC cameras will become niche products. Why am I mentioning this? Because I want you to brace yourself for what’s coming. Fewer new camera announcements and higher prices.

Trends come and go. It’s possible that ILC cameras will come back in fashion, especially if there’s ever a disruption over at Instagram or sites like it. But for now, expect that demand will continue to shrink so ILC camera manufactures will have no choice but to lower supply and raise prices. You’ve been warned.

On the good news front…this hasn’t had a major impact – yet.

Every major camera company (except Panasonic) has announced new cameras and lenses this year. Perhaps Panasonic is waiting for Photokina.

I want to quickly mention that I do have a camera giveaway going on right now. That and other cool prizes are available to the winner of my next Picture Methods contest. There is a link in the show notes that will show you how to enter. It’s absolutely free and open worldwide except where prohibited by law.

And before I get to the Q&A segment, I want to mention that my 2020 Bosque del Apache Photo Tour sold out very early and there was enough interest to open up a second tour. This one is Nov 27-30 and yes that is close to Thanksgiving, but it’s also one of the best times to find lots of birds at the refuge. I have already sold five of the nine seats for that photo tour. If you’re interested, you’ll find a link in the show notes to the tour info.

Next Up – time for everyone’s favorite part of the show…


  1. What is the best way to focus on the eyes of birds and animals?
    Danny Pickens
    Whitehouse, Texas
  2. Some photographers, and photo workshop leaders, bait owls with live mice, to get great shots. What is your opinion of this practice?
    Tom Knudson
    Truckee, Ca.
  3. When photographing a new to you animal or bird how long do you research that animal and what do you need to know about them before you go to the field and photograph? Also what are some good resources to use to research a specific animal?Thank you for your wisdom. Love the show.
    Rudi Clark
    Ottumwa, IowaRemember, without the Q – there can be no Q&A so send me your photography related questions via email please… scott@picturemethods.com – please also include your name and town if you want to have your question read on the show.


This month I want to speak to everyone about the crazy world in which we are living. No, I cannot tell you the meaning of life, nor do I have any answers to dealing with tribalism in politics, major infectious disease, or wars, racism, famine, etc.

What I do know is that you…you and I, we hold the key to making it all better, or at least mitigating all that negativity. How? Simply by making art and sharing it often, every day if possible, to as many people as possible, without looking for any reward besides the natural high you get when you try to help.

The healing power of art and nature could be real after scientists discovered they boost your immune system. It’s now a proven fact. Art can fight off disease, say scientists.

Art works to motivate, inspire and educate those who view it. Art enhances understanding and acts as a source of stimulus.

Artists, from Edvard Munch to Tracey Emin, have demonstrated that art can even heal a broken heart by turning pain into gain.

Someone once said, “Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you. Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

My point here is simple. If you feel overwhelmed by the problems the world faces, you are not alone. And, you are not helpless. You can share your art. If all of us commit to that and do it often, and from a place of peace and joy, we will make a difference. We may not fix everything or see results right away, but I am convinced after more than 65 years on his planet, art heals. The question for you is simple. Do you want to help heal? I hope so and I’m rooting for you.

Wrapping up…

Next month, I’ll have another special guest join me on the show.

Also, please do me a favor if you like the show. Please subscribe (for free) to the iTunes version of the show – even if you listen somewhere else. It helps us gain traction. Please consider subscribing (for free) to the blog – you can use the little black box that appears in the sidebar of every post to do that. It will give you updates every time there’s ANYTHING new at Picture Methods. And lastly, please consider signing up for my free quarterly newsletter – you can do so at http://bit.ly/picturemethodsnewsletter

If you do sign up for either blog updates or the newsletter you are automatically eligible to win cool prizes during the regular giveaways I do for the show and the blog. You must be 18 years old to participate. Open worldwide except where prohibited by law.

I really hope you enjoyed this episode of the Picture Methods podcast – see you next month.

SPECIAL GUEST THIS MONTH – Noah Buchanan’s Instagram Page

Blog: PictureMethods

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Don’t forget to enter our new camera gear giveaway !!!

If you want to go to Bosque del Apache with me in November, there are four seats left for my workshop. Visit this link.

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