Photographs Can Tell A Powerful Story That Is Unique To Any Other Creative Format.

@Bijan Sabet

@Bijan Sabet

Bijan Sabet is co-founder & general partner of Spark Capital. We are honored that he will be one of about 80 expert speakers at our next LDV Vision Summit May 24 & 25 in NYC. We are starting our fireside chat with Bijan virtually and hope you join us at our summit next month to hear the extended live version.

Bijan is a serial entrepreneur, successful venture capitalist and photographer who prefers making pictures with his Hasselblad camera. All businesses and humanity are being disrupted and empowered by visual technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, computer vision, machine learning, artificial intelligence, video monetization, content creation, medical imaging, satellite imaging and much more. 

Evan: I used to make pictures with a Nikon F & FM and then gave them up when I wrote an article in May 2003 that cameraphones would replace point and shoot cameras. I have many questions and I am always fascinated to hear the wisdom of others who are smarter than me. That is one of the main reasons we gather experts to share their vision every year at our LDV Vision Summit. 

What is the most valuable visual content? When do people prefer to watch videos or photos? Will people prefer to enjoy 2D, 3D, 360, virtual, augmented or the next new new type of visual file format? When will cameraphones have the quality of DSLR's? When will we swallow camera pills to photograph inside our body in real-time? Why and how do people choose which camera they wish to make pictures with today, tomorrow and in the future. 

So, Bijan, you are an avid photographer who makes pictures with digital and analogue cameras. What was your favorite camera 20 years ago? 

Bijan: In those days, my favorite was an Olympus Stylus, a simple but beautiful 35mm film camera. 

 

Skateboard Park, Venice, California. Leica M3, Kodak Portra 400 © Bijan Sabet

Skateboard Park, Venice, California. Leica M3, Kodak Portra 400 © Bijan Sabet

Evan: What is your favorite camera today and why? What do you think will be your favorite camera in 20 years?

Bijan: My favorite camera today is my Hasselblad. It's a medium format camera with manual everything and no batteries. It makes 12 exposures per roll of film. Every photograph takes time and purpose. The lens on that camera is the most beautiful lens I have ever used. I just love it. 

I hope this old Hasselblad is my favorite camera in 20 years as well. The funny thing about film is that this Hasselblad could very well be my favorite a few decades from now. Can you imagine using a digital camera from 5 years ago, never mind 20 years. But with film it's more than possible. The "sensor" stays the same and the lenses are already the best. 

Old Car, Mission Street, SF: Hasselblad 503cw, Kodak Portra 400 ©Bijan Sabet

Old Car, Mission Street, SF: Hasselblad 503cw, Kodak Portra 400 ©Bijan Sabet

Evan: Why do you sometimes choose to shoot with film versus digital & visa versa?

Bijan: I always prefer to shoot film. I love the feel, the look and my emotional connection to the process. I only shoot digital when my iPhone is the only camera I have or when I need to shoot with a DSLR to capture my kids during a sporting event. 
 

David Karp: Leica MP, Leica 50mm Summilux, Kodak Tri-X 400 ©Bijan Sabet

David Karp: Leica MP, Leica 50mm Summilux, Kodak Tri-X 400 ©Bijan Sabet

Evan: You have invested in people building businesses that leverage visual content such as OMGPOP, Tumblr, Twitter, Lily Robotics among others. What are the most valuable attributes of visual content?

Bijan: I am drawn to tools, products & communities that allow & encourage creatives to express themselves. Often that is quite visual in nature. I think visual content, specifically photographs, can tell a powerful story in a unique, compelling way that is unique to any other creative format.

Ireland tunnel: Hasselblad 503cw, Kodak Portra 400 ©Bijan Sabet

Ireland tunnel: Hasselblad 503cw, Kodak Portra 400 ©Bijan Sabet

Brooklyn Bridge: Leica M9, 35mm Summilux ©Bijan Sabet

Brooklyn Bridge: Leica M9, 35mm Summilux ©Bijan Sabet

Evan: You frequently experience startup pitches. What is your one sentence advice to help entrepreneurs improve their odds for success in the LDV Vision Summit Startup Competition?

BC Grad Tech Club @davidloverme

BC Grad Tech Club @davidloverme

Bijan: Be yourself and make something amazing. 

Evan: I look forward to speaking with Bijan and all of you in more detail during our fireside chat at our LDV Vision Summit in NYC on May 24 & 25 [50% discount off tickets until April 30]. We try to make our sessions very interactive and look forward to your questions. 

Other expert speakers at our Summit are from Google, Refinery29, Facebook, Cornell Tech, Qualcomm, First Round, Lytro, Greylock Partners, Olapic, Quartz, Mapillary, Microsoft Research, CakeWorks, NBCUniversal, RRE Ventures, Magic Leap, Mine, Samsung, Enlighted, Flickr, IBM Watson, and many more….

Hope you will join us and look forward to speaking with you!