Today’s quote I found while cruising Entrepreneur Magazine and it was in the editor’s note.

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” Ralph Waldo Emmerson.

The editor talks of playfulness coming to a halt as we get older. As children we are happy to push a button to see what it does. We proudly display our artistic creations. We run and jump just because we can! Then as age and other people’s opinions begin to beat us down we become more conservative in what ways are willing to experiment with new things while trying to learn. In my Photoshop classes I have always exhorted people to play, play and play some more. Push a button and see what happens. Ask your self, “What if I do this?” Then do it. A mistake? Cool! You just learned something. Try again… And, again. Then comes the, “Wow, that looks cool!” moment when the button you pushed or new technique you tried is wonderful.

This is really hitting home for me as I move to the micro four thirds format with my Panasonic Lumix cameras. The GH3 AND GX7 have so many new features and possibilities it can be a little overwhelming. I kept trying to create a really good image without trying new things. But, as I started to take my own advice and try new settings, see what happens when I push this or tweak that I find the wonder that I had when I first started photography. It’s like having a darkroom in my hands. I’m more excited and energized than I have been in years. (and those who know me know I am always pretty excited about photography so it’s really saying something!) Am I making mistakes? Yep! But it doesn’t matter. As I make the mistakes I am learning new techniques, creating new looks in camera that I was never able to before. And, as I play I’m able to get more and more creative with my image making. How cool is that?

So even though you didn’t ask for it let me pass on a little advice… Be willing to fail because in failure you find your greatest, and quickest, learning curve.

gregory heisler photographer photoGregory Heisler Portrait Photographer I love this look straight out of camera. High contrast Black & White with a bit of glow around the darkest areas. This look has already sold to a couple clients! (Thanks to my fellow Lumix Luminaries for the tip to get me started with that one!)

Kristen jensen ands Frederick Van Johson photoIn-camera panoramic stitching is a wonderful feature in the Lumix GX7 I’m having fun pushing it to limits. How well does it do in a moving person situation? That depends on how much the person is moving. If you get everyone relatively still it’s pretty cool… This is Frederick Van Johnson interviewing Kristen Jensen at the Lumix Lounge Live at PhotoPlus Expo in New York last week.

If you have a photo group and would like to have me or one of the other Luminaries speak it’s very possible Panasonic will cover the costs. You supply the venue and the photographers. Pick your subject and speaker and we’ll do the rest.