Monday, October 10, 2011

The "What if..." game

San Gabriel Canyon Road approximately 3,500ft elevation. iPhone4 HDR'd.

The overarching LUCIMA philosophy that drives my learning is the question, "What if..."

Curiosity perhaps? Maybe. It manifests itself in many different aspects of my life. As an example, I was jogging in the mountains as part of my triathlon training and I kept wanting to see what was around every corner uphill. This caused me to run at least 1.5 miles uphill.

The following day I cycled 20 miles into that mountain. Of course, around every corner was another corner and just more mountain to cycle.

But without that curiosity, I wouldn't know what was around those corners. Without that curiosity I wouldn't have startled a doe not more than 30 feet away, seen a snake on the road, or observed change in plant life with increased elevation.

"What if..." is a powerful question. It opens doors. It allows you to explore innocently without judgment. More importantly however, it allows you to grow.

I still play the "What if..." game in the studio when I'm itching to try a new lighting setup or background setup. And I continue to play the "What if..." game when I'm retouching. In fact, I've noticed this game has allowed me to continue to explore the various aspects of Photoshop in depths that I would not have attained otherwise; often in the form of combining effects for multiple interactions. It allows me to question what I think I know and solidify what I really know and then build on that knowledge.

I suppose at the heart of hearts, "What if..." is a game of examining/questioning your assumptions. If your assumptions are true, then the expected outcome of this game will be totally predictable.

But more often than not, I'm surprised by what I could not foresee... and that's a powerful driver. In my workshops, students often attempt what I deem "classic lighting/photography" mistakes, and I always allow them to do so saying "Let's find out!". This experiment always serves two purposes: 1) It allows them to learn through their mistakes and 2) It always me to check my assumptions.

Because what if I'm wrong and they've discovered the best thing since sliced bread? :)

Because without "What if..." I wouldn't be here today.

1 comment:

  1. What if I would try this as well? :-) Cool idea.