How I “Developed” the Photography Bug
The first time I dipped my hands into developing solution I was around 10 years old. It was Mr. Johnson's fault. He was a teacher at my school, and took a few of us around on a mini black and white photography course. I vaguely recall the little kitchen off the staff room had been transformed into a dark room - almost as exciting was the fact we got to see the staff-room. The image I produced was terrible, but that wasn't the point. I'd got the bug.
Later on I bought myself a second hand Nikon film camera (it was around 1990). I studied Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure while babysitting for the BT engineer next door. I attended a photography course back in my home town (the first of many), learned how to take pictures and how to develop them in the dark room and became a member of a dark room studio. My pocket money was spent, but I was happy.
Photography was relegated to a hobby for a while when I became a lawyer (1998 - 2006). It is almost a positive that serious illness dragged me away from my legal career. After that I vowed that I would only ever pursue what I loved. I love writing, and I love photography - I never loved law. I have a creative streak in me, and it needs an outlet if I am ever to flourish.
I moved from yet another second hand film camera (pictured) to a digital camera in 2006 (Nikon D200), along with various other bits of kit. That camera traveled around Australia with me, and I loved hauling it despite it's weight. I've moved on since - but that D200 was well used - I loved that camera and still have it. The Nikon D300 (which superseded the D200) is still available and can be obtained at a very reasonable price.
Unfortunately for a long time after returning from Australia I was too ill to even be able to hold my camera. I had ME/Chronic Fatigue, and was parted from my passion. Thankfully my recovery is progressing well. Photography has yet again ignited my passion, and will never again be relegated to a "mere" hobby.