I've had a camera in my hands for the best part of 50 years.
When I was 14, it was a Brownie or a Polaroid; later a Kodak Instamatic; and later still an SLR. In college, I spent time in the darkroom developing film and printing it. The precision of temperature and chemical bath solutions appealed to me, and the ability to 'develop' a printed image by manipulating the light that fell on the photo paper was a seductive form of magic, a dark art.
In 1992, I became intrigued by Photoshop 2.5 (a.k.a. Brimstone) but had no images to work with. So I bought my first digital camera. I hated it. It took bad pictures, and I mean "it," not me. Everything was auto and auto delivered poor exposure, poor focus, poor contrast, poor color. I returned it and bought a different one that was better but still quite primitive by SLR standards.
As a result - I was hooked again on photography. Between 1992 and 1999, I bought a new digital camera just about every year. I had moved abroad and was annoying my friends by emailing 640x480 pixel photos. This was pre-Broadband so a 0.3 megapixel image took a long time to receive - maybe 5-6 minutes. To reduce the annoyance factor, I built my first photo sharing website from scratch using Microsoft's Front Page. Using the Wayback Machine Internet Archive – it’s fun to see some of the early primitive attempts – but it was pretty great at the time.
I took my final film image in 1999 and have been 100% digital since then.
Photoshop has gotten better. My Photoshop skills have improved. Cameras have gotten better. My photographic techniques have improved. I like architecture and cityscapes. I shoot commercial architectural photos for builders, architects and owners. I like competitive photography. Recently my team won the World Photo League championship. I like travel photography. My photos have been published in newspapers, magazines and textbooks. But in the end, I shoot because I like creating beautiful images.
When I leave this world, I hope to have a camera in my hands and if there’s internet access from the beyond, I hope to share photos.