I took a photo class in high school, and had some interest in exploring it further in college, but didn't. It was always in the back of my mind, though.
I've always sort of snapped photos in my head of pretty things when I saw them, it was never anything I talked about or that even took more than a second, it was just a moment where I'd think something looked like art, so beautiful or ugly or interesting as to be visually compelling. Taking up a camera didn't even occur to me until I got sick. I think the compulsion came about because the beauty of the world was no longer presenting itself to me, being as confined and tortured as I was, so I had to go and find it, as a matter of survival.
My first couple of cameras were point and shoots, and they were brilliant. There was a Sony and a Nikon, and they both worked well until they didn't. The Sony got sand in it and died a quick and painful death but the Nikon is still working, save for the busted battery cover. Luckily, I've got no shame in using a duct-taped camera, it's just annoying having to disassemble the tape every time we want to transfer photos.
I've also been frustrated lately with the point-and-shoot because it seems to lack fine control over images. In good light, when a subject behaves, it works perfectly, and I've got a hundred pics on cafepress to prove it, but I lose a lot of gorgeous, interesting shots because I don't know how to compensate for light issues and can't control the actual capturing of the image as much as I would like.
Since my boyfriend has been getting more work in the photography and video industry, and I've officially become impatient with the capabilities of the point-and-shoot, he saved up for a DSLR, a Nikon D60.
I HATE IT.
Mostly, it's not a bad camera. It's user-friendly; as you're shooting, the screen shows all kinds of technical f-stop related numbers and information that I don't understand yet, but I'm sure will be fantastically useful once I do. Unfortunately, I don't really think I'm going to be able to use it. The display screen is so busy showing all those cool technical details, it doesn't show what the camera is pointing at. I have to look through the viewfinder.
Which means, I have to squint, bend, contort myself into whatever weird angle I'm trying to shoot while simultaneously struggling to figure out how the ding-dang-mother-brother thing works and what all those numbers mean and why can't I get it to focus properly, even with the fancy focusing brackets? It's a migraine every time I try to use it, and that's the opposite of what photography is supposed to do for me.
So, I hate it and have demanded it be replaced by something with a usable screen. I still have my duct-taped point and shoot, and though it's not returning the quality of images I'd like as often as I'd like, it's better than hurting myself every time I shoot.