My photography journey over the past few years has been an absolute love hate relationship. I have had so many wonderful moments and so many frustrating ones. Photography has changed hugely since digital photography has come into our lives. If you search back in time I believe there was a superior quality to film print, more depth and colour, more time and care was taken. Admittedly it is maybe more cost effective to use digital photography due to having the freedom to take more images without having the printing costs. What spoils photography for me is the computer side of editing as I would rather be outside taking them. In saying that it does also have a positive where you can be more creative with your editing if that is your thing. I am in the "middle of your life phase" so in-between the techno wiz generation and the baby boomers generation. In other words I know a little bit, enough to be dangerous. Largely my work is unedited. What I mean by that is if you look at an old fashioned film strip and develop it in the dark room, it is the same thing using editing programmes, such as photoshop or lightroom to develop your images. I have not got into to many technicalities yet with editing but sadly realise to be competitive in today's world I may need to up skill. I am an self taught amateur photographer having had 5 months doing a course ten years ago which absolutely ruined my photography. What happened to me was the more I started to think about things instead of just getting out taking photos the more I seemed to fail. My confidence then did fail completely and I just stopped taking photos. What has bought me back to it passion for life and the things I see everyday along with my passion for using my photography to reach people. A lot of people always ask me what camera do I use and get caught up in equipment. I used a Canon 60D which I purchased second hand from an older gentleman who had only used it for 2000 images then felt he needed to upgrade to the newest version out. for many years it meets my needs until I recently wore it out. The key to me is the Lens you use. I have invested in some very high quality Lenses. I guess you could say it's not the size of the equipment but how you use it! If I meet young photographers I encourage then just to get out there and keep taking photos, it is the best way to learn. To me the key ingredients are light and timing, how many times do you pass the same old boring view but one day you have cool clouds or something dramatic on the skyline to make the photo. There are some incredible places in our world and a lot of people very lucky to be living in that environment but don't take photos. I know a lot of these people and to them they have these special moments carved into their memories. So my advice to anyone keen to become a photographer just get out there and take photos, don't get caught up in fancy equipment, take the moment, work with nature (especially the light). Photographers can be a competitive and secretive bunch, I am not really in that vein, I believe in helping each other out and sharing knowledge and the journey. The reality is if three or four people jumped out of the car and took a photo of the same thing you would get three or four completely different images as we all see things slightly differently. Don't get hung up on the beautiful images we see every day on Instagram etc. keep it in mind that these people get paid to do this for a living. They are in some of the most incredible places in the world. They have the latest and greatest equipment suited to that particular type of photography. They have the time (and its paid remember), and the last thing is in almost every shot that looks serene and gorgeous there will be a hundred people lined up out of view to take the same shot. Then after all that a lot are majorly edited. Don't get me wrong my admiration for some of our renowned photographers is huge but we can't measure our own photography on this. So get out there and create memories.