Until 1995, I considered photography one of my hobbies.
As a little kid, I remember borrowing my parents' instamatic and those old flash cubes. And after taking four pictures, I remember splitting open those flash cubes and reducing them to paper, plastic, and powder. The chemicals in that powder may be why I don't have a Nobel Prize yet.
In about fifth grade I got my own Kodak disk camera, and I'm sure my mother's house is still filled with those little rounds negatives rolling all over the place. I spent several years playing with that camera and taking pictures of everyone and everything I could. I would then bike over to the sports supply store to get them developed.
By the time I was in college I began to get in serious. I bought my first "real" cameral in 1990. That Pentax K1000 was a tank and still works today. It traveled all over the country me, and even survived a flight from Paris, France to Great Falls, Montana as checked baggage. I learned to shoot in Black and White and process my own images. I have sheets of negatives now.
After graduating college I even picked up my own enlarger and set up a darkroom in my house.
But I didn't use it much. In 1995, photography dropped off my list of major hobbies.
Traditional hobby photography has taken a big hit over the past decade or so. Sometime in the early nineties, people who would have been gotten deep into photography instead went into computers. Both hobbies took a lot of time, money, and attention. Like many other enthusiasts, I had to choose between being a computer geek and a photo geek. I chose computers.
Photography didn’t disappear completely. My first job in Idaho was photographing someone's wedding. I used that tank of a camera on various road trips and to take picture of tulips in Washington. But it went into storage about 5 or 6 years ago when I switched to a digital point and shoot.
The digital point and shoot cameras I've used since then have been fine. I saved a lot of money on film and I've taken plenty of shots I would have missed by not carrying a camera with me. But it's time to do more.