Back in high school, I did so some art. I remember painting there in Mr. Nichol's art room with Craig Hoffman and a few others whose names I have forgotten. I learned to draft as well, which is an art.
In college, I took a few drawing classes. I won a camera in some raffle somewhere, and I took pictures with it, but never many.
I don't think I took many pictures until I bought my first camera. It was a nice compact with a zoom. I bought it for my trip to London back in 99. I was pleased that it produced some nice pictures. I continued taking pictures with it, but my results were always hit-or-miss.
My first digital camera was an HP 315, a truly horrid beast. It had no zoom. The colors were dull. It had a slow response. Sometimes, it just did not take a picture. However, what it did provide to me was time in the saddle. I learned how to take a decent picture with the camera. I learned what was important. I took enough pictures to get a reasonable picture out of a lousy camera.
My patience with my HP ended on my honeymoon. We went to Oregon in 2005, and this camera did Oregon no justice. In the autumn, I did my research, and picked up a Canon Powershot S2. What a lovely camera! My test run produced some beautiful pictures. The camera was responsive, had a 12x zoom, took pictures faster, took video, and had controls. It had many controls.
Getting to know the S2 took a while as the camera itself had so many options. What it gave me the best was information in the viewfinder, and an approximation of the photo in the viewfinder. I could see and interact with the settings, and learn what the settings actually did and did for me, and the choices involved in those settings.
The viewfinder also did wonders for me in black and white. When I took a b/w picture, I could frame the shot for b/w. That trained my eye. To my surprise, I began taking good b/w pictures. I did not imagine that I would ever do that.
This autumn, I sold off boxes of old comic books, and a shelf of role-playing games, and bought myself a used Canon XT. I am now learning about lenses, and the options that your lenses give you. My current lense is a f/1.8. I have a 50mm and a 28mm. Most recent photos are with the 50mm, as I only just picked up the 28mm yesterday.
In the long run, I don't know where this is going. My next goals is likely showing my work.