In 1983 I was able to select Photography as an elective in High School. It was such a great experience learning how to take pictures that had a certain style or flair to them. We also got to go into the darkroom and develop our own photos. Most of it was black and white at the time, not that color wasn't around, but it was less expensive and much easier to develop black and white than color. I took stills, action shots, and photos of people. From then on, I was addicted.
Long gone are the days of spending hours in the darkroom. Today I sit at a computer and use applications, mostly Adobe products, to adjust and enhance photos. There isn't much of a wait anymore. It's like instant gratification. Go out take a ton of pictures, no worries on whether they are good or not, then come home and look at them. Costs are very minimal, so making mistakes is okay. What this really does is it gives me the opportunity to experiment and learn a lot more than I ever have about photography. I can play around with a wide variety of settings, lenses, and lighting to see what works and what doesn't. And the costs to do so are very minimal.
There is still a lot of skill involved and the camera and equipment used needs to be good. When taking photos, knowing what lighting will be good, what lens to use, and how to set up the camera is extremely important. The experimenting I have done has got me to a place where I am very good at getting many quality pictures and fewer bad ones.
The excitement of checking out the photos when I get to my computer is always there. I love sifting through all the photos I have taken and finding the best ones. Then adjusting them to be even better. Photography has been a passion of mine for a long time.