I've been an avid amateur photographer since grade school, but didn't have the proper time to devote to it until I retired from my job as an air traffic controller in November of 2001. Since then, I have devoted much more time, concentrating my efforts on perfecting the craft.
As for the "art of photography", I think it might be a bit presumptuous of me to call myself an artist. As an outdoor landscape and wildlife photographer, I take care of the technical issues related to making a good photograph that can be enjoyed for many years, and let nature take care of the art. All I have to do is interpret what I see.
Since I’ve made the switch to digital, I realize that I have many tools available to me for the “interpretation”, but I haven't forgotten where it all started. I still remember the smell of a new roll of film as I placed it in my camera, and the harshness of the fixer in the darkroom. It’s not that I like those smells by themselves, but that they represent to me what was about to happen; that I was about to preserve something for all time; capturing something that maybe others did not see, and show them the world where they live, in case they don’t have the time to look for themselves.