I´m a mature man (46), so 18 months ago when I bought my first camera (a Panasonic fz7), I was thinking only in a device to get sharp (in the way a newbie understand it) photographs. But when you begin to learn (in my case through the internet), Photography can be very addictive. So I begun to spend time and money on it, buying first a d40 with some basic lenses, and now a d300 with some others, What a passion for my 46!. 

As a newbie without any artistic background (I´m a matehematician), and no previous photo vices, I think I have "discovered" some facts about photography I would like to share with you (sure only personal opinions)

a) It doesn´t matter what camera or lenses you can have, or places you can visit. The only important matter is the way you "see" things around you! 

b) Digital photography is (for me) a mix of two different steps,(and both can be equually funny)  taking, and editing. You must master some editing software to control the result of the first step.

c) The way people value a photograph is very subjective. The same photograph can have different ratings in different moments and different webs. For instance, the same photo I can publish in onexposure.net ( a very restrictive place) with very good ratings, can be ignored in flickr, ipernity or Photo.net, And viceversa, and any mix. So, to get an accurated view on your work, you have to get as much different views as you can....

d) My last discovery...... My name is Jose and I am a photo-addict.....