I first studied photography, and that was when it really took off as a hobby, at school. I studied for a GCSE in Photography when i was 15-16, working with black and white 35mm and pinhole cameras. I loved, for two years, the prospect of spending hours in the darkroom - that magic of seeing your photo emerge before your eyes.
My teacher, a huge fan of black and white, introduced me to Sebastiao Salgado http://www.terra.com.br/sebastiaosalgado/ (please do visit his site, you won't be dissapointed!). Since then his work has been a continual inspiration, especially the social aspect of his work and studies. I hope in the future to spend a few years working on some photo essays, to just immerse with people and capture life at every extreme. Evidently, when you see his work, my photos are nothing like his in terms of quality, or construct, but we all develop our own style, and we can only aspire to take photos of that level. The inspiration comes through the use of light and the bravery and humanity.
And now....since joining the digital revolution, i have come in from the cold, and suddenly witnessed the world through a million eyes (and lenses!) and seen just how many amazing photographers there are out there. I have been on Zooomr the past two years and seen some wonderful photos, but coming here, i have seen such a high standard of photos, really individual styles and innovation.
so now, i have to agree with some other posts lately, you people have become the inspiration, setting the standards and giving me new ideas, and with humility and kindness too. I get the feeling here that people all live and breathe for creativity and good photos and to see more of the world around them, and not compete or sneer, or have not time for others. I am glad i joined!!! Thanks again all!