It only took two years go from start to art
I bought my first Canon way back in 2002, and being the gear nerd that I am I started collecting all sorts of bits and pieces which quickly progressed into pricey lenses, and upgrades. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but I knew L-series lenses were outstanding... for some reason.
Photography is more than just point and shoot, it's more than just a collection of beautiful images that you got lucky on. There is technique to it, there is skill and understanding and without that you are a happy snapper and that was me... a happy snapper! I never took the time to understand the craft or the art, learn just how the camera works, or why certain compositions would work and why others wouldn't. Hell composition was barely a work on my radar let alone in daily use. So around 2010 I sold all my gear.
In 2015 a friend of mine started publishing images on social media which made me sit and think maybe I had been doing it all wrong, maybe just maybe I need to invest real time and begin to understand all facets of photography not just being a consumer leach and soaking up every gadget I could find. Don't get me wrong when I got challenged by astro photography I was looking at every gadget known to man because "I need that to take better photos" but really my journey started with a single lens, and a low end mirror-less camera.
Now I am here, two years on... My photographic journey has taken me to different countries chasing dark skies and mind blowing landscapes, my drive has taught me so much more than I could ever have expected yet humbled me enough to know that you will never know it all. I look back today at my first every photo of the Milky way and I think to myself "you should be proud at just how far you have come" as not only has my photography come from happy snaps to art but I as a person have grown and evolved.
When I was a child I was petrified of the dark, when I would swim in the ocean I would panic because of the unknown beneath me so there was a certain reluctance to stay away from thing I can not see. To this day shooting alone at night can be daunting but I have learnt that I need to manage my fears and push them aside and in doing so I have meet some fellow photographers, who I may even call friends, out in the black of night who simply just enjoy the stars as much as I do.
So thank you astrophotography you have changed my life... and thanks Em