I'm an old dude... an antique even. Had a love affair with photography when I was a VERY young boy. My dad tried to show me how to develop film.... in a closet in my grandparents garage... under a red safe light. (Didn't work, but he tried and I was hooked.) That didn't work so he showed me how to make photos with a contact printer... something you could do without complete darkness.
Years later, I LOVED the smell of my darkroom. The fun of seeing images pop into life from the paper in the tray...something created out of the pure white of the page developing right under the safe light, right before my eyes. MAGIC!
Then, inspired by attending a Nikon seminar in Dallas, TX... I built my own developing rig for 35 mm slides...Kodak Ektachrome.... per that photographers suggestions. It took 9 different chemical mixes to process the slide films... so it was a large plastic trash can holding 9 pieces of sewer drain pipes for the different chemicals.... filled with a water jacket... and an aquarium heater to keep the entire 'soup' mix at the same and proper temperature. Primitive, but worked.
That development lead to landing a job developing slide film for the public information officer for East Texas State University, Texarkana.... boring work for sure.... but it helped pay for my own chemicals. (Boring means developing and cutting and mounting countless slides of various people grinning at the camera while pretending to be shaking hands.... think... current politicians. As fake as it gets. LOL )
Then life got in the way. No way to support a young and growing family and still indulge in photography, and I knew I'd never be the great photographer that could make a living out of the hobby... so sadly I let many years pass.
Digital photography is fun, but those who only know it have no idea of the joys they are missing from the old 'ways' when you simply couldn't afford to take 500 photos to get one good shot....... and then wait a very long time for your film and photos to be processed so you could actually see what you had on film.
I LOVE my DSLR for sure, but I also miss the old ways at times.
Semi retired now.... and FINALLY with my hands on a camera with the Nikon name on it... No, it won't make me a better photographer... A good photographer can make great photos with an 'el-cheapo' camera... its just something I've wanted since the days of developing slide films of grinning, hand shaking, fake people.
I'm enjoying taking photographs that please me... because these days, I'm the only one I have to please.
Amazing how many years it takes someone to learn that simple truth. Do what you love and worry not about what someone else may think of it. Create what you enjoy... and to those that don't like it..... be a cat, and "Hiss" on them.
Love your life my friends. It's far shorter than you think. Don't be just another 'snapshot'.. Paint your world as you see it with you camera. Your interpretation of what you see is always the best.... for you.
To the many really great photographers whose work I have enjoyed viewing on Deviant... Thank you for sharing your world with me. I see it far different than I did when I was in my 20's.