It's my form of artistic expression. I can't sing, paint or write poetry, but I can take good pictures.
I started getting serious about photography three years ago, but was taking mostly landscapes when we were on vacation. I didn't shoot much unless we were someplace with breathtaking scenery. That's evolved over time to include just about everything, every day. When our 12-month-old son came along last spring, I became very interested in documenting his young life, so have been working hard at my portrait and indoor photography skills.
As others have said, photography has expanded the way I look at everything. I notice more details. I'm more aware of the light, it's sources and direction. I see beauty in things I didn't even notice before. Even when I don't have a camera with me I think about how I would shoot a certain scene if I did.
Photography is a way to relieve stress, but at the same time it's challenging. In addition to the artistic aspects, I love working with high tech equipment and figuring out how to use it to its full potential. I enjoy the challenge of composing and executing a shot in difficult light, or of trying to capture the beauty and feeling of a place and time.