Photography is one of my hobbies.
I'm learning more every day, and probably spend too much time on it than I should. (I need to get out and go fishing too, but the lake is way low. Plus it is hot during the day, real hot. It's 100+ degree, cloudless days here in north central Texas.)
All I want is to improve my photography. I have ZERO aspirations of a career in photography, but I do want to improve my skills.
I took photography my senior year in high school, shooting a Canon AE1 in the early 80's ('82/'83 to be exact). Then didn't pick up a camera until roughly 1997 when I contracted with Fire Rescue Magazine to write feature and print articles. I needed photos like this for my articles. I didn't really plan them out, in fact my wife shot most of the early photographs on film at my request and direction.
So I bought an N70 and shot crappy film shots. Like these:
Then I bought a small Sony digital, which was really expensive at the time, but I saved money on processing.
Then I bought a D40, trashed it taking pictures in smoke, same with the D50 and D70. I took better care of the D80 and traded it in on the D7000 that I currently shoot. I switched from shooting 50/50 JPG/RAW to 99.9% RAW.
I've also upgraded from MS Paint through the free versions of preloaded graphics software to LightRoom and PS. I've got all of my digital pictures I can find sorted and easily viewable in LR now. It's easy to see the improvements when I look at a 2003 file against a 2013 file. Much harder to notice when I look at the pics in order - baby step improvements are hard to see.
And in 2012 I decided to educate myself. The internet is a trove of information whereas way back when, all I had was access to a small town public library and the occasional bookstore.
In any case, it's just a hobby. As I said, I currently have ZERO aspirations to try to make a living in photography (but every photograph I make is for sale).