I am in my 40`s now and started photography only three years ago.
It is quite old for starting photography (or any art) compared with photographers who grew-up with a camera in hand.
Inside the photographic knowledge, there is the practice and the gear, trying to make something out of it, of course, but there is, above all, the culture, the literacy. I didn’t know what I was about to discover, thanks to my best friend, who taught me how to use my gear, but the most important, who gave me names, names of famous or growing photographers.
I won’t make a comparison of my now and then knowledge, and will only quote one of these names, one you are familiar with if you read my blog on a regular basis: Todd Hido.
Aside of such artist big names, I also discovered different artists in the genre of street photography, what I have started with. Street Photography is a huge pool of names from many countries. But my favourite always remained Japanese. With my interest for Japanese Street photographers, I grew up in looking at more classical photographers as well, not only Japanese, although mostly.
I now own approximately fifty books in many genres of photography (mainly related to street or documentary photography) and photographers from around the world. I am very proud of my little collection. Thanks to my best friend I discovered a new world that fitted my taste but at the same time that formed my taste.
I will never be such a talented photographer as the people I admire, as they are real geniuses. And because it is too late, in a sense that aside talent, you also need to have practiced a lot (e .g. « your first 10.000 pictures are the worst » – Henri Cartier-Bresson).
In another way, it is not a regret at all, as my masters are masters, and that I have to put them aside to grow up on my own. I can’t be Todd Hido but I can be myself.