"My only formal education in picture taking was a one-term photography course in high school. My photos from that time are now lost, but as I recall, they were rather unremarkable. I did get one photo published in the school yearbook. That was the highwater mark of my photographic career. That one photo is still the only photo that I ever got published.
After high school I went on a two month trip to Japan. It was only after I got home that I realized I didn't have any film in the camera. Probably a good thing that I didn't go into photography as a profession.
For years after that I was happy taking snapshots with my cheap plastic camera. Then in 2007 I went on another trip to Japan. This time I was determined to take some actual photos, so I bought my first digital camera. The camera I got was way over my head, so I needed to grow some actual skills. I read books, joined photography forums and practiced. My Japan photos turned out a lot better than I had hoped.
Since then it's been more gear and more practice. I currently shoot with a Hasselblad H1, a Fujifilm XT2, and a Hasselblad XPAN."
D. Koyanagi is an amateur photographer in Vancouver.