I agree with the other moderators that my photography is an out growth of my love of nature. That love began as a child growing up in various small towns across Nebraska, where beginning as a 8-10 year old, I was able to walk a few blocks to get out of town and into the woods along a river or the grassy hills and go "exploring" on my own or with friends. Family vacations always involved camping in the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming, or South Dakota and my father taking lots of slides. When I finished my PhD (Lasers, optics, and spectroscopy) and got a "real job" buying an Olympus SLR seemed perfectly natural, especially as it's size and weight made carrying it on backpacking trips easy. I went digital in late 2006 with a full frame camera and still have what I call "slide shooters" mentality in that I want to get the image right in the camera and avoid cropping.
I retired in 2011 after nearly 30 years of research for the US Navy and my wife and I still live in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC. We do have a second (hopefully retirement) home in Montana's Paradise Valley about 30 minutes from Yellowstone where I try to spend a couple of months a year much more thoroughly immersed in the natural world than is possible in the DC suburbs.
e-mail Mark Seaver