My interest, it could be argued, was "pre-ordained."

My parents, both of whom had creative tendencies, with my father having formally studied art, had decided, back in the early Seventies, that a darkroom should be built "for Dieter" in a formerly-enclosed space in the basement of the house they were looking at, as my sister and I had also accompanied them. This was the house they eventually bought. I was about four or five at the time.

However, much work had to be done on the house, which pretty much killed the darkroom idea, but the kernel of the idea lodged itself in my noggin.

I "kinda sorta" got more interested around ten years of age, and it went from there. My "first camera" was a Kodak Instamatic 126 as I recall; this eventually went to my now-departed grandmother once it had been supplanted by another one, or was simply deemed surplus; I don't remember. I do remember the "family camera" being a 35mm Voigtlander that had the misfortune of getting soaked on the beach well above the high-tide line.

The Voigtlander's replacement was a Minolta XG-1 my mother bought at JCPenney. This was the new "family camera," and I was permitted initially to use it with adult supervision. In time I got to use it with progressively less supervision until it became my high school graduation gift. This would eventually be replaced by an FM2, followed by a 500C/M as my film cameras, and a Nikon digital P&S.

I am largely self-taught, with a one-semester darkroom b&w photography course in college.