I've enjoyed reading this thread immensely. I chose not to even bother when I saw the title a couple of weeks ago, evolution of my personal photography, oh please. What I've come to realize recently is the amount of knowledge it takes to make even small changes in my work. As an amateur photographer, I have no schedules, deadlines, tasking or assignments. This is freedom, especially with my work environment as it is. Why do I do this, then? I guess it is simply a love of making things, "hands on" and "brain on" while being completely engaged and immersed in seeing. I no longer build things for a living, so I must create something with my hands.
My progress has been mostly in a technical direction, but this has allowed me to gain confidence in my ability to see a scene, compress the light and then interpret through a sheet of paper what I see. What a wonderful sense of freedom in taking the shot now, compared to "sweating bullets" over exposure and development even two years ago. I started in 2000 with summer vacation, 35mm and E6, but now am using 4x5 regularly and b&w. I actually printed three color shots from last year. The majority now is in b&w, 4x5, with a smattering of 8x10 (and rollfilm for convenience although at times it is anything but convenient).
I continue to read, make small progress and work on "seeing" which is so much more difficult than looking. Thanks for posting this thread. tim