In elementary school I was fascinated with birds, which taught me how to see subtle field markings in order to make identifications, or put another way, to become visually observant of details at a young age. Early in high school I started to draw and paint birds, and I started to tag along with my older sister on day hikes in the mountains.
Sometime around grade nine my parents let me take their old 35mm camera on overnight hikes by myself, even during winter, into the surrounding forests and moutains where I live. The slides I brought back were empty husks compared to how the things and places I photographed had made me feel inside. Wanting to learn how to take better slides started the ball rolling. When I graduated, I just knew I was going to be an ARTIST with a camera and sell to galleries...thing is...I'd never heard of Karsh, Adams, Weston, Strand, etc, etc, etc, as Canada had no real history of photography as a fine art back then (1978) that I was aware of. It just wasn't on the National cultural radar.
When I later went to college for fine arts (to improve my photography) is when I learned of the LF B&W Masters and their work. So I happened upon this all by myself I guess, because of how much those early slides didn't communicate how the scenes made me feel.