maybe it's genetic?
It's possible. My grandpa was a sign painter for years doing commercial work for Pacific Power before semi-retiring to do custom sandblasted signs from his garage. Sometime in the 70's, he dabbled in oil paintings (which are pretty damn good), then moved onto photography. He went full on after retirement; he could work as much or little as he wanted and use the rest of the time honing his skills. (Of course from start to finish, his favorite subjects have been his grandkids....with 17, plus 6 or so great grandkids, we need to start scanning and archiving his albums.) He eventually moved to Idaho, designed his own custom house complete with darkroom, and gained some local notoriety for his rodeo, wildlife, and outdoor photography which reflected the McCall, ID area. He opened and ran a gallery with my grandma from 2000 until just last year when he finally REALLY retired. He retrofitted a room in a new house for a dark room, and uses another for a studio where he's again getting back into painting.
Two Christmases ago i received a Sony Cybershot 6 MP point and shoot. I used it mainly at social events and concerts. It got stolen last Halloween from my own house during a giant house party. With limited zoom and simple dial controls for general outdoor/portrait type settings, this is about the best stuff I could get. (Not exactly gallery material....) As long as it was good to the naked eye, it turned out ok. Lately though I've thought about replacing the old Cybershot with a digital SLR; Nikon is the option I want to consider. Yes I've heard Canon are better. No I don't care. What little SLR experience I have with a 'real' camera has been using my grandpa's Nikons, so that's that. I've heard good things about the D40.....they're really pushing the D60 right now, but from what reading I've done it sounds like the D60 is actually lacking in some areas, and otherwise isn't worth the extra expense for someone like me who's looking for a first SLR. If I get one I'll let you know how it goes......hopefully the skills run in the family.