I'm James Hague, a recovering programmer who has been designing video games since the 1980s. This is Why You Spent All that Time Learning to Program and The Pure Tech Side is the Dark Side are good places to start.
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Photography as a Non-Technical Hobby
When I got into photography in 2004, I approached it differently from the more technical endeavors I've been involved in. It was a conscious decision, not an accident.
I'd been overexposed to years of bickering about computer hardware, programming languages, you name it. All the numbers (this CPU is 17% faster in some particular benchmark), all the personal opinions stated as fact (open source is superior to closed), all the comparisons and put downs (Ruby sucks!). I'd had enough.
Now photographers can be similarly cranky and opinionated. All the different makes and models of cameras, lenses, filters, flashes. Constant dissection of every rumored product. Debates about technique, about whether something is real art or cheating.
I didn't want any of that. I wanted to enjoy creating good pictures without getting into the photography community, without thinking about technical issues at all. No reading tutorials or photography magazines (even though I've had a photo published in a tutorial in one of those magazines). No hanging out in forums. And it has been refreshing.
I've even gone so far as to leave my fancy-pants Nikon in a cupboard most of the time, because it's so much more fun to use my iPhone 4 with the Hipstamatic app. The iPhone completely and utterly loses to the Nikon in terms of absolute image quality, but that's more than balanced out by guaranteeing that I have an unobtrusive camera with me at all times, one that can directly upload photos to my Flickr account.
Here are a few photos I've taken this year. Each one is a link to the Flickr original.
(If you liked this, you might enjoy Constantly Create.)