I'll try to keep it simple (Though I think I already violated that rule with the title of this article).
My grandfather was a shutterbug. He always seemed to be carrying a camera with him. An electrical engineer by trade, he managed to take some pretty good photos. In his later years he traveled the world with his wife of 50 years and took roll after roll of pics. Many of the photos he had processed as slides which he would share with the family.
Yeah, as a teenager it was often boring to sit through those slides.
But you know, I always appreciated it in the end. Just being able to share in someone's own personal adventure through the light projected on a screen was a fascinating process.
At the time I took it for granted, enjoyed the show and went on with my life as soon as I could. Now as I take up the camera as part of an extension to my professional life, I do feel a bit like I am carrying on some sort of tradition. (Alright, I know I -said- I'd steer away from the grandiose "Deep Thoughts" introspection...)
I never thought to ask him how much his photography meant to him, but by the sheer volume of photos he took, the time and effort he put into cataloging them and preparing presentations, I now understand it meant quite a bit to him.
The attached photo is one of the cameras from his collection which I inherited after he passed away. Someday I might see about getting some film for it and taking a few shots - before all the old-school film processors retire and/or get sucked into the digital world.