For me, it's a major catalyst to get the backback on, get outside, and walking, and hiking and shooting....which boils down to: 1. help keep me healthy 2. help me relax 3. Not take life so seriously 4. the images are a bonus 5. gets me out in the wilderness away from the stale indoor air. There are more, but I'll stop here.
And so, what's in it for you's?
You are making me think on a Saturday....
Well, it seems I rarely see things as others do. Now this is probably true for us all, but in my case I express it. I deeply enjoy what nature shares with us and when something catches my eye it also catches my soul. It just grips me and I want to suck it in and try to share it with others. Of course, the trick is to capture it in a way that exprsses waht I see and feel in that moment. I also enjoy the opportunity to capture moments of nostalgia.
For example, near my home there is a large area of farmland being redeveloped with large, ugly, cloned homes. Over some months the tilled fields faded, then the trees, then the farm buildings. As this went on some new features were added: the outline of streets, a pond, etc. At one stage the only thing left was a large white farmhouse, forlorn and abandoned. It looked totally out of place, as if it had been plumped down at random. I wondered about the families that lived there, the generations, the lives. I so wanted to capture that - unforunatley a business trip destroyed my opportunity. In any case, that's the sort of thing I cannot describe well in words, but a well composed image would have expressed my reaction.
I will learn to have a camera with me at all times!!
I also appreciate some of the points you mention - the outdoors etc.
I was thinking about all this a few nights ago when I attended one of Michael Reichmann's Lightroom seminars. At the start he was running a slideshow of a wide variety of images. There were many that could abosrb me for a long, long time. Magnificent shots that brought the location to life by expressing colour, texture, atmosphere and so on.
I also enjoy the learning, the evolution.