One year ago, on the day, I set my camera on manual mode for the first time ever, screwed on a 3 f-stop ND filter, and fired off my first long exposure (although not very long, admittedly, only one second, but I had no clue what I was doing by then). For me, that was also the start of my somewhat serious interest in photography, and the end of my interest in capturing everyday scenes as truly as possible to reality.
What little I know about photography today is most of all a result of using the ND filters. They've forced me to think about light, composition, and contrasts, in a very deliberate way, and have therefore been the best teachers I could have ever found.
But, second to the ND filters, I've also been constantly learning, and constantly encouraged, by you my fellow Flickrers. I am so grateful for each and every one of the comments, feedback, and cheers you've so generously provided over this past year, and I constantly feel bad that I don't always find the time to go visit your streams as often as I would wish. So, a collective heartfelt thank you to you all!
Oh, and this photo... Taken an early morning last week, just as the sun was rising in Niagara Falls, Ontario side (although the Flickr map insists on placing the Canadian side in the state of New York). And, all I can say is that waterfalls are difficult, very difficult! And, not sure if this is the final edit, but wanted to post something new on my one year anniversary as a hobby photographer :-)
Please no icons/banners/images in the comments.