Do I like photography because it allows me to spend time in the nature or do I like nature because it allows me to carry my camera and take photos? I don't think I have a decisive answer to that question. I know that I am quite happy to spend hours in my tiny backyard taking photos of worms and bees, tiny nameless wildflowers, and catching rim lighting on leaves using razor-thin depth of field. I am also happy to spend hours walking the wilderness without a camera. So I guess I am attracted to both nature and photography in equal measure.
I grew up in Kolkata (previously Calcutta, India), which is a huge city -- bustling, chaotic, colorful, noisy and charming in its own way -- and even though I haven't lived there in a very long time, I still feel at home in Kolkata whenever I go there. Though Kolkata is a bit diminished in stature now compared to its older glorious days (the birthplace of the Indian cultural renaissance and also a mighty industrial powerhouse), its pull to me from my young days remains strong and visceral.
After I completed my graduate studies in the USA, I spent several years in France (Grenoble) and started my professional career there. My time in France has left a great impression on me. Grenoble is situated in the cradle of the Alps and has spectacular surroundings; this is where I started hiking regularly in the mountains and started feeling the enjoyment of being immersed in nature. Great friends enriched that experience.
I am now a professional engineer in the surgical robotics field in the Silicon Valley, California. I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 20 years, and still cannot fully absorb the tremendous year-round weather and natural beauty this area enjoys. They exceed all superlatives and verge on statistical improbability. All I can say is that I am truly lucky.
I have been taking photographs for as long as I rememeber. However, till very recently, I have not thought about my photographs or analyzed them with any seriousness - which is analogous to a casual iPhone photographer of today, except equipped with a regular camera.
In the past few years I have attended a few photography workshops and have learned a lot from each one of them. Any photo I create these days contains DNAs of my learning from each of my teachers.