There was a moment, back in late 2004 where I had my first "hmm, I might actually be pretty good at this!" moment with the above image.
Sadly, it was also the moment I realized I wasn't likely going to be Henry Cartier-Bresson because I saw that my talent likely lay with thought-out, crafted shots more than in the vein of street captures (which I thought I loved at the time).
The above shot was a result both of mistake and of thought process. I was wandering around Scheveningen hoping for some interesting night street scenes. I then happened upon this intersection which, to me, had lots of interesting detail. I took a few hand-held shots of the intersection with some cars and trams, but they lacked any energy and simply looked like any other snap shot taken by any tourist.
I thought to myself, hmmm, what's this "long exposure" thing I keep reading about in magazines? Heck, my auto settings were giving me long shutter speeds anyway, I may as well think about how to actually do it on my own. I whipped out my manual (yes, I had it on me. Yes, I'm that dorky!), and read about shutter mode where I controlled the shutter speed and the camera did the rest. "Phew," I thought, "I only have to control one thing!" But first, with a 3.5 second exposure, I needed to find a stable surface since I didn't have a tripod yet (this image led to that purchase!). Luckily there was a handy trash bin nearby...
I must have taken 50+ shots trying to get the timing right of how long a good blur for the tram was. By then, the nice 'just after sunset' light had left the sky, so I was left with that horribly black sky. Black... hmmm... black... hmmmm Black and White!! It was a stroke of genius (as far as the word 'genius' can ever be used with me!). And I particularly love how you can see that SUV being the blurred tram waiting at the light. You have no idea how many times I've had to explain how it's possible to see it with the tram moving in front of it... not sure even I understood it at the time. ;)
Then I just worried about getting the tram motion right and enough DoF to get all the buildings in focus. And the result, which I'm still very proud of, is the first image that ever made me think... wow, I may actually be good at this whole photography thing.
And it was my foray into planning out and arranging my shots, as opposed to simply capturing what I see. This was the first of many important developmental steps in my photographic path... and I owe it pretty much to simply always having my camera with me, and luck.
Taken with a Canon 300d. 18-55mm lens at 3.5 seconds at f/11 with ISO 100. Shot at 35mm. Trashcan tripod. Luck. Converted to b&w with Photoshop CS2.