I'm kind of proud of this photo, taken in the arid foothills just east of Albuquerque when we were there last month. (Especially pleased that I did not need to crop or edit, the only changes I made were to resize for posting...) I like the qualities of line and texture, the simple composition, and the way the lines radiating away from the crack in the rock echo the lines in the dry plant.
For me, taking photos reinforces, records and documents my way of seeing nature, in terms of texture, pattern and contrast. Sometimes I think about painting when I'm taking a photo, but in the end I use my photos only rarely, and only very indirectly, as painting references. On the other hand, it's only in the past few years that I've started to appreciate or value my photos for their own sakes. Sometimes, I think they might even be Art--but I lack the background or understanding of photography (especially of it's more technical aspects) to believe that with much confidence.
Which really does not bother me--I'm happy with amateur status! As with a few other things in my life that I enjoy (like dance) but at which I'm not exactly proficient, photography enriches my life without being central to it. Maybe the pleasure comes from the "beginner's mind" operating so naturally when you fully realize your own lack of expertise, but totally enjoy something anyway.