My hobby for photography started six years ago in a very uncommon way. Most people today would go out and buy a dSLR, and instantly be shooting and uploading their photos to the internet right away, but that's not me.
I started off with a fully manual 35mm film camera, Konica Autoreflex TC, to allow myself to grasp the concepts of photography much more than you would with a digital camera that does all the thinking for you. Even if somebody has a 35mm film camera you don't expect them to be developing the film them selves, you expect them to take it to a film developer. Again that's not me.
After purchasing, and shooting my first roll of film it sat for about two weeks before I did any research on how to get it developed. I found out that home developing was relatively cheap in the long run, so I purchased all the necessary equipment, and chemicals to develop my own film. I was surprised at how easy it was, and how much you can learn from it, again something that buying a digital camera lacks.
With about two years experience, and many rolls of color 35mm film developed and processed under my belt, I decided to get into black and white film, which is much easier than developing color film. The reason for the switch was because I wanted an actual darkroom to make traditional wet prints in. So, I went out and bought a second hand enlarger, Beseler 23CII, and all the equipment/accessories/chemicals to go along with it. Being in the darkroom took my photography knowledge through the roof. I learned almost as much as I did within the two years of shooting prior, as I did in about a month of processing black and white prints.
About another two years go by, and I feel it is time to finally make the leap into the digital world. So I made the purchase of a professional digital camera.