I used to take a lot of macro shots of flowers as I traveled and did a lot of hiking in varying ecosystems. Playing with focal depth and framing was a great pleasure, and my shots were frequently something I was really proud of.
Then I had a roommate say in a pseudo off-hand passive aggressive way that she didn't understand nature photography - "I mean, it's not like the photographer made the flower, it was already there."
I really felt it undermined some of my best efforts, while clearly not understanding anything about photography. But then she also felt a $200 point and shoot was superior to all my oversized stuff.
I guess these days I'm too lazy to carry around more than an iPhone, and not interested in spending a lot of money on that hobby. I doubt that comment has had an impact on my passion for the hobby, but then again, I remember that comment with glaring clarity and it's been about 8 years.
Your camera takes great pictures.
Thank you. Your mouth gives great compliments.
"This dinner is excellent, you must have a nice oven."
Having said that, having worked with a photographer for a while, I don't consider what I do "real photography"... that woman thought about shots for months, planned them for weeks, made them in hours or over the course of days! Now that is actually what it says on the tin, "painting with light".
So without any bitterness, I simply cannot call what you and I do, no matter how much we enjoy it, the same thing. It would be like comparing writting a shopping list to "writing", to Kafka or something. It may seem to be the same act to the casual observer, but it really isn't. But then again, by that standard most professional photographers aren't photographers either. Hmm I'm rambling, sorry; that woman impressed me loads, what can I say. So obsessed, so good.