One of the things I most cherish about photography is the opportunity it provides for exploration and discovery. I don't need to be an intrepid bushwacking explorer or cutting-edge scientist in order to experience the joy of discovering new things, as long as I have an open mind and a camera. I can follow my curiosity wherever it leads me, be it a novel subject, a way of reinterpreting a familiar subject, an unusual color palette, or a new technique, visual metaphor, or idea.
The best part is that these discoveries can happen at just about any place and time - from a wilderness landscape with epic light to a humble nearby nature conservancy in the middle of the day. It helps to hone my observation skills and to take interest in my surroundings at the present moment, no matter how mundane or spectacular it might be. Ultimately, that elevates my lived experience whether I manage to make a photograph or not.