Some of you will catch the photo bug which means that photography may lead to a life-long hobby or even a profession. If this becomes true for you I suggest that you make the effort to do some research and find out about the people who made photography what it is today.
You can benefit from acquainting yourself to the accumulated knowledge and experiences of some of the great photographic artists that came before you. I expect your discoveries will be entertaining and educational as well as motivational. The significance of Alfred Stieglitz is that during his early career he had a chip on his shoulder because people were not taking photography seriously. Media such as sculpture and oil painting were ‘art’ and photography was considered to be something of a gimmick. Stieglitz promoted his photography tirelessly in the US and in Europe. Even though he had little money he was able to establish and continue operating a gallery for both traditional art and photography in New York City. This brought associations with many of the great creative minds of the time. Eventually he was successful and he is credited for raising photography to the level of an art in the public perception.
Ansel Adams is most remembered for his black and white photographs. He became a recognized public figure for both his photography and his environmentalism. Adams did know about color film and worked in that medium as well. I believe you will share in the appreciation of artistic achievement as revealed in his work.
In addition to being a great photographer Andreas Feininger wrote manuals about photography that remain relevant today. For example, when I write about the importance of defining subject matter – that is Feininger. Any photographer could also benefit from what Feininger has to say about topics such as composing your image, lighting and focus.