Reflections: Balboa At Night / by DM Heebner

Balboa At Night | Oxford Haus ©

Balboa At Night | Oxford Haus ©

Balboa At Night is one of my early photographs. It's not my first, but one of my very early ones. It wasn't overly planned or strategically scouted. I was on a walk with B, looked over and loved the reflection in the pool. When I look at it now I instantly cringe and eventually, smile. Honestly, I'd be concerned if I didn't. Photography, much like public speaking, writing or athletics is a skill, an art that gets better with time and practice. I remember being really proud of this photo when I first took it but also excited for the day when I'd look back and cringe. I was fortunate to learn early on that one of the goals in photography should be to cringe at your early work. If you don't, you're not growing and you're not getting better. The professional in me looks and immediately wants to critique things like composition and lighting. But, there's a flip side to looking back at your early work. There are the memories of the journey from there to here. There are lessons learned, relationships forged, victories and plenty of mistakes.

One of the reasons why I still look back at this particular piece is because it was taken in my favorite city in the country, San Diego. I've lived in a number of metropolitan areas across the country, but none of those cities have ever captured me like San Diego. It's the only place I've ever lived that felt like home. The people, the weather, the food, the incredible beauty, the culture, did I mention how ridiculously beautiful it is there? I'll never forget flying back to California with a friend, her first time, and listening to her remark about how beautiful it was (we hadn't even left the airport...). I began my photography journey, and now career, in San Diego. I learned to take chances and risks and love the unique aspects of myself in San Diego. This photo is much more than a reminder of an immense, diverse and eclectic park. It's a reminder of a major shift in my life.

Photographs are an opportunity to capture a memory, to tell a story, archive a moment in history, and make time stand still. Whether you find yourself in a place you call home or a new and unfamiliar spot, take a photograph. If life is humming along or times are odd and chaotic, take a photograph. No matter where you find yourself, make time to take a photograph. It may seem insignificant now but someday you'll look back and be amazed at where your journey has taken you.