Reflection and a New Year

Life moves fast. Quicker as the years go by it seems. Another New Year in the books with 2018 in the rearview mirror. If you are anything like me, I am often left with an empty feeling inside as the clock nears midnight. Especially with the many New Years spent alone. I feel as if I could have done better and I think to myself “Is this it? I could have done more.” This post is for the dreamers out thee like me who think too much. Those who question the adequacy of their life and forget to celebrate the achievements and strides they have made.

It is important to look back and call out the good in the year, the time you spent living. Or better yet the times you may have helped someone else in their time of need. Lucky for me, I ended 2017 with a bang. I had just come back from a vacation in Indonesia. A trip that truly had an impression on me. I learned a lot and saw so many wonderful things:

This catapulted me into 2018. It was like coming down from a high going into this year. I wanted to sustain it. It was also mid December 2017 in which I was promoted at my job (yes I do work a full time job). Thenm when I thought things couldn’t get better, one of my photos was chosen for National Geographic’s Daily Dozen.

Daily Dozen, Feb 27, 2018
A couple of ladies on holiday explore the tea fields in Central Java Indonesia. This field was attached to the back of the best little tea cafe! Good food and a good drink, just outside of Solo.

Yes, 2018 I thought, was going to be the best year ever. Just like any high though, one must come back down to Earth. We begin to look toward what is next. My new job responsibilities along with working through my photos from Indonesia occupied me for the better part of the first four months of the year. I learned new editing techniques and tried different things to set my art aside from others.

The first leg of the Pikes Peak trail is pretty calm. It seems to lull you asleep before springing the real hike onto you. This section is very peaceful.

 It is never enough as an artist. As intelligent beings we are constantly analyzing our own work. Scrutinizing it harsher than the general public. I doubt I am the only artist to ever look at a completed piece and say “this sucks, absolutely terrible.” I have quite often wanted to scrap it and start over. Social media intensifies this feeling tenfold. There are so many amazing artists out there on Instagram and for me landscape and portraits photographers that are seemingly untouchable. I have to refrain from beating myself up too much though thinking they are on a level that I could never attain. This is an important lesson I had to learn in 2018. Sometimes we need to take a step back from our dreams and get back to our roots.

I have typically done a lot of these hikes by myself. There is something liberating about being out in nature on your own. At the same time, sharing it with good company is always worth it.

I am grateful I live in Colorado and with a short drive be in mountains such as Quandary Peak. I rarely have company on hikes, but this year I found myself in good company several times. Good company and great views never fails to be a breath of fresh air and a reminder that life is much bigger ourselves. This really got me thinking about what Links Productions is to society.

The Link in Links Productions, well that’s me. Derek Garcia. I originally got my first camera for the sole purpose of showing the world to my parents. My hope was that they could go on a journey with me via my lens and that anyone else who wished to join could. I wanted to help open people to the possibility of travel with landscape photos. At the same time, any portraits I took wanted to bring out an individual’s true person in their photos. It makes me proud that some of my clients have full prints hanging on their walls at home. I have had some kind of impact as those prints will hang on their walls for years to come. That is who I am, and that dream still lives. So I continue posting photos hoping to take people on a journey.

Even as I am writing this I have noticed improvement. That is my measurement of course, not necessarily the public’s. That after all is the most important opinion. If you cannot see your current self improving then it is all for not.

Travel, as I see it, is an important aspect of growing and improving as an individual. I believe it instills a general idea of acceptance and understanding that a completely different world exists outside your own community. This year I was given the opportunity to travel to Ireland and Japan. Two firsts for me and experience I will not forget.

So far with these images too I have learned more techniques for editing and bringing out what I saw in my mind while taking the photo. Of course, I am still learning and figuring out new ways to express myself as an artist.

Looking back and writing this post has definitely put me in a better state of mind entering 2019. I hope you all can look back and see just how far you have come in this year. Even the smallest amount of growth is progress. Keep moving forward and discovering more about this world, about each other, and about yourself. Here’s to 2019 and all that it may offer!