About 25 years ago, when lifelong Californian David Heath was in the early stages of a career in business, he stepped into a client’s office, sat down and saw behind the client a big, strange, beautiful photo: the plains of Bagan, dotted with ancient temples. Burma.
“That’s my country,” the client said.
By the time Heath actually got to Burma, the year was 2010 and the country’s military leaders had decided to start calling it Myanmar. But in many ways, Heath said recently, that moment in the office was the beginning of a new life.
Over the following years, Heath, a resident of Huntington Beach who is now 58, spent more and more time traveling. He also invested more and more study and energy into photography. When he got to Yangon, the Myanmar capital formerly known as Rangoon, the scenery moved him in a way that no place else had. So did the people, he said.
"They're so amazing, resilient, compassionate and present," he said. "I've learned so much from them."