The Old Ways

For the avid reader in search of a great book, I highly recommend The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane.

The Old Ways explores the role of walking—or wayfaring—in seeing the world aright.

That is, in realizing a straight path is never only linear.

But before you can earn such insight, you’ve got to log some trail miles first.

So without further ado, I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes—and Neilson landscape photographs—from The Old Ways in the hopes of piquing your interest.

“The eye is enticed by a path, and the mind’s eye also. The imagination cannot help but pursue a line in the land—onwards in space, but also backwards in time to the histories of a route and its previous followers.”

landscape bay area wilderness path sky grass

“Humans are animals and like all animals we leave tracks as we walk: signs of passage made in snow, sand, mud, grass, dew, earth or moss…. Most of our journeys now occur on asphalt and concrete—and these are substances not easily impressed.”

landscape bay area wilderness henry coe path

“Paths are the habits of landscapes. They are acts of consensual making. It’s hard to create a footpath on your own.”

landscape yosemite half dome path

“An hour later I went for a walk with a flask of whisky to keep me warm.” Now that’s a gorgeous landscape photo!

bourbon

“For pilgrims walking the Camino, every footfall is doubled, landing at once on the actual road and also on the path of faith.”

landscape bay area wilderness black mountain paths

“Old paths are mediums in two senses: means of communion as well as means of motion.”

Family photography ranch boy setting sun

“Paths need walking.”

1103_Path

“Footpaths are mundane in the best sense of that word: “wordly,” open to all. As rights of way determined and sustained by use, they constitute a labyrinth of liberty, a slender network of common land that still threads through our aggressively privatized world of barbed wires and gates….”

landscape bay area wilderness black mountain path clouds

“The compact between writing and walking is almost as old as a literature—a walk is only a step away from a story, and every path tells.”

landscape bay area wilderness fremont older path

“Paths run through people as surely as they run through places.”

landscape bay area wilderness open space preserve clouds sky trail grass

Contact me for kids, teens, family, and corporate staff and event photography in the Bay Area.

 

 

Of Time and the River

landscape photography photographer ventana wilderness big sur river san francisco bay area

In the heart of Los Padres National Forest, the Big Sur River is carving steep gorges and sharp-crested ridges. Sykes campground—where I captured the image above—is a 10-mile hike through untamed canyon wilderness. It was a challenging destination to reach even when there was an established trail. But now in the wake of fires, road closures, and erosion damage, this lovely little spot is next to impossible to reach.

Contact me for kids, teens, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Annunciation

neilson bay area photography san jose photographer desolation wilderness landscape

Meet Paul, an elite ultra-endurance backpacker. He strides through meadows and leaps over ridge lines. He parts scree, talus, and boulders like Moses himself, as he did here to summit Mount Tallac in Lake Tahoe. Only thing Paul is missing is a shimmering aura of some sort, proving he’s human after all.

Contact me for kids, teens, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Confluence

Bay Area San Jose Half Moon Bay family landscape photography photographer ocean fishing setting sun

2018.
End of the year.
We were in Half Moon Bay.
If you squint, you can see my family.
They’re exploring the sea wall,
Which separates the ocean from the harbor.
I was rapt by the setting sun.
But when I saw the fisherman cast,
I knew I had my shot.
A lot’s going on in this image,
Conceptually speaking.
And I like it a lot.
Do you?

Contact me for corporate and family photography in the Bay Area.

Vestiges

landscape photography mcclellan ranch cupertino rural country bay area creek crawdadding

Not long ago, Cupertino was a small rural town.
Pioneers worked ranches and farms.
Orchards and vineyards shaped the landscape.
Where the flatland meets the foothills, a small township sprang up.
Monta Vista, Cupertino’s first housing tract, was born.
Even though Cupertino is now the center of the technology universe,
Vestiges of rural and farming life can still be found.
You just need to know where to look.
Next time you’re driving by Deep Cliff golf course,
I encourage you to stop at McClellan Ranch.
Saunter, explore, enjoy.
The old Monta Vista township is still beautiful.

landscape photography mcclellan ranch cupertino rural country bay area creek treeslandscape photography mcclellan ranch cupertino rural country bay area creek moody treeslandscape photography mcclellan ranch cupertino rural country bay area creek deerlandscape photography mcclellan ranch cupertino rural country bay area creek

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Cloud Atlas

corporate family landscape photography bay area san jose pescadero clouds sky

Look.
Delicately fluted clouds
Spangled over Pescadero marsh
Just a stone’s throw from the coast.
The ocean may have been angry that day, my friends.
But the scudding clouds were something beautiful to behold.

Details:
31 mm | f/5.0 | 1/2500 | ISO 200

In other words, fast.
I made the image in a sliver of a second,
Which shows you just how cool the clouds were yesterday.
I hope you enjoy.

Contact me for corporate and family—and landscape (!)—photography in the Bay Area.

Hunted

Typically I’m the one chasing light.
But sometimes it finds me first.
As it did here.
Boom!

butano light bay area corporate family photography landscape

And sometimes it finds our campsite at breakfast…

butano light bay area corporate family photography landscape camping

Or finds my friend Orange…

butano light bay area corporate family ph0otography landscape portrait man

Or my good buddy Roadkill…
(Our nicknames make no sense; don’t ask.)

butano light bay area corporate family photography landscape

Or a weed in a dry creek bed…

butano light bay area corporate family photography landscape

Or a spray of lavender in a parking lot…

butano light bay area corporate family photography landscape

Or a votive candle and an image of a saint.

butano light bay area corporate family photography carmel

Whether I find the light or the light finds me,
I’m always thankful for the encounter.

Contact me for creative Bay Area corporate and candid outdoor family photography.