Out Shooting Horses

July, 2019.
Iceland, dusk.
In the summer, twilight lasts a long time.
The sun never never fully disappears.
It flirts with the horizon.
Skirting, touching, and dipping beneath it, briefly.
Then it pops right back up again.
I made these images at 11:30 at night.
My family was asleep.
I was not.
I crossed the road, empty.
I sauntered into an open field.
Potatoes, cotton bolls, lush green grass.
Oh, and horses, lots of them.
Corralled by trenches and thin wire fences.

neilson travel photography iceland horses landscape cotton bolls

They skittered a bit, on edge.
One bolted, then stopped on a ridge.
He looked at me, miffed.
As I walked, he parallelled me with precision till I was gone.
A wild, long-maned Icelandic geometer of sorts.

neilson travel photography landscape horse solitary

Another horse.
Not skittish, friendly.
Soft nose, curious eyes.
Closer, closer.
I touched the forehead,
Then the muzzle.

neilson travel landscape photography iceland horses mono e mono

I approached a small band of horses.
On hands and knees, I crawled up to them.
Totally unnecessary.
They greeted me, flicking their tails.
I sat down before them, at the feet of muscle and bone.
Rocking quietly before their strength and beauty.
Listening, observing, and shooting.
Always shooting.

neilson travel photography landscape iceland horses cinematic group

Now that’s a damn fine image.
Big print here I come!

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

Healoha Is Waiting

Meet Brigitte Mouchet.

She’s a wellness entrepreneur in the Bay Area.

She’s the founder and CEO of Healoha, a marketplace for wellness services that helps both clients and practitioners. Healoha is available in the U.S. and French-speaking countries in Europe.

Inspired by waves and ocean air, Brigitte hired me for a day of corporate photography on the coast in Half Moon Bay, one of her favorite places in the world.

We captured images for use on the company’s digital and social media channels, images ranging from corporate headshots like these two images…

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…to environmental portraits like this…

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…and this…

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…to social and active shots like these…

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…and even to landscape photography, which required a jaunt to Santa Cruz, where the mist lifted at last and Walton Lighthouse winked at the purpling sky.

corporate landscape photography bay area half moon bay santa cruz healo social digital media

I hope you enjoyed your visit. Thank you.

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

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.”

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“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

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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

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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?

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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.

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