Sunset in Costa Rica

When I’m not photographing kids, teens, families, and business professionals in the Bay Area, I’m often traveling or dreaming of travel, especially road trips. During holiday break, I was in Costa Rica with my family. I didn’t do a lot of photography, surprisingly, and really only worked one scene, and even then I was a bit rushed. Still, I like the result well enough to share the image. It’s one exposure only. I desaturated all color channels except yellow, because the reds, blues, and magentas were simply too vibrant for my taste. I did some dodging and burning with luminosity masks, sharpened a few of the boulders, and created an Orton Effect in the highlights. In retrospect, I wish I’d blended two or maybe even three exposures for improved sharpness in the boulders, front to back. Next time!

kevin neilson landscape photography costa rica sunset los suenos jaco

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Travel Photography

Golden Hour

Everything I ever learned I learned in ancient mythology. Long hair is never just long hair. It has special powers. Take Meaghan, for instance, a structural engineer. Her golden tresses keep her brain warm and limber for hefty work—creating sketches, visualizing designs, and drafting specs, everything that’s needed to turn ideas into solid structures. Magnificent!

neilson headshot portrait photography bay area san jose structural engineer meaghan halligan beadon hair outdoor fall

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Headshot Photography

Outdoor Headshot Session

Behold the glory of lawyers doing their thing, thinking lawyerly thoughts, sharing eyes, faces, and smiles (accountability demands it!) graced by ambient light and fill flash with purple accents subtly reinforcing the royalty and sanctity of law. A perfect late-afternoon outdoor headshot session!

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Headshot Photography

Travel and Landscape Photography

“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.” That’s national treasure Steve McCurry riffing on the desire to explore and notice the world. When I grow up, I want to be a travel and landscape photographer. Till then, I’ll hone my craft and dream of faraway places.   

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neilson landscape photography california yosemite el capitan claw and crag minimalism
Travel Photography

Portrait of a Principal

Arrayed in crystalline blue, Sonya is charm itself, gleaming like opal and sapphire. But when you’re a principal at an all-boy’s college preparatory, you’ve got to be made of firm stuff that doesn’t merely sparkle. A joy to photograph! 

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neilson corporate headshot photography bay area san francisco mubadala sales force tower stylized black and white
Headshot Photography