Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

Eagle in Wonderland

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In the Field

Eagle in Wonderland. Khutzeymateen Inlet, northern BC Coast, Canada. May 29, 2016.

There's a lot of reasons why, after a decade of shooting there, that I still LOVE going into - and photographing in - various locations in BC's Great Bear Rainforest. Part of it, of course, is the tremendous amount of wildlife there. Another part is its don't commonly queue up to shoot a bear (or an eagle, or a whale, or a wolf) in the Great Bear Rainforest (and that is a major understatement!). But the main reason? The incredible and ever-changing SCENES - from distant moody vistas through to moss-laden towering conifers. with this shot...the scene and "backdrops" are almost as compelling as the primary subject!

Happily the species (a Bald Eagle) that provides the visual anchor of this Great Bear Rainforest scene is no longer rare, and is even commonplace in some locations. To some that may make the subject itself somewhat less exotic and interesting as it was at one time...but when it chooses to perch in a jaw-dropping location like this moss- and lichen-covered tree (that is a virtual ecosystem all by itself!) can probably see why I'm still not bored by the Great Bear Rainforest!

Here's a higher resolution (2400 pixel) version of this shot for your perusal - don't spend all your time looking at the tree!

Eagle in Wonderland: Download 2400 pixel image (JPEG: 2.6 MB)


1. This image - in all resolutions - is protected by copyright. I'm fine with personal uses of them (including use as desktop backgrounds or screensavers on your own computer), but unauthorized commercial use of the image is prohibited by law. Thanks in advance for respecting my copyright!

2. This image was captured during one of my two spring "Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen" photo tours in May/June of 2016. Each year I offer trips into two different parts of the Great Bear Rainforest as well as one to photograph aquatic mammals and oceanscapes near the northern tip of Vancouver Island. And, in selected years, I also offer photo tours to locations to capture other highly sought-after subjects, such as various boreal owl species and wildlife of Canada's Arctic. Details about these trips can be found on the Photo Tours page of this website.

3. Like all wildlife images on this website, the subject(s) is/are fully wild and completely unconstrained. Besides the potential impact of my/our presence, nothing has been done to intentionally alter or affect the ongoing behavior of the subject and, of course, there has been no use of any form of bait or other form of wildlife attractants (including vocalizations).

Behind the Camera

Eagle in Wonderland. Khutzeymateen Inlet, northern BC Coast, Canada. May 29, 2016.

Digital Capture; Compressed RAW (NEF) 14-bit format; ISO 3200.

Nikon D5 paired with Sigma Sport 150-600mm zoom @ 550mm. Hand-held from floating Zodiac. Optical stabilization on and in "OS1" mode.

1/400s @ f7.1; -1.0 stop compensation from "recommended" matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Eagle in Wonderland. Khutzeymateen Inlet, northern BC Coast, Canada. May 29, 2016.

RAW Conversion to 16-bit TIFF using Phase One’s Capture One Pro 9. Two raw variants (different versions of a single raw capture) processed, with the variants differing in exposure settings (0.40 stop total difference between the variants).

Further digital corrections on resulting 16-bit TIFF files using Adobe's Photoshop CC 2015 and Light Crafts Lightzone. Photoshop adjustments were limited to compositing (blending) of the two output files from the raw converter. Final tone-tweaking performed using LightZone’s “tonemapper” tool.


Eagle in Wonderland. Khutzeymateen Inlet, northern BC Coast, Canada. May 29, 2016.

Ten percent of the revenue generated by this image will be donated to Raincoast.

Species Status in Canada*: This species is not designated as at risk. The Bald Eagle was listed as "Endangered" in the contiguous US states from 1967 to 1995. In 1995 it was downlisted to "Threatened". On June 28, 2007 Bald Eagles were removed from the list of endangered and threatened species - a true American conservation success story.

The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a very large bird of prey with broad wings. Adults possess characteristic white ("bald") heads. It takes Bald Eagles a full five years to attain their characteristic adult plumage (including their nearly pure white head and tail). In the years prior to the development of their adult plumage they are easy to confuse with Golden Eagles. Being very broad-winged Bald Eagles are able to use an energy-efficient flapping-soaring style of flight. While many people like to think of the Bald Eagle as a fierce hunter, in reality they hunt only as a last resort. More commonly they scavenge for their prey. Additionally, they often klepto-parasitize other weaker species such as Osprey, commonly stealing the other species hard-earned prey items. The Bald Eagle is, of course, the national emblem of the United States (Benjamin Franklin argued against this - his preference was for the Wild Turkey).

This Bald Eagle was photographed in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. While Bald Eagles are currently not under the threat of extinction, they do, of course, require suitable breeding habitat to continue to thrive. The Raincoast Conservation Society (and Foundation) is an effective and efficient organization that has been fighting for protection of this unique habitat. If you are looking for a meaningful way to contribute to the conservation of this amazing ecosystem, Raincoast will provide maximal "bang" for your conservation dollars.

*as determined by COSEWIC: The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada