Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill


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In the Field

Autumnal. Northern BC, Canada. October 16, 2014.

While I know many other nature photographers - and particularly wildlife photographers - do a lot of roadside shooting, it's not something I do a lot (or enjoy a whole lot). But this shot is an exception to that "rule" - I encountered this scene shortly after sunrise while driving back from a photo tour I was leading in the Great Bear Rainforest in the autumn of 2014. I was about 75 km west of Prince George, BC on a particularly rolling stretch of highway when I turned a corner and faced this amazing layered scene that combined muted pastel colors with some brighter hues provided by the yellow leaves of nearly randomly placed deciduous trees. I loved how the wispy fog added even more layering and delicacy to the scene. It was like looking at a live watercolor whimsically painted by Mother Nature (and as the fog streamed through it was like she was experimenting with different looks as I watched in awe). So cool.

Because the best vantage point to capture this distant scene from happened to be the absolute worst place to stop if I wanted to stay alive (one reason I don't shoot along roadsides too often!), I couldn't take the time to set up properly. So I had to choose a hand-holdable configuration of gear that would allow me to capture the moment quickly but still leave me with a workable image (both in terms of resolution and image quality) - and my life. So it was D4s and 400mm f2.8E VR time! The image shown here is absolutely full-frame.

For those wanting a better view of this expansive scene (or for those on high resolution displays like a Retina) - here's a 2400 pixel version for your perusual...

Autumnal: Download 2400 pixel image (JPEG: 1.5 MB)


1. This image - in all resolutions - is protected by copyright. I'm fine with personal uses of it (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. Like all wildlife images on this website, the subject is fully wild and completely unconstrained. Besides the potential impact of my 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).

3. This image was captured on my return home immediately following my "Into the Great Bear Rainforest" photo tour in the autumn of 2014. 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.

Behind the Camera

Autumnal. Northern BC, Canada. October 16, 2014.

Digital Capture; Compressed RAW (NEF) 14-bit format; ISO 550.

Nikon D4s paired with Nikkor 400mm f2.8E VR - hand-held. VR on and in Normal mode.

1/400s @ f6.3; No compensation from "recommended" matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Autumnal. Northern BC, Canada. October 16, 2014.

RAW Conversion to 16-bit TIFF, including first-pass/capture sharpening using Phase One's Capture One Pro 7. Raw conversion adjustments limited to tweaks to levels and clarity.

Further digital corrections on resulting 16-bit TIFF files using Adobe's Photoshop CC 2014. Adjustments included selective colour saturation and selective colour desaturation, two selective curves (contrast) adjustments and selective sharpening for web output.


Autumnal. Northern BC, Canada. October 16, 2014.

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

Species Status in Canada**: N/A