Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

Powerful but Peaceful

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In the Field

Powerful but Peaceful. Khutzeymateen Inlet, BC. June 5, 2006.

This is probably as close as I ever want or need to get to a wild 1,000 pound male Grizzly Bear! This bear has distinctive markings (many of which are "battle scars") that allow it to be positively identified. The two guides which are allowed to bring guests into the area have seen this bear (which they affectionately call "Brutus") off and on over a period of 24 years. So it's AT LEAST 24 years old.

This image was captured in vertical (portrait) format. The horizontal crop shown above is my preferred one - I think that cutting off the top of the bear's hump and its lower legs subliminally communicates the bear's massive size (it's so big it can't even fit into the frame!). I cropped off only very little on the sides of the image. Regardless, the true "focal point" of this image is the bear's head and, in particular, its eye. Overall, to me, this image literally shouts "power" yet the bear is, luckily for me, a very peaceful one...

Behind the Camera

Powerful but Peaceful. Khutzeymateen Inlet, BC. June 5, 2006.

Digital Capture; Compressed RAW (NEF) format; ISO 200.

Nikon D200 with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR lens @ 130 mm (195 mm equivalent with digital conversion factor) - hand held (VR turned to "On" and in "Normal" mode).

1/125s @ f7.1; -1.33 stop exposure compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Powerful but Peaceful. Khutzeymateen Inlet, BC. June 5, 2006.

RAW Conversion, including first-pass sharpening, using Phase One's C1 Pro. Multiple RAW conversions (3 at different exposure settings) to extend dynamic range of captured image, in this case primarily to restore shadow detail on right side of bear's head.

All further digital correction on 16-bit TIFF file using Adobe's Photoshop CS2, including compositing and masking of various exposure versions and selective sharpening for web output.


Powerful but Peaceful. Khutzeymateen Inlet, BC. June 5, 2006.

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

Species Status in Canada*: Special Concern (May 2002).

While Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos) are not technically listed as "Endangered" in Canada, they have been extirpated from most of their historical range. Grizzly Bears are far more sensitive to intrusion/disturbance in their habitat than are Black Bears and are being increasingly forced into marginal habitat by human encroachment. The Great Bear Rainforest along the central and northern coast of British Columbia is one of the last strongholds of the Grizzly Bear in Canada, and even this population is coming under increasing pressure.

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.

For more information on the status of Grizzly Bears in Canada, go to: and search under "Grizzly Bears".

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