Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

Blonde Grizzly in Blue-pod Lupine

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In the Field

Blonde Grizzly in Blue-pod Lupine. Khutzeymateen Inlet, BC. June 5, 2006.

We had an amazingly good trip into the Khutzeymateen Inlet in the spring of 2006. This is only one of hundreds of memorable images I captured during that trip.

This shot came near the end of our 6-day trip. The Blue-pod lupines had just moved into full bloom and the area was thick with grizzlies. When this blond female grizzly started walking toward a large patch of lupine I couldn't believe my luck (the guide still likes to tell the story about how he had been waiting to see this happen for the past 30 years). I have to say that the bear ALMOST gave me everything needed to make the perfect photo, but she hesitated a little on delivering me with the perfect pose. Oh well, I guess I still have a reason to go back over the next 30 years searching for the perfect shot...

Behind the Camera

Blonde Grizzly in Blue-pod Lupine. Khutzeymateen Inlet, BC. June 5, 2006.

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

Nikon D2X with Nikon 200-400 mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR lens @ 290 mm (435 mm equivalent with digital conversion factor) supported on pontoon of Zodiac boat. VR turned to "On" and in "Normal" mode.

1/160s @ f4; -0.33 stop exposure compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Blonde Grizzly in Blue-pod Lupine. Khutzeymateen Inlet, BC. June 5, 2006.

RAW Conversion, including first-pass sharpening and tone curve adjustment, using Phase One's C1 Pro. Multiple RAW conversions (2 at different sharpness settings) to selectively sharpen different segments of the image (see below).

All further digital correction on 16-bit TIFF file using Adobe's Photoshop CS2, including compositing and masking of two sharpness versions of the image, selective saturation enhancement, and selective sharpening for web output.


Blonde Grizzly in Blue-pod Lupine. 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