Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

 
Just Hangin' Out

Availability: Limited Edition Print; RM Stock (??)


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In the Field

Just Hangin' Out! Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 8, 2007.

This is one cooperative bear! Over a period of 3 years we've encountered this bear a number of times. It is amazingly gentle...yet still a very wild bear. Each time we've seen the bear (which we've now affectionately named "Scratchy" for its propensity for frequently relieving its itchy spots!) it has been fully satiated by salmon. It is still accompanied by a cub that is now in its third year of life.

From a wildlife photographer's perspective this female grizzly is a wonderful subject. It allows reasonably close approach but, more importantly, it just keeps doing what comes naturally. Over the years I have photographed it fishing, sleeping, wading, nursing its cub, and more. I love this bear! In this shot she found a wonderful place to "pose" for us and, in time, revealed her claws (I've found that capturing an animal's claws in an image can be almost as important as capturing the eyes, at least in terms of the saleability of that image).

Behind the Camera

Just Hangin' Out! Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 8, 2007.

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

Nikon D2X with Nikon 200-400 mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR lens @ 300 mm (450 mm equivalent with digital conversion factor) - supported on foam pad on windscreen of Zodiac boat. VR turned to "On" and in "Normal" mode.

1/125s @ f5.6; -0.33 stop compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Just Hangin' Out! Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 8, 2007.

RAW Conversion to 16 bit TIFF, including first-pass sharpening and exposure compensation using Phase One's C1 Pro.

Further digital correction on 16-bit TIFF file using Adobe's Photoshop CS3 and LightZone 3. Minor tonal adjustments performed in LightZone (using the ToneMapper/Relight tool). Photoshop adjustments included selective saturation enhancement and selective sharpening for web output.

Conservation

Just Hangin' Out! Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 8, 2007.

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: http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca and search under "Grizzly Bears".

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