Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill


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In the Field

Daydreaming? Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 8, 2007.

Daydreaming? Contemplating life? Chilling out? Nope - none of the above. What you think you're seeing is very different from what was! This shot was taken after a very tense and close interaction between this bear and an adult female accompanied by her cub. The interaction included a lot of posturing, "puffing up" (a bear making itself look larger than it is), some very slow and stiff-legged pacing (all by this bear) and some lip curling and snorting (by the female). In this shot this bear is closely watching the female, who is only about 15 metres away. Perhaps this bear was trying to tell the other bear to "...chill, everything is cool." Whatever was going on, it was fascinating to watch!

Behind the Camera

Daydreaming? Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 8, 2007.

Digital Capture; Uncompressed RAW (NEF) format; ISO 400.

Nikon D2X with Nikon 200-400 mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR lens @ 380 mm (570 mm equivalent with digital conversion factor) "balanced" on pontoon of moving Zodiac inflatable boat. VR turned to "On" and in "Active" mode. AquaTech SportShield (rain cover) used to protect camera and lens.

1/60s @ f4; -0.67 stop compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Daydreaming? 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. Multiple RAW conversions (2 at different exposure settings) in this case to adjust shadow and highlight detail (see below).

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 compositing and masking of two exposure vesions (primarily to retrieve shadow detail on the bear's face), selective saturation enhancement and desaturation (to reduce brightness of green moss and ferns), selective noise reduction (using PictureCode's Noise Ninja plug-in for Photoshop) and selective sharpening for web output.


Daydreaming? 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: and search under "Grizzly Bears".

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