Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

Paintbrush Pastels

Availability: RM Stock (??)

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In the Field

Paintbrush Pastels. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. June 3, 2005.

In my neck of the woods we have a reasonable amount of Yellow Paintbrush growing in and amongst very long grasses. With this image I decided to shoot "through" the grasses and see the subject like many of our furry friends, such as coyotes, would! By focusing right through the grasses the image took on a soft, pastel-like look.

Alert - Digitally Manipulated Image: This image clearly crosses the line from simple digital correction to digital manipulation. The soft, dream-like image you are viewing is partially the product of digital manipulation. For details on how this image was produced, see Bio: Techniques (I refer to this technique as the "Wildflower Effect").

It is my policy to clearly identify ANY images on this website that overstep the bounds of digital correction and enter the territory of digital manipulation (see Voice: Commentary: Digital Correction vs. Digital Manipulation).

Behind the Camera

Digital Capture; Compressed RAW (NEF) format; ISO 100.

Nikon D2X with Nikon AF Micro 200 mm f/4 ED lens (300 mm equivalent with digital conversion factor) supported on Gitzo G2220 Explorer tripod with Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. Nikon MC-20 cable release.

1/90s @ f5; no compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Paintbrush Pastels. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. June 3, 2005.

Details to follow.

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

All further digital correction on 16-bit TIFF file using Adobe's Photoshop CS2, including selective Gaussian blur, compositing and blending of blurred and sharp layers, selective saturation enhancement, and selective sharpening for web output.


Paintbrush Pastels. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. June 3, 2005.

Ten percent of the selling price of this image (Limited Edition Print or Stock) will be donated to Wildsight.

Species Status in Canada*: This species is not designated as at risk.

Yellow Paintbrush (Castilleja occidentalis) grows on dry, open sites on plains and in foothills to montane zones from southern BC south to Colorado. While members of the paintbrush genus (Castilleja sp.) have a distinctive and easily recognizable growth form, because they tend to hybridize (interbreed) fairly frequently they can be tough to identify.

This Yellow Paintbrush was photographed in the Columbia Valley of the East Kootenays. While this species is not currently not considered at any risk itself, many ecosystems within the Columbia Valley face development pressure. Wildsight is an effective conservation organization that protects biodiversity and promotes sustainable communities in Canada's Columbia and Rocky Mountains. Support for Wildsight, through donation or becoming a member, will help ensure that they remain effective in their efforts to conserve threatened or endangered species and ecosystems.

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