Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

 
Unnamed Falls - 9 Years Later

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In the Field

Unnamed Falls - 9 Years Later. Great Bear Rainforest, BC, Canada. Sept 25, 2022.

British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest covers a huge area. In fact, it's the largest tract of intact temperate rainforest left on Earth. While I have been traveling there and leading multiple photo tours there each year for over a decade, there's tons of places there that I have never visited - and that are almost never visited by humans. We first found this picturesque waterfall back in 2013 (9 years ago) and I hadn't been back since - until this September. The good news is that the falls are still there and look pretty much like they did nine years ago (although on this visit there was a lot more water coming down the stream). And, based on the state of the bear trail we navigated along to get to the falls, I doubt more than a couple of people (if any) had been to visit them in the last 9 years. There's something about that that's critical to my mental well-being.

Back in 2013 I captured a similar image of the falls, though from a slightly different angle (this year's higher water flow prevented me from getting to the exact place I shot them from before). Like with this shot, back in 2013 I used a very slow shutter speed to soften the flowing water. Which, in 2013, meant I had to lug along a big tripod and cable release (and lock up the mirror) to get the shot. I also felt the need to carry in two DSLR's - one for shooting landscapes (a Nikon D800e) and one for low-light wildlife work (a Nikon D4). And it was just a huge pain the butt getting that gear up there through the thick vegetation, especially the big tripod.

This year? I walked in with and single Z 9 with a 24-120mm lens mounted in a hip-mounted holster (along with a circular polarizing lens). And I hand-held the shot (sans tripod, sans cable release) - and I can now hardly remember what "locking up the mirror" means! ;-)

SO...how did the images (separated by 9 years and several camera generations) compare? Overall...they're not too different, but I would give the edge to the image shot in 2022. My 2013 shot was taken with a D800e (you can view it here and under slightly different lighting conditions. But I have the strong perception that the colour and dynamic range are better in the current shot (but, in fairness, a lot of that could be related to advances in raw processing software and changes in my post-processing skills). But even if cynics argue that camera evolution over the last decade hasn't really made a difference in image quality (which I would refute), even they can't deny the convenience and advantage of having to haul so much less gear around in the field. I certainly loved how much less gear I had to haul in to this location to nab this shot!

Here's a larger version (4800 pixel) of this special place:

Unnamed Falls - 9 Years Later: Download 4800 pixel image (JPEG: 8.6 MB)

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

1. These images - in all resolutions - are protected by copyright. I'm fine with personal uses of them (including use as desktop backgrounds or screensavers on your own computer), but unauthorized commercial use of the image is prohibited by law. Thanks in advance for respecting my copyright!

2. Like all photographs on this website, these images were captured following the strict ethical guidelines described in The Wildlife FIRST! Principles of Photographer Conduct. I encourage all wildlife photographers to always put the welfare of their subjects above the value of their photographs.

3. This image was captured during my "Into the Great Bear Rainforest" exploratory photo adventure in the early autumn of 2022. Each year I offer trips into two different parts of the Great Bear Rainforest as well as one to photograph aquatic mammals and oceanscapes on the northern and west coasts of Vancouver Island. Details about these trips can be found on the Photo Tours page of this website.

Behind the Camera

Unnamed Falls - 9 Years Later. Great Bear Rainforest, BC, Canada. Sept 25, 2022.

Lossless compressed RAW (NEF) format; ISO 64.

Nikon Z 9 paired with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f4S @ 46mm. Hand-held. VR on in Normal mode. Single-point AF area mode. Circular polarizer used.

1/3s @ f8; -0.3 stop compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Unnamed Falls - 9 Years Later. Great Bear Rainforest, BC, Canada. Sept 25, 2022.

RAW Conversion to 16-bit PSD file (and JPEG files for web use), including all global and selective adjustments, using Phase One's Capture One Pro 22. Global adjustments included minor adjustments to the overall exposure and tweaks to both the blacks and shadows. Selective local adjustments performed using Capture One Pro's layers and masking tools. In this case selective adjustments were made on 5 separate layers and included one or more targeted tweaks to the highlights, clarity, whites, blacks, and colour editor (a minor adjustment to the hue of the greens).

Photoshop modifications were limited to the insertion of the watermark and/or text.

Conservation

Unnamed Falls - 9 Years Later. Great Bear Rainforest, BC, Canada. Sept 25, 2022.

Species Status in Canada*: Not Applicable.