Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

Prowling the Shoreline

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In the Field

Prowling the Shoreline. Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 6, 2007.

What do you do in a rainstorm if you're an adult grizzly getting ready to hibernate? Hang out at the beach, of course! Actually, this adult female grizzly was prowling the shoreline in search of food when I captured this image. Judging by the size of its belly this bear clearly had been doing a very good job of finding food!

I shot this image with what is quickly becoming my favourite lens - Nikon's 200mm f/2G ED-IF AF-S VR lens. Not only is it fast (both in terms of light gathering ability and autofocus speed), but it is amazingly sharp and has phenomenal colour saturation and contrast. On the down side, the lens is definitely not cheap and, for a 200 mm lens, it's really big and bulky. By the way, only about 5% of this image was cropped off - this bear was REAL close!


1. This image - in all resolutions - is 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. This image was captured during one of my autumn "Into the Great Bear Rainforest" photo tours in 2007. Each year I offer trips into two different parts of the Great Bear Rainforest as well as one to photograph marine mammals and oceanscapes near the northern tip of Vancouver Island. And, in selected years, I also offer photo tours to additional locations to capture other highly sought-after subjects, such as various boreal owl species, fishing grizzlies, and more. Details about these trips can be found on the Photo Tours page of this website.

3. Like all wildlife images on this website, the subject(s) is/are fully wild and completely unconstrained. Besides the potential impact of my/our presence, nothing has been done to intentionally alter or affect the ongoing behavior of the subject and, of course, there has been no use of any form of bait or other form of wildlife attractants (including vocalizations or other sounds).

Behind the Camera

Prowling the Shoreline. Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 6, 2007.

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

Nikon D2Xs with Nikon 200mm f/2G ED-IF AF-S VR lens (300 mm equivalent with digital conversion factor) - handheld. VR turned to "On" and in "Normal" mode. AquaTech SportShield (rain cover) used to protect camera and lens.

1/125s @ f4; -0.67 stop compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Prowling the Shoreline. Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 6, 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.


Prowling the Shoreline. Great Bear Rainforest (northern BC coast), Canada. October 6, 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.

On December 18, 2017 the government of British Columbia banned grizzly hunting across the entire province. This major conservation victory came after decades of tireless work by many dedicated conservationists and ecologists and, most importantly, it reflects the opinion of the vast majority of British Columbians. And, it means that AT LEAST while the current government remains in power grizzlies are finally "safe" in British Columbia.

Now that we've at least temporarily won the battle to save grizzlies in BC, it's time to re-focus our efforts toward protecting ALL of BC's carnivores, including Gray Wolves, Black Bears, Cougars, Wolverines, and more! Simply put, there are no ecological, economic, or ethical arguments supporting the trophy hunting of carnivores.

In a great first step towards ending the hunting of carnivores throughout BC the Raincoast Conservation Foundation has developed a program designed to protect ALL carnivores within the Great Bear Rainforest. Details about this program can be found on this page on Raincoast's website. Check it out and, better yet, make a donation to help Raincoast purchase the remaining commercial hunting tenures in the Great Bear!

*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.

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