Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

Arctic Fox on Ice Ridge

Availability: RF Stock (??)

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In the Field

Arctic Fox on Ice Ridge. Cape Churchill, MB, Canada. October 25, 2004.

It's hard to appreciate how small Arctic Foxes are until you actually see one in the wild. They're hardly larger than your average house cat! In the town of Churchill they seem to have become the ecological equivalent of the house cat - they freely roam the town night and day!

We encountered this fox out on the tundra approximately 20 km outside of the town of Churchill. It acted both curious and wary of us at the same time. Its dark reddish brown eyes were simultaneously beautiful and compelling.

Photographically the biggest challenge with this shot was getting the exposure right. While I find Nikon's Matrix metering system exceptionally effective, there are instances where it doesn't get it quite right. When photographing a bright white object on a bright white background you have to over-ride the metering system and overexpose the scene (otherwise the bright whites come out as dull grays!). In this case I over-rode the metering system by 2/3 of an f-stop.

Behind the Camera

Arctic Fox on Ice Ridge. Cape Churchill, MB, Canada. October 25, 2004.

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

Nikon D2H with Nikon 200-400 mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR lens @ 380 mm (570 mm equivalent with digital conversion factor) supported on bean bag. VR turned to "On" and in "Normal" mode.

1/640s @ f7.1; +0.7 stop exposure compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting.

At the Computer

Arctic Fox on Ice Ridge. Cape Churchill, MB, Canada. October 25, 2004.

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 CS, including selective saturation enhancement, selective desaturation, selective application of cooling filter, and selective sharpening for web output.


Arctic Fox on Ice Ridge. Cape Churchill, MB, Canada. October 25, 2004.

Ten percent of the revenue generated by this image will be donated to the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

Species Status in Canada*: Not "Endangered" or "Threatened".

In Canada the Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) is not listed as an endangered species and, as such, is not afforded any legal protection (it is still considered a relatively important commercial species in Canada, although low fur prices in recent years have reduced the occurrence of hunting of this species). Recent documented northward expansion of the range of the Red Fox (which is a primary predator of the Arctic Fox) may prove to be threat to Canada's Arctic Foxes in the future. It is possible this is an indirect consequence of global warming.

The Arctic Fox is threatened with extinction in Sweden, Finland, and mainland Norway. As such, both the foxes and their dens have been legally protected for decades (since 1928 in Sweden, 1930 in Norway, and Finland since 1940).

The Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) Conservation Initiative seeks to ensure that the world-renowned wilderness, wildlife, native plants, and natural processes of the Yellowstone to Yukon region continue to function as an interconnected web of life, capable of supporting all of its natural and human communities, for current and future generations.

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