Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

Salsify Sunrays

Availability: RM Stock (??)

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In the Field

Salsify Sunrays. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. June 12, 2005.

I rarely shoot an image that is in the "dead-centre" of my camera's viewfinder. But, in this case the near perfect radial symmetry of this Yellow Salsify begged to be centred in my viewfinder! While this plant is considered to be a weed by many, I find Salsify (also known as "Goatsbeard") very photogenic and they are one of my favourite flowers to photograph.

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

Stay tuned - Photographic Notes for this image coming soon.

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. Sigma EM-140DG Macro flash. Nikon MC-20 cable release.

1/160s @ f7.1; no compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting; balanced TTL flash exposure with -0.67 stop compensation on EM-140DG. Shutter triggered with mirror-up.

At the Computer

Salsify Sunrays. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. June 12, 2005.

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.


Salsify Sunrays. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. June 12, 2005.

Ten percent of the revenue generated by this image will be donated to Wildsight.

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

Goatsbeard or Yellow Salisfy (Tragopogon dubius) resembles a large dandelion and flowers from early spring through to late fall. The species was originally introduced from Europe and quickly spread throughout much of North America. Today goatsbeard is found from the southern Northwest Territories south to New Mexico. Although stunning in appearance, goatsbeard is considered a weed by many.

This specimen of goatsbeard was photographed in the Columbia Valley of the East Kootenays. While this species is not currently considered at any risk itself, many ecosystems within the Columbia Valley face development pressure, including pressure from logging operations. 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