Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

Shooting Star at Sunrise

Availability: Limited Edition Print; RM Stock (??)

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In the Field

Shooting Star at Sunrise. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. May 5, 2005.

Each year Pretty Shooting Stars are among the first wildflowers to bloom on our property. They're relatively small flowers that grow in thick patches - so thick that the ground looks like a magenta/purple carpet for a week or two. Every spring I watch for the "just right" Shooting Star to photograph. Because they normally have on one or two flowers on each plant, I was quite excited when I ran into this 4-flowered specimen one morning near sunrise. To ensure I emphasized the flowers, I shot with my lens wide open. Later, I added the almost "dream-like" softness to the image with Photoshop.

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

Shooting Star at Sunrise. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. May 5, 2005.

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

Nikon D2X with Nikon AF Micro 60 mm f/2.8 lens (90 mm equivalent with digital conversion factor) supported on Gitzo G2220 Explorer tripod with Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. Nikon MC-20 cable release.

1/350s @ f3.2; no compensation from matrix-metered exposure setting. Shutter triggered with mirror-up.

At the Computer

Shooting Star at Sunrise. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. May 5, 2005.

RAW Conversion to 16-bit TIFF, including first-pass sharpening, exposure compensation, 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 Gaussian blur, compositing and blending of blurred and sharp layers, selective saturation enhancement, and selective sharpening for web output.


Shooting Star at Sunrise. Findlay Creek, BC, Canada. May 5, 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.

Pretty Shooting Star (Dodecathion pulchellum) - which is also known as Few-flowered Shooting Star - is a small, spring-blooming wildflower that is found in moist sites from northern Canada and Alaska south to New Mexico. When in bloom this species can form a thick magenta-tinged carpet over large tracts of land.

This Shooting Star was photographed in the Columbia Valley of the East Kootenays. While this species is not currently not considered at risk, like many other species local populations are very vulnerable to habitat loss. 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