I am still getting used to my new piece of equipment (the Canon 1DX Mark II), and haven’t had as much time to spend working with it as I had hoped I would. But I will say that the dynamic range, especially at “high ISO” (which I will define at ISO 6400 and above) is actually quite amazing compared to what I am used to with the Canon 1DX, which was quite good.

 

A75I0362_1dxmII_ISO12800

Canon 1DX Mark II – ISO 12,800

The first thing I wanted to test when I picked this camera up was the ISO performance in low light. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a cool subject to photograph so this ground squirrel had to do. But given that it was close to 8pm in a area with a bit of shade, it suited my purposes of testing to get a rough (and quick) idea of how the camera would perform in lower light.

 

I was blown away when I looked at this image, taken at ISO 12,800 (Taken with Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM at f/8, 1/1000). This image has been processed using multiple variants in Capture One Pro (including noise reduction), however the results show you what you can do with this camera when in low light situations and get the most out of it using post processing.

 

What surprised me the most was the color detail that was still present in the image at this ISO and the amount of detail still in the image, especially around the mouth and eye, which is where I found the 1dx was really lacking at these high ISOs.

 

I hope to soon put it head-to-head with the Canon 1DX, and if I’m lucky against the Nikon D5.

I am still getting used to my new piece of equipment (the Canon 1DX Mark II), and haven’t had as much time to spend working with it as I had hoped I would. But I will say that the dynamic range, especially at “high ISO” (which I will define at ISO 6400 and above) is actually quite amazing compared to what I am used to with the Canon 1DX, which was quite good.

 

A75I0362_1dxmII_ISO12800

Canon 1DX Mark II – ISO 12,800

The first thing I wanted to test when I picked this camera up was the ISO performance in low light. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a cool subject to photograph so this ground squirrel had to do. But given that it was close to 8pm in a area with a bit of shade, it suited my purposes of testing to get a rough (and quick) idea of how the camera would perform in lower light.

 

I was blown away when I looked at this image, taken at ISO 12,800 (Taken with Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM at f/8, 1/1000). This image has been processed using multiple variants in Capture One Pro (including noise reduction), however the results show you what you can do with this camera when in low light situations and get the most out of it using post processing.

 

What surprised me the most was the color detail that was still present in the image at this ISO and the amount of detail still in the image, especially around the mouth and eye, which is where I found the 1dx was really lacking at these high ISOs.

 

I hope to soon put it head-to-head with the Canon 1DX, and if I’m lucky against the Nikon D5.

I just got back from spending nine days photographing the Grizzly Bears that call the Khuzteymateen home. First I want to thank the Ocean Light II, Jenn, Tom, and Sarah for the hospitality, amazing food, and knowledgeable guiding that I received during my time. And also thanks for photo leader extraordinaire Brad Hill of Natural Art Images, and a thanks to the rest of the group participants in making the trip extremely enjoyable.

 

This is my second time heading into the Khutzeymateen, and what I learned very quickly at the beginning of this year’s trip is that you never know what to expect while you are there (other than seeing Grizzly’s of course). Last year’s trip was full of two-headed bears (mating grizzly’s) and lots of them.

On Top

Whereas this year we saw a little bit of courtship, but no actual mating, so no bear porn videos produced this year. But what you can always expect from the Khutzeymateen is exclusive photographic opportunities, and I didn’t come away disappointed.

 

One of the many highlights of the trip was when one of the bears climbed onto a little rock island that was quite high compared to where the water was sitting, and decided to have a very long nap. She stayed up there for a couple of hours, allowing us the opportunity to experiment with various focal lengths and apertures. And she was also kind enough to move around every now and again to provide us different angles and images.  I actually remember going past this island, which during the lower tide, is actually quite high up there, and thinking how cool it would be if we saw a bear hanging out on that island.  Assuming it would never actually happen, guess I was wrong about that.

Two of a Kind

 

We also had the opportunity to photograph a mother and cub a few times during the trip.  It was interesting to watch her slowly become more comfortable with us throughout the trip, with her starting quite close to the woods and the cub running off a couple times, to on the last few days being totally calm when we were around.

 

Visiting the Khutzeymateen the last two years, and staying for 9 days this year, provides the opportunity to start to recognize some of the different bears, and you start noticing behaviors and changes in behaviours.  The last two trips I was fortunate enough to see siblings that were four years old last year, and still hanging around a bit, and to see how they have changed as five year-olds.  We also saw some of the larger males that were around last year, and it was interesting to see how them still trying to establish dominance again this year.

 

Stay tuned to my Recent Photos and Khutzeymateen Collection to see more of my images from the trip as I get through processing them.

 

If you have any questions about the trip, or want to get more details, contact me at contact@wildelements.ca.  If you are interested in joining me next year, there are still spots available on the 3 day trip, with more information available here.

I just got back from spending nine days photographing the Grizzly Bears that call the Khuzteymateen home. First I want to thank the Ocean Light II, Jenn, Tom, and Sarah for the hospitality, amazing food, and knowledgeable guiding that I received during my time. And also thanks for photo leader extraordinaire Brad Hill of Natural Art Images, and a thanks to the rest of the group participants in making the trip extremely enjoyable.

 

This is my second time heading into the Khutzeymateen, and what I learned very quickly at the beginning of this year’s trip is that you never know what to expect while you are there (other than seeing Grizzly’s of course). Last year’s trip was full of two-headed bears (mating grizzly’s) and lots of them.

On Top

Whereas this year we saw a little bit of courtship, but no actual mating, so no bear porn videos produced this year. But what you can always expect from the Khutzeymateen is exclusive photographic opportunities, and I didn’t come away disappointed.

 

One of the many highlights of the trip was when one of the bears climbed onto a little rock island that was quite high compared to where the water was sitting, and decided to have a very long nap. She stayed up there for a couple of hours, allowing us the opportunity to experiment with various focal lengths and apertures. And she was also kind enough to move around every now and again to provide us different angles and images.  I actually remember going past this island, which during the lower tide, is actually quite high up there, and thinking how cool it would be if we saw a bear hanging out on that island.  Assuming it would never actually happen, guess I was wrong about that.

Two of a Kind

 

We also had the opportunity to photograph a mother and cub a few times during the trip.  It was interesting to watch her slowly become more comfortable with us throughout the trip, with her starting quite close to the woods and the cub running off a couple times, to on the last few days being totally calm when we were around.

 

Visiting the Khutzeymateen the last two years, and staying for 9 days this year, provides the opportunity to start to recognize some of the different bears, and you start noticing behaviors and changes in behaviours.  The last two trips I was fortunate enough to see siblings that were four years old last year, and still hanging around a bit, and to see how they have changed as five year-olds.  We also saw some of the larger males that were around last year, and it was interesting to see how them still trying to establish dominance again this year.

 

Stay tuned to my Recent Photos and Khutzeymateen Collection to see more of my images from the trip as I get through processing them.

 

If you have any questions about the trip, or want to get more details, contact me at contact@wildelements.ca.  If you are interested in joining me next year, there are still spots available on the 3 day trip, with more information available here.

I came out of the Khutzeymateen last Friday to the message I had been hoping for, after over a month of delays, the much anticipated Canon 1DX Mark II has arrived – too bad I didn’t have it for my trip.

 

I have only taken a few test shots with it so far, and my first thoughts are “man it’s fast”. With a CFAST card I am able to get over 100 shots before the camera starts to slow at all.  This is compared to about 35 that I can get with my 1dx and CF Card.

 

Look for a post in the next week or two where I put the two cameras head to head.

I am getting ready to head to the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary with Brad Hill of Natural Art Images (find out more on his trips here).  This is my second time heading into the Khutzeymateen, and I’m beyond excited to see what this year might have in store.

 

Map of the Khutzeymateen

Map of the Khutzeymateen

The Khutzeymateen is officially known by many different names including: Khutzeymateen Provincial Park, Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary, Khutzeymateen Inlet Conservancy, Khutzeymateen Inlet West Conservancy, or for those of us that like to use slang – the “Khutz”.  The Khutz is a provincial park located off the coast of British Columbia established in 1994 and covers over 44,000 hectares of land.  This park is only accessible by water, and only two operators hold permits to bring guests into the park.  This makes it a very unique place to photograph Grizzly Bears, as you are one of under 200 people that get to visit the park that year.  And when you are taking photographs you don’t have to worry about other tour buses showing up and crowding in.

 

I went to the Khutz in 2015 with no idea what to expect, other than that I was going to get to see Grizzly Bears.  But I had no idea what to expect in terms of what kind of shots I would like to walk away with, other than by looking at the images that other photographers had taken in the past years.  What surprised me the most was the number of interactions among bears that I was able to capture.  There was tons of mating, at one point we could see at least three different sets of bears mating from one single spot. We also got to see a set of two cubs eating some grass with their mom keeping a close eye on us and them.

 

 

The top interaction that we witnessed on our trip was probably when a huge (almost black in color) grizzly came out of the

Battle of the Beasts

Battle of the Beasts

woods on the fourth day of our trip – we hadn’t seen him up to this point. He decided that he should be mating with this one female that another male was already courting.  And to prove his point, he charged and attacked.  The fight actually lasted about 5 minutes, which is a pretty long time, but if I didn’t have pictures from the beginning to end, I would have guessed that it lasted seconds, because if felt like it was over in a blink of an eye, and it felt like we had very little time to react.

 

As I prepare to head beak into the Khutzeymateen in just under a week, after having been there before I have the opportunity to think “what do I want to capture this year”.  The answer is simpler than the execution, and I would have to say that given the amazing scenery in the Khutzeymateen, I would really like to walk away with more animalscape , or landscape shots this year.  Although I would like to see another bear battle, I won’t hold my breath for that, as what we witnessed was probably a once in a lifetime.

 

If you want to see more pictures from my 2015 trip into the Khutzeymateen and read some of the stories to go along with them, visit the journeys page here: Khutzeymateen Collection

 

Stay tuned to the results of my second trip to the Khutz.

I am getting ready to head to the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary with Brad Hill of Natural Art Images (find out more on his trips here).  This is my second time heading into the Khutzeymateen, and I’m beyond excited to see what this year might have in store.

 

Map of the Khutzeymateen

Map of the Khutzeymateen

The Khutzeymateen is officially known by many different names including: Khutzeymateen Provincial Park, Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary, Khutzeymateen Inlet Conservancy, Khutzeymateen Inlet West Conservancy, or for those of us that like to use slang – the “Khutz”.  The Khutz is a provincial park located off the coast of British Columbia established in 1994 and covers over 44,000 hectares of land.  This park is only accessible by water, and only two operators hold permits to bring guests into the park.  This makes it a very unique place to photograph Grizzly Bears, as you are one of under 200 people that get to visit the park that year.  And when you are taking photographs you don’t have to worry about other tour buses showing up and crowding in.

 

I went to the Khutz in 2015 with no idea what to expect, other than that I was going to get to see Grizzly Bears.  But I had no idea what to expect in terms of what kind of shots I would like to walk away with, other than by looking at the images that other photographers had taken in the past years.  What surprised me the most was the number of interactions among bears that I was able to capture.  There was tons of mating, at one point we could see at least three different sets of bears mating from one single spot. We also got to see a set of two cubs eating some grass with their mom keeping a close eye on us and them.

 

 

The top interaction that we witnessed on our trip was probably when a huge (almost black in color) grizzly came out of the

Battle of the Beasts

Battle of the Beasts

woods on the fourth day of our trip – we hadn’t seen him up to this point. He decided that he should be mating with this one female that another male was already courting.  And to prove his point, he charged and attacked.  The fight actually lasted about 5 minutes, which is a pretty long time, but if I didn’t have pictures from the beginning to end, I would have guessed that it lasted seconds, because if felt like it was over in a blink of an eye, and it felt like we had very little time to react.

 

As I prepare to head beak into the Khutzeymateen in just under a week, after having been there before I have the opportunity to think “what do I want to capture this year”.  The answer is simpler than the execution, and I would have to say that given the amazing scenery in the Khutzeymateen, I would really like to walk away with more animalscape , or landscape shots this year.  Although I would like to see another bear battle, I won’t hold my breath for that, as what we witnessed was probably a once in a lifetime.

 

If you want to see more pictures from my 2015 trip into the Khutzeymateen and read some of the stories to go along with them, visit the journeys page here: Khutzeymateen Collection

 

Stay tuned to the results of my second trip to the Khutz.