Mississippi River, Mud Lake, Iowa

The disadvantage of living in the woods is that we are the last ones that know when some interesting clouds are around. Yesterday evening some nearby thunder and a few rain drops made me grab the dog, jump in the car, and drive to a ridge in the countryside. Some quick photos were made of an old farm (I may show them another day) but the way the clouds were moving I expected that down at the Mississippi River some drama would develop in the sky. I just hit it right. The last rays of the setting sun over the banks of the river painted the landscape with some killer light. 

A minute later I was attacked by a bear, whose shadow you see at the bottom of the picture. Alright, I’m just kidding. The big shadow beside mine belongs to our little dog Cooper, who patiently followed me again, although he hates thunderstorms…

The time stamp in the metadata of both photos reveal that the second picture was made just two minutes later. The sun was gone, the thunderstorm moved along the river, and on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi parts of a rainbow developed.

These are the moments when I employ the Schneider Graduated Neutral Density filter 0.9, which darkens the upper part of the photo by 3 stops of light. Both Photos were made with the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35 f/4 at 16 mm focal length. The ring of the Schneider ND filter creates a little bit of corner vignetting with the lens zoomed out to 16 mm, but this is easy to fix in Lightroom or Photoshop.