'God Beams'

My neighbor and friend Boris and I went on a short hike into Whitewater Canyon in the late afternoon today (Yes, there are canyons in Iowa!!!). Boris is not a photographer but enjoys being outdoors the same way I do. I didn't snap any pictures in the canyon today. There wasn't really any good light left because clouds had moved in and we even caught a few raindrops.

The showers were only short and I was hopeful that the sun would break through the clouds again on the way home. My hopes were not dashed. Clouds in front of the sun created wonderful crepuscular rays, better known under photographers as 'God Beams'. It doesn't get much better for landscape photography, especially here in Iowa. We are not spoiled with great vistas like so many places in the west of the country. Boris was very patient with me and didn't mind that I pulled off the main road several times for a good perspective. Thanks Boris!

God Beams 1
Nikon D200, Nikkor 24-120 mm f/4G ED VR


The first image is an HDR made from four handhold pictures. I didn't go for the 'grungy' look and tried to keep it natural. NIK's HDR Efex Pro keeps it simple. Love this software! It is a really nice tool that helps me to develop my style of landscape photography in new directions.

God Beams 2
Nikon D200, Nikkor 24-120 mm f/4G ED VR


The second pic is a single click that I underexposed by one stop. I went for the silhouette of the farm on the left hand side. The light was magical…