Musings Of A Fellow Adventurer…Storm Chase 3

 

Hi, my name is Craig Meyers.  This is my second “Excell”ent storm chasing trip. I’ve been on other adventures with Laurie, notably Bosque del Apache, Alaska, Yellowstone.  For me they truly are adventures.  I’ve been enamored with photography since I was about 10. I’m retired now, so I finally have the time to go places, see things, and make photographs.  For me, photography is the thing that draws me out to special places.  Through the lens, I get to see things that I never would otherwise.  The photographs provide reminders of places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit, and the people who shared it with me.

The storm chase tour leaders are really great.  Each day starts out with a weather briefing to acquaint us with weather conditions and the most likely areas of storm activity, followed by a long ride in the van as we get into position to photograph storms.  Computer displays in the van provide up-to-the-minute weather information.

One of the things that makes storm chasing so great is that you get to see and photograph so many other things along the way.  As small farms have been swallowed up into larger ones, old homesteads have been left behind all over the Great Plains.  This empty house is part of the “town” of Model, Colorado…

 

A roadside rock shop provided this view of antique bottles…

 

Then in Texas we found a huge colorful display of blooming yucca plants.  I still remember carefully avoiding the cactus as I sat down to make this photograph…

 

And then there were the storms.  From lightning in Kansas…

 

to tornados…

 

And none of us will probably ever forget our stunning view of the solar eclipse in Texas…

 

They say a leader is someone you would follow to a place you’d never go by yourself, and I really can’t express enough thanks to Laurie, Brian and Tank, our leaders, for all the expertise, guidance and patience that they provided.  My fellow chasers, Don and JoAnn made this a special treat.

 

Excellent Photo Adventures…Storm Chase Wrap Up

And so another excellent year of storm chasing has come to an end.  I thought I’d fill in some of the details of our latest adventure…

We traveled over 3450 miles in six days and visited 6 states.  Some highlights are…

Lightning Storm, overnight in Del Rio, TX 534 miles

Positioning Day…Old Buildings in Colorado, overnight in Dumas, TX 528 miles

Storm Free Day…Ghost Towns in Colorado, overnight in Trinidad, CO 267 miles

Lightning Storms Colby Kansas…overnight in Colby, KS 423 miles

Lightning Storms North Platte, Nebraska…overnight in North Platte, NE 477 miles

Tornados near Wichita, Kansas…overnight in Wichita, KS 447 miles

Solar Eclipse near Guthrie, Texas…overnight Wichita Falls, KS 662 miles

Departure day…Wichita Falls, KS to Oklahoma City, OK 126 miles

And as the shutter closes on another Excellent Photo Adventure I want to leave you with one last image…

and an appropriate quote…

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. ~ Jerry Chin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musings Of A Fellow Adventurer…Storm Chase 2

 

Hi, my name is JoAnn Swenson.  I have been storm chasing with Laurie for three years.  Storm chasing has become a passion for me because chasing is a pursuit of more than just storms or seeing the elusive tornado. However, I admit that beating the odds and being in the right place at the right time to capture the perfect photo of a monstrous storm is exhilarating.  This year we only had a 2% chance of seeing a tornado and to our surprise we witnessed three tornados on day five of our trip.

Throughout our hunt we also experienced the other side of storm chasing and photographed aesthetic beauty across the plains.  I have learned to appreciate the scenery along the way.  There is beauty and excitement everywhere and plenty to photograph!

It is impossible to imagine all the stunning colors in the sky until you spend time out on the plains photographing sunsets…

Nikon D4, AF-S 28-300 mm f 3.5-5.6 VR 400 ISO f 9.5 @ 1/180

 

When we stopped in Colorado to photograph beautiful clouds, we discovered the hills were full of wild flowers and several of the Prickly Pear Cactus were in full bloom…

Nikon D4, AF-S 28-300 mm f 3.5-5.6 VR 280 ISO f 8 @ 1/750

 

Daytime lightning is my favorite. Our leaders, Brian & Tank made sure we saw plenty…

Nikon D4, AF-S 28-300 mm f 3.5-5.6 VR 200 ISO f 13 @ 1/15

 

After watching a storm, we were heading for the van and noticed a rabbit attacking a Bull Snake.  We were so stunned. I didn’t get a shot of the fight, but got the snake retreating up the tree…

Nikon D4, AF-S 28-300 mm f 3.5-5.6 VR 1600 ISO f 8 @ 1/90

 

We finished shooting the tornados and I noticed the wheat fields glowing against the dark blue sky.   This was another confirmation that there was more to photograph beyond tornados…

Nikon D4, AF-S 28-300 mm f 3.5-5.6 VR 800 ISO f 5.6 @ 1/45

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself…

As I was looking through the latest issue of Outdoor Photographer I stopped at DeWitt Jones “Basic Jones” column.  I enjoy both his images and his writing and this issue was no exception.  In fact as I read his words I felt like he had found my diary and was describing my own deepest, most heartfelt thoughts detail by detail.  Wow!  I couldn’t have put my own feelings about nature and the pursuit of  photography into better words myself.

Click here to read…