Sunset storm in Wichita, Kansas about an hour ago. My next few posts were supposed to be airshow photos, but this sky thing happened tonight so I ran out for a quick snap.
I learned a couple of things last Saturday. 1. When running around in a storm, it might be a good idea to check the front of the lens for water droplets before shooting. 2. Hail is cold when striking the body.
Usually when there is threatening weather, you will find yours truly at home, where all good citizens are supposed to go when the skies turn angry. Last Saturday however, things did not turn out that way. My wife and I had planned on a little trip out in the country to find and photograph a particular barn I knew about. Severe thunderstorms developed west of Wichita however, and I decided the responsible thing to do would be to take a short drive out to the park where I often photograph, which is much closer to home than the planned barn trip. (Responsible is a relative term, I was running around with my tripod near a tall steel windmill, with lightning in the area.) The image above is from the park. Expecting to go home at that point, my wife surprised me by suggesting we drive west, out where we had seen some golden wheat fields earlier in the weekend. West would be driving into the storm, but I love a challenge. (Turns out she did not know the storms had been dropping tornadoes one county to the west.) We hit a couple more locations, on one I found myself under some gigantic power line towers. I must be an idiot. Anyhow, I will post more as the week goes by. No photographers, or their spouses, were hurt during this excursion.
I’m not intending to turn this into a weather blog, however it may appear lately. A strong line of thunderstorms marched their way across Kansas Monday evening. These are mammatus clouds, they were hanging well off the back of the actual storm. This is a three exposure HDR, finished off in Lightroom.
I’m battling the cold virus from h#$! so just a quick and easy one today. I’ve had some success over the years in photographing lightning, in fact I have a couple of images on slides that I am pretty proud of (different than the previously posted windmill shot) but never have gotten a decent scan from those. I offer instead this more modern take. Sure, the whole windswept prairie, windmill in the foreground thing makes a good photo, but if that’s not practical there’s always your front porch. That’s where this was taken, my front porch. Click on the image for the super spectacular ginormous version. Hope everyone is having a good Friday.
This is from my film days, taken in the late 1990’s during my one and only real storm chase. The person I was with had a meteorology degree and had done this before, so I felt like I was being semi-responsible about it. (That is, until I found myself frantically jockeying a metal tripod around in the middle of multiple lightning flashes.) I fired off a few exposures of several seconds each, then got back in the car, relieved the lightning had behaved. In this particular spot everything came together visually when looking west towards the setting sun (behind the clouds.) The clouds were interesting, the foreground of fence and windmill in silhouette, lightning, and the absence of overhead powerlines. (I hate overhead power lines from a photographic perspective, although I confess to enjoying the electricity they provide.) This particualr storm cell dropped a tornado a few minutes later to the north, but we were out of the immediate area by then.
During most of my film era I shot transparencies (“slides”). For some reason now forgotten I started shooting print film for awhile, this storm was on print film. I am embarrassed to report that the original negative is lost, or at least misplaced on a long term basis. OK, it must be lost. I have every slide I ever took, but those darn negatives must have been tricky to keep organized.