stormchasing

The Storm Chasing Community Suffers Tremendous Loss

The storm chasing community has lost a true pioneer, leader, friend and dedicated scientist - Tim Samaras. I've known Tim for a only a few years but quickly came to respect his appreciation for, and approach to severe weather research. He was kind enough to be a guest on my photography podcast during "ChaserCon", a severe weather conference he and Roger Hill created. Tim, his son Paul and fellow chaser Carl Young will be terribly missed. They dedicated, and gave, their lives in an effort to save countless others through their tornado research. Neither the men, nor their work, will be forgotten.

LINK TO NEWS STORY:

HTTP://WWW.THEDENVERCHANNEL.COM/NEWS/LOCAL-NEWS/COLORADO-STORM-CHASER-TIM-SAMARAS-KILLED-IN-OKLAHOMA-TORNADO-ALONG-WITH-SON-LONGTIME-PARTNER

LINK TO MY INTERVIEW WITH TIM ON ITUNES (EP #57): http://itun.es/i6xD9Py

With Roger Hill and Tim Samaras (right) at ChaserCon 2011 in Denver, CO.

The Storm Chasing Community Suffers Tremendous Loss

The storm chasing community has lost a true pioneer, leader, friend and dedicated scientist - Tim Samaras. I've known Tim for only a few years but quickly came to respect his appreciation for, and approach to severe weather research. He was kind enough to be a guest on my photography podcast during "ChaserCon", a severe weather conference he and Roger Hill created. Tim, his son Paul and fellow chaser Carl Young will be terribly missed. They dedicated, and gave, their lives in an effort to save countless others through their tornado research. Neither the men, nor their work, will be forgotten.

LINK TO NEWS STORY:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/colorado-storm-chaser-tim-samaras-killed-in-oklahoma-tornado-along-with-son-longtime-partner

LINK TO MY INTERVIEW WITH TIM AND OTHERS ON ITUNES (EPI #57): HTTP://ITUN.ES/I6XD9PY

 

With Roger Hill and Tim Samaras (right) at ChaserCon in Denver, 2011.


Arizona Storm Chase - 2011

Late last month I joined up with fellow photographer Ed Sherman and headed to southern Arizona for some storm chasing with another pal, and extremely talented photog in his own right, Paul Freeman.  The monsoons were rolling in and brought with them some angry clouds which dropped some pretty impressive lightning.  On one evening we headed down to the Mexican border and shot some lightning.  A really friendly Border Patrol agent stopped by and we all chatted for a while as bolts were lighting up all around us.  He shared some cool stories about his three years working the border so far.  We ultimately had to get outta there because the lighting had surrounded us without us realizing it.  (It's bad when you hear the thunder at the same time you see the flash right?)  And, believe it or not, the "unfriendlies" were closing in from the border as well.  It's like the wild west down there, no kidding.  

We also chased some storms to the Grand Canyon but by the time we got there we decided conditions were better for photographing the sunset at the South Rim.  I'd never been to the Grand Canyon so now I can say I stopped by and shot a sunset there.  I had grown up hearing about the GC and thought I was burned out on the place thanks to the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, etc.  Not so much.  Once I stepped foot on the rim my breath was taken away.  Badda-bing, badda-boom - we spent about an hour photographing one of the most dramatic sunsets I'd every seen and headed back to base camp in Phoenix.

Paul brought us to a great old ranch, the Empire Ranch in Sonoita.  That old place made for some cool pics too which you can see in the gallery!

It was a great three days of chasing, photographing, eating, drinking, chatting and driving.  Good times indeed.

One discovery we made along the way was definitley a sign of the times.  We spent quite a bit of time shooting pictures with our iPhones!  Taking full advantage of the arrary of cool photo apps available, we shot panos, HDRs, etc. with our phones and got great results (for phone cams).  Perhaps we saved our "real" cameras for the bigger scenes but even the quick phone images inspired us to really work a scene with the DSLRs.  I've posted some of the iPhone images HERE.  To view my entire gallery from the trip (sans iPhone images), including the lightning images, click one the images or HERE.

 

 

 

What's in my storm chasing "Go Bag"?

With tornado season upon us, it's time for me to assemble my "Go Bag".  I'll keep this ready to go because I might have to jump on a plane at a moments notice to head toward storm country to chase the illusive "big one".  Although I want to bring everything I think I may need, it's also important to stay portable and travel light.  During these storm chases we are constantly in and out of hotels, vehicles and not to mention, airplanes.  Packing too much gear bogs you down and when you're chasing tornadoes, that's the last thing you want!  Here's what I'll be packing in the media bag along with the MacBook Pro: 2 Canon 40d DSLR camera bodies 16-35mm f2.8 L lens 24-105mm f4 lens 70-200mm f2.8 L lens (or the 100-400mm) 580 EXII strobe (or two) Canon HFS10 HD Video Camera Contour HD Helmet Camera Lightning Trigger Pocket Wizards Gitzo carbon fiber tripod w/ball head Portable Storage Device (80 gig) Satellite Phone Walkie Talkies Portable Scanner MP3 audio recorder for podcast recordings Rain covers, batteries, chargers, CF/SD cards, filters, cable releases, power strip, various clamps & brackets, etc. And for me this is traveling light! My other bag will have the usually "weekender" supply of clean (and dry) clothes, toiletries and rain gear.  I'll use my laptop and iPhone to monitor local radar loops.  The portable scanner will be used to not only monitor public safety frequencies but to be alerted of severe weather alerts and warnings.  A variety of broadband and MiFi cards will be used to stay connected in the field.  Oh, let's not forget the map books!
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