Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Midwest Storms

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester UK
    Posts
    455
    Real Name
    John Wright

    Midwest Storms

    Having been told yesterday about the temperamental nature of Tinypic I'll persevere this time until they're loaded.

    These are some of the more memorable photos I took on my recent trip to the US. It's my 5th. trip and for the last 3 it's been the photos I get that have been the motivation to travel 4000 mlles to OKC and 4000 back and on average 400 miles a day, rather than experiencing the storms. We travelled through KS TX OK and MO this time. It's not always possible to spend time getting the ideal composition,some are even 'grab shots' before we have to get back in the van in a hurry-sometimes we're out of the van for less than a minute, most times this year there was no time for tripods so then you get the noise problem with the high ISO to get the shutter speed up because light is usually poor but most taken like that are passable. The EF3 Ellsinore Tornado was travelling at 45-50 mph.across I60 so the choice was either a video or stills no-one had time to set up both.It went through my mind to make a dash to the grassed central divide to get a better shot but wondered if I'd have been given a ticket by a passing Highway Patrol or State Trooper- I didn't want to chance that.Here in the UK we'd have got away with it with being told to move and a word or two of advice... no ticket though. I've used my 20 max. photo allocation here too. I'll post some misc.photos,including the TIV2 vehicle we saw,tomorrow.

    Strong Convection at near Dodge City KS
    Midwest Storms

    Post storm sunset at Rozel KS
    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms


    Mesocyclone Preston KS
    Midwest Storms

    Post storm Sunset Isabel KS. These are the colours as they were-it was surreal ,even the profs. with us said they'd never seen colours like it. I've taken up 4 photos of my allocation on here of this scene because it was so powerful,it includes one taken with my newly acquired Sigma 15mm fisheye -any tips on the use of that would be welcome, this was only the second shot I'd taken with it the other being the day before-this was not really an occasion to be hoping it would turn out ok.
    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms

    Another Meso. storm and two lowering at Pauline KS-we were hoping for a tornado but they didn't make it.
    Midwest Storms


    Supercell Lake Shawnsee KS
    Midwest Storms

    This structure is part of the storm north of Southwest City MO that spawned an EF3 tornado. It was most of the time rain wrapped so the photo is poor (not posted)but we got within 2 miles of it and it sounded like a jet on a runway at full throttle,they said that was the sound of it shredding forest trees,it also demolished outbuildings of a house which we later saw and brought down power lines with the pole half-way across the road-it was a narrow country road too and of course we had to drive round it. We stopped to see if the residents were ok and there were a couple of guys there-maybe from the electric company-the house owners had been evacuated. The second photo was taken from inside the van-the rain from this storm was so heavy we had to take shelter-unable to drive through it. 3200 ISO f4
    Midwest Storms

    Midwest Storms



    This and the Isabel sunset were the best photos of the trip. This is a rotating wall cloud at Kingfisher OK. It looked to me like it was in the next field but it was so massive it was infact 3 miles away I was told. We had to dash to take shelter from the large hail shortly after these photos. were taken,shelter to protect the van and it we parked in the town's car wash. The hail is the green in the fisheye shot, we really had to get out of there. Can you imagine how you'd feel looking up at that above your home.
    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms


    EF3 tornado crossing I60 at 45-50mph.at Ellsinore MO May 25. It picked up a trailer type home off its foundations and shredded it in the forest on the far side of I60 along with a metal horse box. No-one was in the home-the two brothers saw what was coming and jumped in their truck/car and drove off and there was no horse in the box. I felt ok photographing the forest damage and horse box because of this.
    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms



    Better finish with something tranquil. These images were taken at Poplar Bluff MO at the end of the trip. It's a flooded rice field.
    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms

  2. #2
    Marie Hass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    up on a knob above Paden City, West Virginia
    Posts
    2,037
    Real Name
    Marie Hass

    Re: Midwest Storms

    John, thank you for sharing these pictures of the storms. I was awestruck by the the destructive power portrayed. Great job!

    Marie

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,342
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Thanks for sharing john. You've got some really nice images there. Very powerful looking storms, and that open land in the mid west really adds to the strength of these shots.

  4. #4
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    29,257
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Watching the storm chasers photographing the storm reminds me of a documentary I saw where the photographer was photographing a bear and her cub and before you know it, he is between the cub and the mama bear.

  5. #5
    jeeperman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Seattle Washington
    Posts
    3,550
    Real Name
    Paul

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Looks like you accomplished what you set out for. Good to see you made it home in one piece and with some nice shots to show for it.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester UK
    Posts
    455
    Real Name
    John Wright

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Many thanks for the comments.

    The structures are very impressive but not always the quality of the photo (mainly the handheld ones when you realise back in the van that your shutter speed was less than the focal length - can't go back and take it again ...you're off) but these situations with low light and often times great contrast (a storm can sit in the sky with clear blue skies either side,another amazing aspect) need more than a point and shoot mindset and quite often there's a sense of urgency too,not usually time to check out the LCD images and Histogram and retake ,infact each year I go I have an improvement over the previous year in how I get two cameras with lenses attached (17-40 & 24-105) around my neck with a 70-200 and 1.4 X ( in case I need reach for tornadoes or cloud tops) plus lens wipes etc. in a shoulder bag to the roadside fence..and now a 15mm fisheye and hopefully a tripod...lol a bit ambitious to say the least. The guides will tell you that storm chasing and photography don't go together very well or even at all, it's no doubt why I often get so frustrated. Almost all participants every year are quite happy with a point and shoot, I'm usually the only one ,other than the guides that takes a tripod.The point and shoots these days deliver very good shots,I sometimes envy them that they just enjoy the structures and don't have the self-imposed pressure I suffer of attempting to get the best shots.

    Ref. the bear and the cub, a good analogy really, that kind of situation arises most often with lightning and over the years I've experienced it too close for comfort on more than one occasoin-one of the nearest was at a railroad crossing last year and we were all out of the van and a strike came down barely 200 yards away, we heard it ..that would be mama bear I guess Lol. so we had to hightail it out..fast. To my knowledge no-one has ever been injured, certainly not killed doing this, the guys that run it have MA's and Bachelor degrees in meteorology and read the radar well and keep us safe, the problems arise when you get big storms near urban areas- OKC especially and when it's a weekend and the 'lads' get in their cars with their buddies and go after them and not always with road safety in mind.

    Here's the TIV2 built by Sean Casey (who was with it) at the Sleep Inn Guthrie OKC May 23 along with the research team from OKC Uni. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado..._Vehicle#TIV_2 The red hydraulics drive lances into the ground to a depth of 18 " to stabilise it in the tornadic winds. There were several TV cameras around and interviews going on.

    Midwest Storms



    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pico Rivera CA
    Posts
    77
    Real Name
    Henry

    Re: Midwest Storms

    The 3rd one is amazing, clouds are one of my favorite subjects. If I saw a 'meso' I would probably think it was a UFO in the clouds (too many movies). Thanks for posting.

  8. #8
    BJ Denning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri USA
    Posts
    497
    Real Name
    Bryan

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Great photos. I have to say that storm chasing is fascinating. I enjoy the documentaries and admit that I always think that there is something just not right about people who run towards these events. However, having live my whole life in this area, I find storms humbling -- especially since people in general think that we can't be out done and a little wind puts us in our place. Living in the area you learn respect. I think this is another reason they call the mid-west the Bible belt, there is something divine about a solid thunderstorm. And sometimes tragic, Joplin, MO Tornado

  9. #9
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    29,257
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    Many thanks for the comments.

    The structures are very impressive but not always the quality of the photo (mainly the handheld ones when you realise back in the van that your shutter speed was less than the focal length - can't go back and take it again ...you're off) but these situations with low light and often times great contrast (a storm can sit in the sky with clear blue skies either side,another amazing aspect) need more than a point and shoot mindset and quite often there's a sense of urgency too,not usually time to check out the LCD images and Histogram and retake ,infact each year I go I have an improvement over the previous year in how I get two cameras with lenses attached (17-40 & 24-105) around my neck with a 70-200 and 1.4 X ( in case I need reach for tornadoes or cloud tops) plus lens wipes etc. in a shoulder bag to the roadside fence..and now a 15mm fisheye and hopefully a tripod...lol a bit ambitious to say the least. The guides will tell you that storm chasing and photography don't go together very well or even at all, it's no doubt why I often get so frustrated. Almost all participants every year are quite happy with a point and shoot, I'm usually the only one ,other than the guides that takes a tripod.The point and shoots these days deliver very good shots,I sometimes envy them that they just enjoy the structures and don't have the self-imposed pressure I suffer of attempting to get the best shots.

    Ref. the bear and the cub, a good analogy really, that kind of situation arises most often with lightning and over the years I've experienced it too close for comfort on more than one occasoin-one of the nearest was at a railroad crossing last year and we were all out of the van and a strike came down barely 200 yards away, we heard it ..that would be mama bear I guess Lol. so we had to hightail it out..fast. To my knowledge no-one has ever been injured, certainly not killed doing this, the guys that run it have MA's and Bachelor degrees in meteorology and read the radar well and keep us safe, the problems arise when you get big storms near urban areas- OKC especially and when it's a weekend and the 'lads' get in their cars with their buddies and go after them and not always with road safety in mind.

    Here's the TIV2 built by Sean Casey (who was with it) at the Sleep Inn Guthrie OKC May 23 along with the research team from OKC Uni. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado..._Vehicle#TIV_2 The red hydraulics drive lances into the ground to a depth of 18 " to stabilise it in the tornadic winds. There were several TV cameras around and interviews going on.

    Midwest Storms



    Midwest Storms


    Midwest Storms
    Well there you go. Unless those FDNY fire fighters were on vacation the chances of seeing a killer storm in New York State are one in a million.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester UK
    Posts
    455
    Real Name
    John Wright

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Lol..So that's what FDNY means. I thought it might be a Uni. but there was no 'U' .

    Bryan..we were onto that Joplin tornado and got within 30 minutes of it before it hit Joplin..an EF5,worst in the US since 1938.
    I had to redo this post and thought I'd deleted the other one when I messed up on uploading photos but it had gone into the forum (now been deleted by mods/management) and I'm sure that in that one I'd told about the chase group that were ahead of it driving through Joplin as the EF5 neared and they tried to shout warnings to people who were out and about but they just waved back at them, they drove out of town with the tornado coming in behind them and cars were being driven passed them in towards it despite the sirens.

    You certainly get the feeling of being humbled by these monster storms and I think of all mankind has achieved,technically but we are helpless in the face of Nature at it's worst and your other observation has a ring of truth about it too.

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,071
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    I had to redo this post and thought I'd deleted the other one when I messed up on uploading photos but it had gone into the forum (now been deleted by mods) and I'm sure that in that one I'd told about the chase group that were ahead of it driving through Joplin as the EF5 neared and they tried to shout warnings to people who were out and about but they just waved back at them, they drove out of town with the tornado coming in behind them and cars were being driven passed them in towards it despite the sirens.
    Oooops, sorry, did I throw out a baby with the bath water?
    I transferred Geoff's post over, the rest looked like a lot chatter about the two threads and photos, etc., I must have missed something, sorry.

    The are definitely better quality than the average shots you see of things like this, good series John.

    Well done,

  12. #12
    BJ Denning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri USA
    Posts
    497
    Real Name
    Bryan

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    Lol..So that's what FDNY means. I thought it might be a Uni. but there was no 'U' .

    Bryan..we were onto that Joplin tornado and got within 30 minutes of it before it hit Joplin..an EF5,worst in the US since 1938.
    I had to redo this post and thought I'd deleted the other one when I messed up on uploading photos but it had gone into the forum (now been deleted by mods/management) and I'm sure that in that one I'd told about the chase group that were ahead of it driving through Joplin as the EF5 neared and they tried to shout warnings to people who were out and about but they just waved back at them, they drove out of town with the tornado coming in behind them and cars were being driven passed them in towards it despite the sirens.

    You certainly get the feeling of being humbled by these monster storms and I think of all mankind has achieved,technically but we are helpless in the face of Nature at it's worst and your other observation has a ring of truth about it too.
    FDNY is Fire Department, New York. Generally speaking storms avoid large cities, I think it has something to do with all the concerte creating a heat island.

    Early warnings and improved science are great services that storm chasers provide. As much as the Joplin tornado was probably a sight to see, you should be glad you were not close. The photos on the news don't come close to seeing all that damage. Allot of people compare it to WWII when the carpet bombing was done and cities were leveled. The loss of memories (photos, heirlooms, and souvenirs) and the loss of life are deeper wounds than the items.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester UK
    Posts
    455
    Real Name
    John Wright

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    Lol..So that's what FDNY means. I thought it might be a Uni. but there was no 'U' .

    Bryan..we were onto that Joplin tornado and got within 30 minutes of it before it hit Joplin..an EF5,worst in the US since 1938.
    I had to redo this post and thought I'd deleted the other one when I messed up on uploading photos but it had gone into the forum (now been deleted by mods/management) and I'm sure that in that one I'd told about the chase group that were ahead of it driving through Joplin as the EF5 neared and they tried to shout warnings to people who were out and about but they just waved back at them, they drove out of town with the tornado coming in behind them and cars were being driven passed them in towards it despite the sirens.

    You certainly get the feeling of being humbled by these monster storms and I think of all mankind has achieved,technically but we are helpless in the face of Nature at it's worst and your other observation has a ring of truth about it too.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester UK
    Posts
    455
    Real Name
    John Wright

    Re: Midwest Storms

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Oooops, sorry, did I throw out a baby with the bath water?
    I transferred Geoff's post over, the rest looked like a lot chatter about the two threads and photos, etc., I must have missed something, sorry.

    The are definitely better quality than the average shots you see of things like this, good series John.
    Well done,
    Thanks for your comment Dave and no, no probs. you did exactly the right thing,thanks -as you say, most of it I was explaining to Geoff what had happened. Infact in replying to you now I see I clicked on 'reply with quote' for Bryan's post instead of yours, I deleted my reply but the quote won't go away- newbie's trials and tribulations You better look at deleting that too- apologies.

    Bryan-noted what you said- I better leave things as they are and not reply. Lol.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •