I have always loved storms. I love the crackle of lightning, I love the boom of thunder, and I love to watch the shifting sky before, during and after storm cells roll across the plains. I love the intensity, the appreciation for something that is beyond your control and sense that you might as well just sit back and enjoy the ride. And while I recognize the danger, and am saddened by the fact that every year many people lose their homes and lives, I will also confess I love the feeling of anticipation when things grow still and the sky turns green on a humid afternoon; how your hair stands on end, the sky commands your respect, and all you can do is wait and see what develops. I never wish for anybody to get hurt, of course, but always value those moments when nature demands our attention.
I am the type who wants to race outside and watch rather than take cover in the face of a storm. And this presents some difficulty now in my married life, because my wife is just the opposite. She was raised on the west coast, and now in the midwest she is absolutely terrified by the idea tornados. We’re working to find some compromise, and while I would never leave her in fear or danger it’s pretty evident that my days of heading out the door when warning sirens sound are limited. Well, I can maybe sneak outside for a quick look, but the whole idea of jumping in my truck and racing toward the storm is definitely frowned upon. Even when I do offer to let her come along…
Fortunately though, one of the great things about living in the country is having a front row seat to the changing skies. I don’t need to drive anywhere to have an uninhibited view of what’s unfolding, I just step out in the backyard. And when things start to get a little crazy, my wife can take some comfort in knowing that a forty yard dash will have me back inside, and directing her to get to the basement if needed. (At the slightest hint of a storm, she’s asking if there’s going to be a tornado; and at the first gust of wind she’s considering heading underground. It’s all still very new to her. I’d probably react the same to an earthquake.)
Anyway, this spring and summer I really hope to take advantage of this opportunity and capture some good storm images. I’ve never gotten a really good lightning shot, so one goal is to do that (below, a shot from last night, is probably my best yet… but I’m still hoping to do much better.) I also want to capitalize on the dramatic dance between clouds and light that develops amidst a thundering sky.
The shots you see posted here are what I’ve come up with so far this season. I also have an album started on my facebook page, where I will be adding subsequent images in the months to come. The album is entitled “Storms 2012”, and you can access my facebook photography page HERE. Check it out, and be sure to “LIKE” the page if you’re interested in seeing updates on this, and following my other work.