Photographing Thunderstorms

Photographing Thunderstorms

  Warmer weather brings all the things that photographers typically love. The flowers are starting to come up and trees are quickly turning green. In this area of the country, it also brings the threat of severe weather. Photographing weather can be a challenging and fun pursuit, but I can also be very dangerous. Before discussing how to photograph storms, we need to spend a little time discussing safety. It is not really possible to take night shots of storms and lightning with out a tripod, and it should go without saying that standing next to a metal lightning rod (in this case: your tripod) and photographing a storm moving through the area is not a very good idea. Then, you still have to deal with strong winds, hail, tornados, and possibly flash flooding. This is one of those activities that you really should not try at home. Here are some stats about the dangers of being out in severe weather: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/hazstats/sum13.pdf Lighting safety here: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/    Basically, if you can hear thunder you are in danger of being struck by lightning. But, I suppose, if you are like me… you cannot resist the temptation to try to get a few shots of a landscape with some lightning in it. Finding a location. Every storm is a little different, but the formula is fairly similar. I usually have best results after dark. I will watch the weather reports to see where the storm is and which way it is moving in from. Almost always the storms move from west to east here. So I am usually looking for some point...
Photographing Bald Eagles on the White River

Photographing Bald Eagles on the White River

The weather has been really crappy here lately. There has been a little too much snow and ice, and now that is has warmed up a bit, there has been non-stop rain. Today was the first day that the rainy trend ended. Clear blue sky day. What better to do than go and watch the eagles? I met up with Jim, and we waited for the fog to lift. The fog finally lifted around 10 am, and the day was perfect. The water was low in the river, allowing us to wade out in the river a fair distance, so that we could line up the shots in nice low angle sunlight.  There was quite a lot of activity, both of the adults were moving around from tree to tree, preening feathers and such…. Great day to be out watching these beautiful birds.    ...