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John's US storm photos

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JohnC
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« on: May 29, 2010, 09:55:20 pm »

Here's the photos for May 10th. the first chase day and we stayed in Oklahoma. Needless to say the mammatus was the highlight of the trip for me. I've only ever seen it like this in books.
As I process/delete and edit the photos on a day by day basis, that's how Lightroom catalogued them,I'll post them. I took 837 .

The first photo is the radar image taken inside the van of the tornadic storm at Enid OK. at about 4.00pm. We were told later that a tornado emerged from this storm but we didn't see it,it's really down to good luck as well as good judgement.These things just came and went verty rapidly and most storms were HP and moving at between 35-45 mph..The tornadoes would touch down and back up and if you weren't in exactly the right location at the right tim,e you'd miss it,also there were often times when there were several storm in relatively close proximity,the most was 7 so Bill and Brian had to sort of pick a storm which they believed had the most potential but sometimes we'd leave behind a 'dying' storm to get to another winding up only to hear that the one we had left re-energised and spawned a tornado..such is storm chasing. I managed to take a photo of the bending tree as we ran back to the van at double quick speed, no time to frame it, just get it whatever, and the storm was to out over the fields where you see the rain shafts but it was the inflow that was bending that tree-it was a gale force wind-unbelievable to think that the storm was pulling in air at that rate.wind, we had a job to stand still and photograph.I turned round and looked down the road and saw white 'cloud' inflow as it rushed across the road and when we left we drove through it and the van shook with the battering, an absolutely amazing experience. It was far better (for me) than standing a mile or so from a tornado in a calm area-with this we felt part of the storm, in 2008 I recall feeling the strong wind on my back as we looked at a storm but this was like being in a gale at sea,we were just short of being battered by it.

Is that a wall cloud I see in photo 5 ?

The mammatus was taken after a storm at Henryetta OK. at about 6.00pm.We had stopped at a diner to eat but I looked up and saw the mammatus approaching - it was moving over at about 5mph. so I stayed put. I'm quite pleased that we weren't out on the Plains as I think the urban foreground gives the photo some perspective
















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JohnC
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2010, 11:08:00 pm »

This photo was taken near Washita OK. Is it just convection ? A severe storm with large golf ball size hail developed from it later on. This was taken with a Canon 15mm fisheye lens. on a 5D11...What do you think ? I really don't mind if anyone doesn't like it like this - my wife doesn't.

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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2010, 11:27:09 am »

Hi John - I see the fun now begins with the images, I have been looking forward to seeing them since you arrived home so thanks for posting them up here. As always, excellent images to get our attention from the very start, I love the thought that went into the blowing tree - that says a thousand words!. The mammatus show is spectacular, I would have stayed out there too, I like the forground, it sort of reminds me of the 'Twister' movie. Those radar grabs are tasty!. My fav image is number 2 showing that menacing dark convection with the rock solid towers sporting knuckles - fantastic threatening storm scene  Smiley
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rjgjr
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2010, 04:00:57 pm »

Great images John, as Martin, I've been waiting for your images to arrive. It does take time to go through and prepare a report like this. I think my favorite image is the mammatus view, with what looks like a somewhat shredded "Old Glory" trying to wave on the flag pole. The bending tree characterizes great action and movement, and I happen to like the fisheye view representing the immense Okie sky with the threatening cumulus buildup streaming from over the horizon. Looking forward to your next installment.
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paulster78
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2010, 09:54:12 pm »

These are really good John, just mouthwatering in anticipation of more. The fisheye perspective is class i think, it throws a new angle on things.
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JohnC
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2010, 10:31:31 pm »

Glad you enjoyed day one's photos I'm done with the editing. I't so boring ,I find,  to post a link - not that I have one yet Lol. I do have MobileMe with iPhotos so they'll go in there soon but let's enjoy therm here without going down that route and having to click on them to enlarge them Hope that;s, ok and I'll just post them throughtthe week

So-here we go with May 11 and the photos of the tornado damage,which occurred the dat before -we were near Midwest City OK, were taken through the window (smoked glass too ..ugh) as we drove at 50mph. along  I 40. The shutter speed was 1/4000sec. on the first one, ISO 500 if I recall correctly and the reason I mention it  is I'm astounded at how well it's turned out. Let's hop Tinypic does the biz.   Written under each photo is where it was taken but the problem,as Tyler and Richard will tell you is that most of the photos were taken away from towns so when you read the name it means we were 'near' that town not at it,the only exception was Guthrie and Dumas in TX when we were in the town with the storm there too.          













The following were taken on the 12th. starting near  Cheyenne OK.
















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JohnC
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 11:06:24 pm »

Ok-they're not showing the location.I'll say where they were taken. The third from last (above) was taken from the van again,hence the blurred out of focus trees and a wee reflection off the glass,it just wasn't practical to stop at everything I thought deserved a shot so I took one and hoped for the best-most of them have had to be binned. The last 3 were taken near Carter OK. We spent most time in OK and TX and slipped into New Mexico later on in the Tour.

This first one 'anvil at sunset' is the only one I have from the 13th. Not a good day for us atall. It was taken near Garden City OK.



Well, you don't need me to tell you what the first two photos are and they were taken from the van of course ,as we drove towards Clinton OK





The following photos up to and including TIV2 were taken near Goldsmith TX










This railway track photo has a story. Just after I took the photo I moved to a position behind me to take a photo in another direction when there was a bolt of CG-I mean it was right there near  us and to the right of where I had just been on the track,it was so vivd and it was followed,not by a rumble of thunder but a very loud whiplash crack and I remember thinking that it was superb,wonderful and I then started to frame my next shot but was never allowed to take it lol. We got the order to get back in the van sharpish,that bolt was, according to Brian, about 200 yards from us and far to close for comfort so we drove a mile down the road opposite and you can see the white inflow cloud.



















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JohnC
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2010, 11:12:49 pm »

These next photos were taken near Clinton OK. They told us that the tops of the storm clouds had reached 60,000 ft.

















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JohnC
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2010, 11:24:39 pm »

The following photos were taken in SW Texas(still on the 14th...it was a great day). They were mainly taken near Iraan TX . and the Cg's over the hills were taken hand held such was the length of time they flickered. The colouring,beige/orange ,in the other photos was exactly what it was like-it was unbelievable even Brian M. said it was one of the best evening lightning displays he'd seen-it was like looking into another world. Some parts of the Tour were memorable and this was up there at the top. Once again the CG's got a bit close and we had to move on a bit.


















....and the last two of the day taken near Andrews. TX.



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martinastro
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2010, 11:54:02 pm »

John, all I can say is 'wow' - those are fabulous images!, I love those solid anvils, however the lightning captures are outstanding!, would you mind sharing how you got those?, aperture stopped down with longer shutter?, was that twilight? - excellent results, great crisp focus on these too. I''m going to have to go back over these again for another look  Smiley - thanks for posting.
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rjgjr
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2010, 06:15:27 am »

All the shots are great John, love the big rolling anvils. But the lightning shots are breathtaking. Here in the Northwest we never get to see anything like that, just beautiful. As Martin mentioned, I have to go back and look at these a little better again. I'm sure Tyler will have a lot of input on these. You mentioned a lot of " near here and near there", even where I live it's 30 miles either direction to the next towns. Great job and interesting report!
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markt
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2010, 09:05:55 am »

Wow!!!!   Shocked Cool

What a fantastic series of photos, thanks for sharing.  Stormchasing is something I really want to have a go at myself, and after seeing your photos and reading your report this has reinforced this to me. 

Mark Smiley
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JohnC
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2010, 02:51:06 pm »

Thanks for  great comments. I'll look at the apertures Martin. and let you know.

I see that one of the CG's ,the last before the beige/orange sky was from the moving van,once again  it flickered long enough for me to press the shutter but I hadn't noticed the left side of the window till now, so I'll crop that out.

Yes, that was sunset, Martin, a really weird colour as you see and changing too quite quickly,that last CG was very close I can remember it, I didn't think I'd caught it, I thought it would have blown out - just got  lucky.

If you want any info. Mark just get in touch.The only problem is that had you seen my 2008 photos then gone in 2009 you'd have most likely been very disappointed as it was a poor season, I go expecting little and anything beyond that is a bonus and that applies to tornadoes too, I don't expect to see one,I mean a rope or wedge, the classic shapes but if I do- a bonus,it's the storm structures and Cg's I go for.

So, here we go with the 15th. We were either in or very close to the Big Bends national Park,this is the Chihuahuan desert and 70 miles from the Mexican border where we were stopped on the way back.I probably shouldn't have taken a photo Lol.

I do like my middle of the road /railtrack photos Lol.







http://tinypic.com/m/adyr7n/3





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JohnC
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2010, 03:31:34 pm »

Now for the 16th.Sunday. Well, I've just looked at the folder to see what's in it as they look the same area as the 15th. but it ties up with the date in camera.We had a quiet day in the Big Bends area on Sunday and I photographed rusty old cars at a  disused old railroad station at Marathon TX  which is described as the gateway to the Big Bends Nat. Park.so we obviously stayed in the area the next day. I kept a pretty good log but sometimes tiredness caused me to overlook an entry or rather a proper entry. I'll stick a couple in for interest (even though it's the weather forum  Roll Eyes  -hope that's ok)

Once again another photo from the moving van-the massive CB over the hill,I really am surprised at how some of the photos from the van,which usually travelled at 50mph. minimum, have turned out.



















Ref. these last two photos  below,we were,as you see ,at the end of the day 'somewhere' in SW TX. All the others had finished photographing as the Cg's were well apart ,a dying storm but Bill,one of the guides decided to stick it out with his video camera (more like a big movie camera Lol) for a bit longer, even Brian M. had packed up his camcorder gear so I stayed alongside Bill and got this  last photo -I just recall a flash on the horizon and was so pleased when I looked at the LCD,not to mention surprised !





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martinastro
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2010, 05:24:49 pm »

These are brilliant John, love them all, hard to pic a fav, I love the one looking down the road towards the horizon with storm clouds aloft, like a scene from the movie 'the hitcher' - please keep them coming, you are providing me with plenty of eye candy  Smiley
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