Storm Chasing - The Start

August 10, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

 

Yes, I chase clouds

I don't know why, a lot of people have some childhood event that they can recall that triggers this addiction with looking at storms, I don’ have that.  I know my mother used to yell at me because I used to climb the metal garage roof to watch lightning (The concept of lighting + metal roof = danger were irrelevant at the time) Hey, we didn’t get kick ass storms in Melbourne when I was growing up so maybe it was a case of  “ohhhh something shiny – I need to see more”  It may have been this was since I was a small person, who knows.... But the fixation started in 2008.

 

I took my first lightning shot in 2008. I had my camera for two weeks and I was fumbling my way through how to actually use it. I knew WHAT I wanted to do; I just could not find the bloody settings. 

Anyway, I used to drop by my friends work after I had finished my 9-5 job and say hi, sweep the floor see if he need anything as his dad had been in hospital. One day a nasty storm had come through Brisbane, it was the day The Gap had been destroyed.

It was getting dark and we heard this roar and went to the front of the shop (massive windows) and we watched in awe. The constant lightning was phenomenal... then the windows started to shake. My mate said to me ' Step back Jodes” and of course I ignored him, I was just in awe. He dragged me away and we watched from a safer place until it went over. 

I got in my car and drove after it to Kangaroo Point Cliffs, got out of the car with my Pentax KD100 a can of coke. There was another guy there set up with a tripod and a pretty impressive camera. I wanted to do long exposure... but how? I rang my best mates (and now my boss!) George (G) , he had studied TV and film and was kickass at using a camera. "George how I do a bloody long exposure, I can't figure it out" He helped me as best he could. I rested the camera on the rocks and used my car keys and pressed the buttons.

The other photographer said "This storm is something else, we are witnessing history here" we watched in silence for most of it. 

I had a quick review of my shots and rang George “G - I think I got some" his reply was” you won't really know till you see it on screen, get over here'

So I drove what seemed an eternity for the 5 minute drive, he took my camera and uploaded the shots, I couldn’t look, I so desperately wanted to capture what I saw.. I felt sick that maybe I had stuffed it up. I kept my eyes to the ground and said "Did I get it” He swung his ridiculously oversized chair around and said. 

"Jodes, you got it... you got it"

I looked up and could not believe it.... I got it.  I wanted to cry 

No tripod. No shutter delay.... and I jagged it..... 

That’s where it all began. 

So I have spent many dollars, travelling to the USA to get the biggest and the best. and I come back with some pictures of me cheering like an idiot. ( there are plenty more, I am just updating the website so these will have to do for now.) 

 

 

 


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