The big Stormchasing Trip of 2011

It’s Monday morning and if you are reading this, it’s likely I just posted it before boarding a plane for Denver, Colorado as I am off on my 2nd Annual Stormchasing super-duper adventure.

This could lead to two things: 1) I am way too busy to post any blogs until maybe Friday and perhaps not even then…or 2) I will see some amazing stuff and will be unable to control myself and HAVE to post something.

Last year I did this for basically a single day. Flew into Denver at night, drove to Nebraska, crashed at some hotel and then chased that late afternoon, stayed over night and drove back to Denver and flew home. All told, it was around 900 miles driven and no tornadoes or supercells that I really wanted to see.

THIS year…I am planning on three days chasing.  Land in Denver again, but at 8:45am this time. Driving to the Nebraska-South Dakota border and chasing some big storms this afternoon. I’ll then start heading south to the plain states of Kansas and Oklahoma. Not sure how Tuesday looks yet, so I’m hoping to get lucky along the way. That night I may meet-up with an awesome stormchasing photographer named Shane Kirk and shoot some lightning with him. The next day is supposed to be a huge outbreak of severe weather all the way from north Texas to Kansas. That’s the money day. Then I come home first thing Thursday morning.

I can’t even begin to explain my excitement for this. I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night. My brain wouldn’t shut off. I’m writing this blog post Sunday evening and I’m curious how this night is going to go (update: I slept).

The miles I’ll rack up on this trip is probably going to be mind-boggling.

Needless to say, I’m hoping to get a lot of great shots this trip. It’s so unpredictable though…you have to get lucky and be in the right place at the right time. I’m all geared up…two camera bodies, tripod, a lightning trigger, two shutter releases, Flip HD camera, lenses, laptop, GPS, AC converter and weather band radio.

The unique thing about a trip like this…I have no idea what’s going to happen. I have a general idea of where I’ll be today, but that could change. I could end up anywhere. I could see anything. Or nothing.

It’s just so awesome:)

Oh yeah…the image above was shot during last year’s trip and I’ve posted it before. I love the photo, but it’s a bit overprocessed for my current tastes. The fact is…with that amazing backlit-sunset happening, it would have been very, very tough to shoot this scene without HDR.  So much dynamic range.

So wish me luck…still haven’t seen an actual tornado in person, so I hope to end that this trip. And if I do, my buddy Bryan Cox is going to regret not going for the rest of his life!

  • Jim Denham

    Good luck Mike! travel safe and enjoy the heck out of it!

  • Chris Nitz

    Like a kid in a giant candy store 🙂 Be safe, have fun, and may mother nature punish you with spectacular storms. I cannot wait to see what this trip will bring!!

  • Scott

    Have fun and be safe!

  • Heath O’Fee

    Have a great trip, Mike! I hope you’re able to capture some great images this time…I look forward to seeing the results 🙂

  • Coral

    Awesome shot Mike! Happy storm chasing.

  • Jim Nix

    good luck, be safe, and have fun! sounds like a great trip! Jim

  • Ryan Sexton

    Sounds like a lot of fun and great adventure. Have a great time!. Mike, why don’t you fly to Nebraska instead of Denver?

  • Brian Furbush

    Great shot Mike – hopefully it’s an awesome trip for you! Best of luck, and come back with some keepers!

  • Chris Frailey

    Good luck Mike!

  • Jesse

    So pumped for you Mike. Best of luck and have a blast!

  • Jason Hines

    Good luck dude, I hope you have a great time. I look forward to seeing what you come back with!

  • Chris Kenison

    Yo Mike, have fun man!

  • Steve Beal

    Are you solo? Best of luck man – the reposted pix rocks!

  • Chris DeAngelis

    Good luck Mike! That sounds like an unbelievable adventure! I will just come back and look at this amazing shot every day until you post a new shot!!! Be safe out there!

  • Justin

    Have fun Mike!

  • Mark Garbowski

    May the next storm always be a short hop down the road, and never take a disturbingly quick turn in your direction.

  • Kristi Hines

    Well this is a great shot to start with! Good luck storm chasing!

  • Mark Blundell

    Great image. Best of luck with the storm-chasing – hope that you have fun, get some great images and most of all stay safe!

  • David LaSpina

    Looking forward to seeing what you bring back from your trip. Good luck. This photo here is fantastic!

  • murphyz

    Awesome, and best of luck on the trip – I really look forward to seeing what you return with.

  • J Howe

    Have a great trip, hope to see some stunning images when you return.

  • Scott Wood

    Enjoy the trip my friend. I really wish I were going on it with you.

  • Dave DiCello

    Have a sfe trip Mike! Love this shot, awesome dramatic feel!

  • Ben Tucker

    Brilliant shot! really eye catching!