One of my favorite things after a summer of chasing storms in Arizona is to release a short film of my time-lapse work during that time. I’ve released two of those now and I can’t wait to see what happened this coming monsoon season.
Last year was the first time I was able to time-lapse while I chased outside of Arizona, on the central plains, which ended up being a very short film of a single, amazing storm near Booker, Texas (you can see all my work over on Vimeo).
This year on the plains, I wanted more time and more clips of the wide variety of weather out there. So between two trips in April and May, I spent a total of seven days in the central plains of this country, which included Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas. From I-70 to I-10. And everywhere in-between.
It was an amazing time and I essentially got something everyday we were out. Some days were amazing…like wall clouds with reported tornadoes approaching the Denver International Airport…or an awesome, red sunset on a marginal day in western Kansas. On one of our last days, it was a ridiculously blue hail core which you’ll see in a few separate clips.
My journey wasn’t solo…my buddy Andy Hoeland helped forecast and get us to the storms, and Matt Granz was a fellow photographer who made sure we pulled over at certain spots when I was too intent on chasing down a storm.
I brought along an eMotimo for the trip, but I forgot my power cord for the battery and wasn’t able to get a replacement while out there. Regardless…most of the clips you see would have been lost if I’d taken even an extra few minutes setting up a panning head or dolly. Time-lapsing storms is a different beast than setting up for a Milky Way shot over the course of the night.
I used two Canon 5D Mark III’s, along with a Canon 17-40, 16-35 and a Rokinon 14mm. A couple of Manfrotto tripods and mainly a Pixel Intervalometer along with a Promote Control when I broke the Pixel
This trip took us over 3000 miles in the course of those seven days. It was something I wont forget and I hope this film showcases a lot of the hard work that went into chasing the storms themselves, getting ourselves in the right spots for the best shots and recording them as quickly as I could.
If I have any regrets…it would be that I wish I would have seen another more picturesque supercell mothership and maybe a tornado.
On the first trip I also failed to clean my sensors, which resulted in a few dust spots. My second, five-day trip, I cleaned them before I went and during the trip. I struggle with dust spots, because if you spot-remove in Lightroom, you can get funny results…so which is better? The dust spot or funky changing dots that might be even more noticeable?
I also used Adobe Premiere Pro for the first time ever and I have to say, it was a way better experience than editing in Final Cut Pro. In fact I’m uninstalling that here in a bit.
If you have any questions about this short film, how I captured it, edited it, etc., please ask below and I’ll do my best to answer.
Hope you enjoy!
(Edited using Lightroom 5, LR Timelapse, Quicktime Pro 7 and Adobe Premiere Pro)