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Stormchasing: A backlit Nebraska storm

Of all the things I saw during my trip to Nebraska to chase around some storms, this scene was one of the best. I don’t even know if the HDR processing can convey what it looked like in person, but it was breathtaking. The sun back-lighting the falling rain, the scud clouds moving quickly along the surface…the dirt road running into the distance…the grass was blowing, the clouds churning…it was a sight to behold.

Myself and another stormchaser were just standing here, talking, looking in awe and snapping photos. A good guy too, from the town of Ogalalla where I shot the feed mill photo posted yesterday. Love the people in Nebraska, just good, kind folk.

Technically this was just a hand-held, 3-bracket HDR using Photomatix, CS5, Imagenomic and Topaz.

New look, new beginning

Chances are if you visit this photography site with any consistency, you’ll notice things look a little different today. This redesign has been a long time coming and I was finally motivated last week to get it done.

The old design was great, but I felt it was lacking in simplicity and focus. When you arrived at the frontpage, it was hard to determine just exactly what kind of photography I did. Better yet, I felt it led visitors to believe I only did outdoor, landscape images when in fact I do much more.

I love the new frontpage. The background texture is one I shot at a nearby desert recharge park in Chandler. The images on the slideshow give a quick overview of some of my best work and the style of photography I love. The blurbs at the bottom guide newcomers where they want to go. Moreover, it’s much easier to find a way to contact me on the site.

The information presented on the various pages for portraits, events and prints has been updated. My “about” page rewritten.

Above all, I feel like this is a new beginning for my photography business. Good things are happening around here and I want to stay ahead of the curve.

I appreciate and love all those who support me and my photography…I can’t tell you how blessed I am. Thank you for stopping by. Please take a moment to look around the new site and let me know what you think!

Also, a super special thanks to my amazing wife (of almost 12 years) for helping me put the finishing touches on the site. She helped me decide on the background, proofread my jibberish, twisted and turned them into coherent sentences, and I look much better for it. Simply put, she’s the best thing in my life and I couldn’t do any of this without her. Thank you Jina!

Stormchasing: More stormy skies

This is another photo from the Nebraska plains near the town of Mullen. The shot has an interesting feel to it, partly because of the HDR processing, but also the motion in the tall grasses.

Before this big stormchasing adventure, I hadn’t planned on doing much HDR photography because I figured when you were up close to this stuff, the high winds would really be a disadvantage to taking multiple exposures in rapid succession. Even doing them quickly can’t keep up with 40-50mph winds and clouds that seem to be only hundreds of feet above your head.

Photomatix is pretty good about eliminating ghosting from the movement of objects and stuff across multiple exposures, but I just felt it might be too hard to do here. I think I was wrong about that, hence the reason my series has changed to HDR for my last few posts.

Because of the blur caused by the motion in the grass and the rapidly moving clouds, this picture almost seems like a painting to me. Either way, it’s just another shot from my fun adventure out in Nebraska. Can’t imagine what next year will be like when I chase for 4-5 days.

Stormchasing: Scary clouds over the highway

My intention while I was out stormchasing was to get photographs that weren’t dominated by powerlines and other vehicles like a lot of severe weather photography is like these days. But I couldn’t resist the shot of these insanely crazy clouds over this road and the car of a few other stormchasers I was following along with.

These guys were great…they pulled over alongside me earlier and asked if I was chasing, so we chatted and kind of stuck together for awhile. Good guys and it was amazing to find out how friendly people were. I met another stormchaser while out there and he was just as nice a guy. Must be a fun fraternity to be a part of out there.

Stormchasing: Nebraska Roll Cloud

Up until now, none of the photos I’ve posted from my Nebraska stormchasing trip have been in HDR, but I thought I’d try a few and see what happened. I did three-exposures for every shot I took while out there, and it was impossible to take much more than that without an automatic method. The clouds moved so amazingly fast, doing 7-9 exposures wouldn’t work.

I am loving the way a few of them turned out, so I will be posting a couple here and there. This first one is of a giant roll cloud that came racing across the sky to the right edge of this frame. This cloud was moving so incredibly fast, I stood there with my jaw hanging open. The clouds were rushing up and building in front of the thing like nothing I’ve ever seen before.