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!

24 replies
  1. Chris Nitz
    Chris Nitz says:

    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!!

  2. Chris DeAngelis
    Chris DeAngelis says:

    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!

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