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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.

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.