Photo Essay

Chasing the Storm

Wicked storms

The first memory I have of the weather was sitting on the back porch with my old man when I was probably seven years old. A lightning bolt hit the field behind our neighborhood, not more than a quarter mile away.

I was blinded for what felt like an eternity, but was likely only a few seconds.

But in that moment, that bolt of electricity ignited something inside me that would spin around, grow and one day explode outside of me into a full-blown passion.

For many years I just watched. Even as I hit my thirties, I took few pictures and instead prayed for weather to hit my house, for the rain and thunder to shake the foundations.

Even then I felt an urge to photograph clouds and storms if I had the chance. Little did I know what that little seed would become one day.

In the last year, I've become more obsessed. I discovered my old point-and-shoot and a continuous shot mode, so I spent the summer chasing lightning in Arizona. The monsoon season ended, and with it most of the lightning opportunities, but a new camera gave me abilities to expand my love of weather photography to neverending heights.

I no longer watch. I am part of it. The winter here in Arizona has been one of the stormiest on record. My car is begging for mercy with all the miles I put on it. Clouds, lightning, rain and dirt roads...my little ten year old vechicle has seen it all this year.

And yet my hunger is not close to satisfied. The winter storms are child's play. When summer is upon us and the monsoon season begins, my car, my camera, myself...we will all experience a new level of passion and excitement unseen up until now.

Of course...will that be enough? I've seen the storms of the Midwest from afar. From other chasers' photos, from television shows and from my dreams.

I hope to be there this spring for a few days to see what they have to offer. I expect to find out that Arizona may not measure up to the experience of chasing a giant supercell through the prairies and farm lands of Kansas.

In the meantime, I will thirst for any chance to explore the depths of clouds, the beauty of rain falling on the desert and the persuit of something that has no end in sight.

The chase of the storm.

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Hi there!

thought you might like this story!

http://jpgmag.com/stories/15008

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—The JPG team

6 responses

  • Winky Vivas

    Winky Vivas (Deleted) gave props (20 Mar 2010):

    Mike, this is great! Got my vote!

  • Santiago Padilla

    Santiago Padilla gave props (29 Mar 2010):

    Great job!

  • Marie Nouri

    Marie Nouri said (17 May 2010):

    seeing different images in clouds,one of my all time favorites...cool series...voted!

  • Kris C

    Kris C gave props (18 Jun 2010):

    Wonderful!!

  • Suzanne Naughton

    Suzanne Naughton   gave props (25 Aug 2010):

    Spectacular skies... well done! Got my vote.

  • Pedro Teixeira

    Pedro Teixeira   gave props (13 Mar 2012):

    My vote!

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