Sunday, June 03, 2007

Storm panorama

Storms moved across our area last Friday, and, late in the day, my wife and I decided to drive out to meet one as it approached our home in Elgin, Illinois. We headed for an ominous looking ring of clouds while simultaneously searching for a suitable spot to set up. We eventually came to the corner of a corn field, and, seeing that the storm was moving pretty quickly, we stopped there.

I normally jump out of the car and begin to shoot holding the camera by hand, but I set up on a tripod, wanting to use some long exposures in the hopes of catching a lightning bolt or two on film. I took a number of shots, but never timed it quite right for the lightning. I then took a series of shots from right to left of the approaching storm as large raindrops started falling around me. The camera and tripod was quickly stashed in the car as the rains came full force. Those photos were stitched together in PhotoShop to create the panoramic view of menace.

I've captured a number of stormy panoramas in the past couple years. You can see other storms near Elgin, Indianapolis, Phoenix, and Racine .

Be sure to click image to enlarge. Photograph © 2007 James Jordan.


Hillary said...

Incredible. I live in the mountians, so there's rarely an opportunity to see a storm roll in like that. It's just always big black cloud hitting the mountains and dumping on us! :)

I have a photography question for you... this isn't really the place for it - is it? - and I couldn't find an email address... would you mind emailing me at bygrace253 at yahoo dot ca (if you've got time, of course!) and I'll ask you that way?

Hope you're having a good weekend! :)

Chris said...

I saw the National Geographic special on lightning years and years ago and thought it would be easy to catch such a picture at night.......

I've never caught one yet, slow exposure or not.

Have a great weekend!
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Kathy said...

Okay, so here it is....I just found your Flickr site; I found your blog and read a few entries; I just looked at your Moody Monday "heavenly" submission and now I'm just sick. I am envious of your talent! Your photos are amazing! You are not an amateur--you should be getting paid for this good stuff!
I appreciate the explanations of your's very helpful to a real amateur like me! Thank you!

James said...

hillary, I'd be happy to answer your question (if I can). I'll send an email to you.

chris, that's the time I wish I shot digital - you can eat up a lot of film trying to catch lightning!

kathy, no need to be sick! Keep doing what you're doing - finding photographers whose work you admire, learn what you can from them, and keep shooting! Thanks!

Sheila said...

Driving through the flat land of Illinois is often so boring. And yet you take the same terrain and show just how beautiful nature can be.

Anonymous said...

nice pic, amazing clouds. like Photo Friday? try PHOTO SUNDAY at: