Friday, March 30, 2007

Post #16 3/28 chase ctd.....

This is our GPS log for the day. Tornadoes were observed just north of Sharron Springs and just west of Goodland Ks.
We were shooting this meso to our west while a large wedge was being reported to our northeast, south of Bird City Ks. Yet again, by the time I got my tripod setup, the Cg's stopped. These 3 shots were filmed just north of Goodland Ks in highway 27.This meso came close to priducing as can be seen in image #2. Rotation was visible courtesy of the nearly constant lightning taking place.

More nightime exposures in need of a Cg.
Chase report continued below...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Post #15 3/28 chase report

Jon Merage and I finally got out of Denver around 11 am. We wanted to make Liberal Kansas but that was alittle out of our reach. We made it down to Tribune for initiation and wandered around as storms tryed to get rooted. After seeing like 4 or 5 storms fizzle, we finally got a nice established storm moving to the north out of Tribune. We were taking stills on some side road when the coolest police officer ever pulled up. We chatted for a bit and after a few minutes, he informed us of a reported tornado on the ground just to our north. We blasted north and sure enough, just north of Sharon Springs, we encountered a white tube as it was beginning to rope out. We observed it for no more than two minutes before it vanished. I was shooting the video but neglected to notice a reflection in the window that all but ruined the footage. I wasent able to get any stills due to shooting video and the short lived nature of the tornado. We continued north untill we were just south of Goodland Kansas where we observed a needle like funnel/possible tornado(no stills or video). After going over storm reports and other chasers logs, it is apparent that the needle funnel was a satelite to an obscured wedge tornado to our north east. This funnel/tornado lifted pretty much as soon as I started recording. What a great chase. This tornado has me anxiously anticipating the rest of the season.
Jon Merage, enjoying the explosive nature of some early updrafts. Early, highbased rotation. After consulting the coolest policeman ever, we headed north on 27 toward Sharon Springs Kansas.First and best tornado of the day just north of Sharon Springs KS on highway 27. Unfortunately, there was no where to pull over and the rain and hail was relentless. Both of these video grabs are courtesy of Jon Merage and have been edited by me to remove an annoying reflection of an object within the vehicle. Tornado with a Cg in the background heading north behind reckless locals. Unfortunately, no stills were taken because I was busy shooting video.The setting sun provided for some great backlighting here (looking west).Awesome, creamy mammatus (looking south). After dark pics continued in the next post----------------------------------.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Post #14 Tuesday Short Chase

Today was a day filled with anxiety for me. Although marginal moisture was present, there was ample wind shear to get some rotating updrafts. I got out of class at 5:15, went to the top of the parking structure at MSCD and saw the storm below. I flipped and booked south on I-25 to Castle rock where i waited for Jon Merage to pick me up. The storm showed promise for a while but quickly fizzed just as we neared the area. New updrafts went up to the west but just couldnt get going like the first one. After watching a few turkey towers go up, the action to the west, right over the foot hills near monument cought our attention. Although the updrafts were tiny, the shear made for some interesting moments but no solid rotation was observed. We stayed with the storms/showers untill dark in hopes of lightning but that never happened so we headed home to prepare for tommorow's very promising chase. Jon Merage and I will be heading out about 9 A.M. to a target that will be determined tommorow morning. Tommorow looks to be a great setup but a possible linear convective mode could pose some problems. We will target where ever the possibility of discreet storms will be maximized. Either way, there will be some boomers out there for sure!!!!

this tower got me really stoked.
Check the Tilt!!!!

Interesting Base

ctd.. These are the only two good base shots I got after realising my ISO was cranked from shooting in the sun earlier. BTW, these were all shot around Monument except the first one.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Post #13 3/21/2007 Chase Report

I just got back from my first chase of the year. Jon M and I headed out to Hays Kansas tuesday night. Upon reaching Hays, we settled down and waited for the new SPC day 1 outlook. The new outlook completely removed all tornado potential from our target area. This was troubling to us but we trusted our instincts that there would at least be some decent storms. I guess we saw some decent storms but as far as tornadoes go, the SPC forcast had it nailed down. We woke up to a better SPC outlook that upgraded to a 5% tornado risk. This gave us some hope so we headed northeast to Hebron Nebraska. We waited and waited for initiation and upon seeing a bullseye of forcing hinting at convective initiation on the 300mb spc mesoanalysis, we headed east to Beatrice Nebraska. Upon reching Beatrice, the storms had already fired well to the north. We headed in that general direction with the confidence that new storms would fire to the southwest. New storms did fire and we soon found our selves heading due west towards Crete and Dorchester. We found our way to the southernmost or "tail end charlie" storm. It was rather high based but remained discreet for quite a while. Supercellular characteristics were observed including a decent clear slot, a sloppy beaver tail inflow, and occasional rotation. After the storm went linear and night fell, I headed out for my first attempt at lightning shots. The storm was producing very little cloud to ground lightning so I attempted to capture bolts in the updraft tower. This was only partly sucessful due to the fact that I dont have my cable release as of yet. I was doing 20 second exposures so too much light was getting in after the lightning flashes. This made the bolts appear very dim and insignificant. Either way, I feel I can take good lightning shots now with a cable release that will let me close the shutter as soon as the stroke occurs. After only a few minutes of shooting, low clouds moved in and obscured my veiw of the towers. Yesterday was not a good day for photography but below are some of my only keepers from the day.

Edit: This is a shot of some pretty cool lightning that also was very faint. This is highly cropped and edited to make the lightning visible just for shits and giggles.

Got one through a break in the low clouds, very faint. Also very faint but decent I suppose.

Cool mammatus in the anvil. I wish I would have got this like a minute later when the sun was brighter.

Linear appearance early on.

Somewhat of a clear slot I guess.

Decent inflow, shot blurred by camera shake.

Not a bad chase, we managed to get to a pretty decent storm and see some supercell structure. We also found an awesome micro-brewery in Lincoln Nebraska. This will probably be my last chase for a while unless the timing is right so that I can fit something in between school and work. The GFS is showing a potentially potent setup next week and the SPC extended outlook is also highliting the possibility. Hopefully the timing will work out and I will be able to get out. Anyway, untill then, back to work and money saving and hopefully a lightning storm around the Denver area sometime soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Post #12 chasing tommorow

Ok well despite all of the pessimistic crap and the model flip flopping, Jon M and I have decided to chase tommorow. We will be heading to Hays KS today and will set up at the Best Western for a mere 44$ a night. Hays just seems like the right spot with decent road options and what not. By morning, the dryline should end up pretty much on top of us so we will only have to drive east a bit, hopefully. Good luck to anyone else that chases tommorow and I look forward to seeing you on the road.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Post #11 Chase next wed-thurs?

I am beginning to get stoked about the possible chase setup next week. Looks like we will be looking at some decent moisture and a healthy Low level jet squeeking into the southwestern Kansas, Texas/Oklahoma panhandle region. The low looks to be setting up in SE Colorado/NW Texas panhandle but some models are moving it all the way up into NE Colorado and shooting it out across Nebraska. The moisture looks to make it a ways north with workable dewpoints reaching as far as southern Nebraska. Hopefully this setup will wait untill thursday or else I will have to worry about getting my shift covered for wednsday. It is quite a ways out so the models will be converging on a solution over the next few days. I am looking forward to finally getting out and about with the new camera.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Post #10 Fun with 50mm

I took my new Plastic 50mm 1.8 canon lens with me to school today. The majority of my apertures today were way to wide for the bright sunshine so I only had a few keepers. The fixed 50mm focal length ended up being rather limiting for me. I dont think I will be able to cary the 50mm by its self. I shot completely in manual mode today in an attempt to get an instinct for combonations of aperture and shutterspeed in bright sunshine. The theme for tonight was to do as little post-processing as possible and I think I succeded fairly well.
This image is the reflection of a solar panel cast on to tree branches hence the rainbow colors. This image was not edited at all. Taken with 50mm.

These two sculpture shots turned out great. These two were very slightly edited by simply changing the picture style from standard to portrait, this gently enhanced and darkened the blue sky. Taken with 50mm.

#2, 50mm

I think this is one of my "artsier" images as of yet. I found the combonation of the two shadows interesting. Where did the O come from? This image was only very slightly sharpened. Taken with 50mm.

After getting home, I waited a while untill the sunset colors were just right. I first went out with the 50mm lens on then switched to the 17-35mm widangle after feeling a bit restricted by the fixed focal length. None of these 3 images are edited at all. 50mm.



Thursday, March 8, 2007

Ok, today was a blast aside from dust on my sensor. Regardless of the dust, I did manage to get a few keepers. I headed up to red rocks about an hour before sunset to get some shots of the virga. I took a few shots facing east shortly after sunset and got only a few decent ones. After red rocks, I headed to clement park for some after dark action. Most of the clement park shots were 30 second exposures at 200 ISO and f6 aperture I think. The first photo is facing the library with a car passing. The second is on the east side of the lake facing west. Some pretty crazy metering happened in this shot as it is seemingly divided in half. Everything is blown out on the right side and to the left, neatly in focus. I need to get a grip of this metering thing, I had a few shots that were way out of focus on one side. The spots came back during the cloud shots but I managed to edit most of them out. I will be sending the camera back to Canon to get the sensor cleaned unless I grow the balls to do it my self.
1/2 and 1/2
Under exposed, I think
Trimmed to exclude sensor dust


Fave for sure(spots obscured by clouds)

A sign of good things to come

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Post #8 Tamron 17-35 wide angle shots

Ok, Tuesday was interesting. I shot with my new Tamron wideangle all day. I ended up with tons of spots on my images but after looking at the lens upon discovery of the spots, many dust particles were present on the glass. I wonder if the lens is charged with static electricity or something? I havent had any problems with this on my new 50mm. The light on tuesday was total crap with a lingering hazy dull cloudyness so I did my best.This is the shot that I wanted all along but the lighting was crap so the original from my kit lens remains superior(see below). Either way, it was nice being able to get the whole tree for once.This was the unintentional 30 sec exposure gone wrong. Well wither way, It ended up being accidental art and I like it so this is the Pepsi Center 4th of July spectacular.

Dont eat drugs before taking pictures.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Post #7 New Lenses

I got my new lenses today and let me say, I am really loving this new Canon 50mm 1.8. It has a really shallow depth of field so it provides that awsome background blur for portraits. The Tamron 17-35 arrived with all kinds of fuzzy crap all over the glass so I have to clean that before I can really test it out. Its a little cold so I think I will wait untill it warms up to take that out. I will be focusing on portraits for the next couple of days so hopefully I can get this depth of field thing down pat. One thing I need to do is start recording all of the shutter speeds, ISO's, and apertures. Im pretty sure these images were taken at 400 ISO and other than that I dont remember the details. Either way, I am really happy with the first image. Oh and for anyone that doesnt know, this is my cat, Tigger.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Post #6 First High Risk of the Year

The first high risk of 2007 is here. I wish I still lived in Birmingham. I am going to call my aunt and uncle in the morning to warn them of the danger which hopefully will not affect them. James Spann should have a good handle on the situation and I trust his ability to provide very accurate coverage of the event in Tuscaloosa. Storm motions are going to be insane with this setup, likely over 50 kts. My thoughts are with everyone in the risk area and I wish them the best. Hopefully we will get one of these setups over western Kansas sometime this year.


I cant wait to see the pics and videos of this, apparently there were quite a few chasers out and about last night. Aside from this crazyness, not much going on. Im waiting anxiously for my new lenses so I can take some nice wide angle shots.