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Monday, April 27, 2009

More Roll, OK Tornado Photos


Below are a few stills of the elephant trunk tornado near Crawford / Roll, Oklahoma. I've also added an approximate (although I think it's within a few hundred feet) google map of where the tornadoes occurred which is here.




And this is a video capture of the 2nd tornado:

Storm chasing is 50 percent luck and anyone that tells you any different is a liar. I've waited 6 years to be this close safely, and we had to take advantage of it. As other veteran chasers have told me, an opportunity to film a photogenic tornado, up close, won't happen again for a long time and I believe them. Darin had to get on me (as you'll see in the video) to take pictures and I feel bad he shot the video and couldn't shoot stills either. We both never want to shoot the video and want to do stills, so next time it's my turn.

It's extremely difficult to shoot pictures/video in these tense situations as a lot of chasers know. I should have, like many have already told me, shot it without the powerlines. But safely, I don't think I could have with the hail, strong inflow winds, and the uncertainty of the tornado's path. Hindsight is 20/20. I had to bump the ISO to 400 to get a faster shutter speed, handheld, open the aperture (av mode) to f/4.0, adjust the exposure compensation to -2/3 and luckily exposed it correctly using the histogram, on the first try. Then framing it, manually focusing it all within 2-3 minutes that a fast-moving tornado is on the ground and under extreme conditions. Thankfully my brain is wired to my cameras functions and I can do this without thinking too much or taking too much time.

I look at the legendary Eric Nguyen's photos, and wonder how he consistently got those amazing shots just as close, time and time again. He is still missed greatly by his friends, family and chasers like myself who were inspired by his photography, who never really knew him.

It's hard to feel too excited on a day like today when you see something amazing and several of your chaser friends didn't. I can't tell you the number of times I've been on the other end, so I feel their pain. I used to get so depressed when we missed something amazing and somewhat jealous, but it doesn't matter to me any more. I've grown to feel happy for others (with the exception of a few assholes) bagging amazing stuff regardless if I'm there or not.

Enough ranting, I've got a lot more stills to process/upload of both the 25th and 26th, including more stills of the 2nd tornado.


Adam Lucio said...

Theyre awesome shots man. I too try not be too sour when I miss a great show [due to my own stupid decision making.] Im jus glad someone else got the shot. Nice work

Tyler Burg said...

I agree with shot of the year. National Geographic...yes. When I saw TVN's blog update and saw that you were right next to this tornado, I just couldn't wait to see the stills. Great work, and congrats on the amazing shots.

Anonymous said...

Nice shit dude. I didn't feel too terrible about the day till watching the video now.

I think it is a lot easier to first be happy for people when you never chased the day, compared to first being pissed off just over the fact you missed crap after chasing the same day. At least for me I'm first pretty unable to be happy at all. I think our brains aren't capable of too many feelings at the same time, and the "@$#@%%$#^%#@% I missed something" gets pretty stuck in the front.

Take now for instance...LOL. I'm less happy than I was before looking at all this, lol. Thanks! Just be happy you are upsetting chasers that didn't see it, they'll get over it. I thought all this was further nw. I can't believe how close that is to where I was before I chose to go for the whole blast south for a couple hours deal.

Phat stills too btw. Close with a chaser taking video in the shot...guessing I'll see those in a few places down the road.

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