Tag Archives: stormchaser

Chasing and photographing a Snow Storm

A scene from the life of a stormchaser / photographer…

“Did you catch anything today? by the way why are you soaking wet?”
“I caught myself a storm, about thiiiiiiiiis big! And…caught a bit of snow as well”

Stormchasing is something I could get seriously addicted to, it’s quite an adrenaline thrill! I reckon someday I’ll have to try a tour with Storm Chasing Tours! But this week I didn’t have to go far to chase a storm. Tuesday afternoon just as the sun was setting; Copenhagen was hit by a huge violent and short-lived snow storm. I noticed the very dark clouds building up on the horizon and jumped on my bicycle and pedaled like a Tour de France rider towards the lakes in central Copenhagen (only about 4 Kilometers away from my home so I beat the storm). The Lake Peblinge and Sortedam are my favourite places in Copenhagen and also the best spot for shooting storms or any cloudscape. I have a 360 degree open view of the sky and can quickly find the best composition when a storm is approaching.

The snow storm arrived quickly and it was over just as fast, I reckon I had the good light for 10 minutes or maybe less. The light you get with a combined storm and setting sun is so alien, so otherworldly and so special. In this case the setting sun lit up the storm clouds from underneath and the storm clouds themselves were very dramatic. This created an incredible contrast in colours and light between the dark and brooding clouds and the yellow orange tint of the setting sun.

A word of advice, when shooting this sort of scene do underexpose by about 2/3 to 1 stop even if you spot measure using the bright clouds – the bright parts of the clouds are indeed very bright and you don’t want to burn out the highlights. Also underexposing increases the contrast and colour of the clouds and I wasn’t looking for details in the buildings anyway, the storm is the subject here. A final tip: carry a camera bag that’s water proof or very water resistant. You need to keep shooting until the storm arrives so you and your gear are likely to get a good shower! (all part of the stormchaser experience)

Here are my shots from this particular storm. click to see them fullsize:

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Stormchasing in Brisbane

“Everywhere you go – always take the weather with you” goes the classic song from aussie band Crowded House and so far I have done just that. The first day I got to Brisbane it was cloudy, windy and only 22-23 degrees (bloody freezing cold when you come from tropical Cairns!). The next day it was warm and sunny and as Spring has really hit Brisbane the temperature and humidity has gone up every day since with some 33-34 degree days! So I have indeed brought the weather with me. Spring in Brisbane has added something I didn’t bring: thunderstorms! It’s a natural part of Spring in the tropics and the last few days have brought some impressive storms late afternoon and some much needed rain for Brissy.

Storms and the dramatic cloud formations and lightning are excellent for photography – just make sure you can quickly find some cover so you and your equipment doesn’t drown and/or get hit by lightning! Tropical storms can come and go fast! I managed to chase and catch a Brisbane thunderstorm the other day at sunset and here’s a one hour sequence (as always click on picture to see large size):

Click to see larger size on my web - (c) Flemming Bo Jensen

5.33 pm – sunset, something is going on in Sky Theater

Click to see larger size on my web - (c) Flemming Bo Jensen

6.03 pm – a storm definitely on it’s way!

Click to see larger size on my web - (c) Flemming Bo Jensen

6.10 pm – storm is here – run Forest, run for cover now!

Click to see larger size on my web - (c) Flemming Bo Jensen

6.30 pm – I am safe under a roof at the Eagle Street Pier shooting lightning

The shot at 6.10pm was shot just as the rain was coming – I ran for cover and made it to the Eagle Street Pier just as the very heavy rain hit. It was a fairly impressive storm; it raged for about 30 minutes and then it was gone as quickly as it appeared. It was heaps of fun chasing and shooting it, from where I shot I knew I could get to cover in 2 minutes so no worries. Also very cool to get shots with actual lightning in it, a first for me. I know it’s not the worlds largest bolt of lightning but hey it’s there and I captured it and feel I can now add ‘Stormchaser’ to my business card!

There are a few more new Brisbane shots in my gallery.

Randomness

  • My hair was fairly long when I got here, it grows fast as it is and I think the sun here helped it even more (and bleached it as well). So it was longer than ever and I had two choices: get a haircut or buy a surfboard (to go with my long bleached surfer hair). I opted for the haircut. Now; of course I made the mistake of saying the words “it’s too long; you can cut a fair bit off” to a hair dresser ‘cos they just love doing very short David Beckham style cuts and I am no Beckham. Bugger! Now it is too bloody short. I should have gone for the surfboard. Grow hair, grow!
  • These are tough times. The Australian national Rugby team (called The Wallabies) has been playing in the Rugby World Championship in France. Now, no one plays Rugby like the Aussies and The Wallabies are the best bloody Rugby team in the world bar none strewth! Nothing short of winning the finals is acceptable; actually Australia should just be named World Champs of all time. Unfortunately, real life got it the way and last Saturday Australia lost to England in the quarter final. Not only did the Wallabies lose in the quarter finals…but to England. No no no no 😦 These are indeed hard times. Now; the only way to deal with this is the way Australians always deal with any defeat in any sport – complete denial!!! “No that never happened, we never lost to England, England can’t play rugby!”

Quote of the day:

“We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it” – Flemming Bo Jensen

I take credit for this one 🙂 I know I probably didn’t invent it but I’ve used it heaps especially at work!