Archive for Sunday, May 4, 2008

Behind the Lens: Various photo gear helpful to storm chasers

Volunteers help clean up storm damage to Pendleton's Country Market in this March 13, 2006, file photo. Spring is a key time for volatile weather, and aspiring photographers can capture strong images by packing a variety of cameras and lenses, if available.

Volunteers help clean up storm damage to Pendleton's Country Market in this March 13, 2006, file photo. Spring is a key time for volatile weather, and aspiring photographers can capture strong images by packing a variety of cameras and lenses, if available.

May 4, 2008

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One very interesting part of photography is when the weather changes quickly in the spring and one is called to head out into Mother Nature's wrath.

I try taking two cameras and two lenses: wide (24 mm) and semi-telephoto (180 mm), both fast (f2.8). Some agencies want film images, but today's digital images are great and the quality of the newest cameras and the high film speeds - 1600 and higher - have a picture quality as good as 100 ASA.

You have to think about a lot of things as you leave the office or home, whether it's night or day. Some examples:

¢ Try to put something in the frame for reference.

¢ Rain is worst thing so keeping things dry that's most important. There are various ways umbrellas are nice, but they can be lighting rods also. I sometimes use a big zip lock bag and cut a hole for the lens then your camera is pretty tight. Shooting from inside your car works a lot, but when you're out you make quick decisions.

¢ When you use flash at night in rain, it shows all the rain and can block the picture. Try and find available light and something steady to brace yourself against.

¢ Always carry a rain jacket and rubber boots.

¢ A scanner and local radio stations tell you what's going on. Then you pick a spot and watch the sky. Most storms move from southwest to northeast, so choose high places for a long look and wait.

You spend a lot of time trying to make a nice picture. It's not to hard to make good pictures if the storm is good, and they usually are in the spring. A good site for more on storm chasing and pictures www.stormchaser.com.

Comments

mom_of_three 7 years ago

I wanted to go out Thursday evening, and get pictures of the hail and the rainbow, but wasn't for sure how to keep the camera dry. I thought about a baggie or a bag over the camera, but didn't know if that was just a mom thinking or if it was practical. But thanks for the tips. I love this section.

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