Rose Forest

Apr 9, 2015
Oklahoma City
I have been watching this forum for a few weeks now. So far this is the only one that has a page for weather photography. I'll be graduating in July with my associates in photography. Soon after I graduate I'll be heading to school for journalism. My concentration for photography will be in weather. I've always enjoyed learning about weather and in 1998 I had my first introduction to tornadoes. I have been fascinated by them, tornadoes, and the science behind it. I would have gone to school for meteorology but calculus and I don't mix very well. I have a few questions for those that have been doing this for awhile. How did you get involved? What inspired you to get involved? Was it relatively hard to build a portfolio? I have nothing in my portfolio at this point and I would really love to start building one. My dream would to work with a chase crew or even a news crew. I just don't know where to begin. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Aug 16, 2009
Amarillo, TX
Hello Rose! This is my 8th year chasing, so I'll tell you my story of getting involved.

How did you get involved? What inspired you to get involved? Was it relatively hard to build a portfolio?
A) I was always fascinated with weather. As a kid if I wasn't out playing with my friends, I had my mom rent me tornado footage from the rental store. I think I've seen Fury On The Plains and Tornado Video Classics a million times by now. Then, in high school, I would drive on the edge of town and just watch storms roll by. Eventually, after high school, I just went out and chased. I threw myself to the wolves so to speak. On a chase on April 25, 2009, I met with several out of state chasers. Particularly @Steve Polley, @Corey Sloan, Chris Rice, and Randy Hicks. They took me under their wing and taught me a ton about chasing and forecasting. I owe a lot of my knowledge to those guys.

B) As most people, a major tornado event caught my interest. June 2, 1995 when Friona and Dimmitt, TX were hit with EF-4 tornadoes. I lived in Hereford, TX which is about 20 miles from either town. Since then, watching all the footage from the 1995 tornadoes in the TX Panhandle, I was hooked onto weather.

C) Not really difficult as it is tedious. If you know photography and/or videography, you're already ahead of the curve. Although, weather is a totally different thing to photograph. The scale of you subject is massive. You'll want wide angle lenses with sharp corners for good weather photography. You'll also need A LOT OF PATIENCE. You'll likely miss that one shot, that one tornado, that one event several times. But chasing that shot, that one lifetime shot, is a part of what keeps me going out.
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