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Awsome chase becomes chase disaster!

:D Started the chase off in style. I got to Kearney NE just in time for that storm to become tornado warned. It was difficult to see the tornado as it was not well defined. I contunued to follow the storm to the NE and as I stopped along side the road to scope things out a rotating debris cloud formed about 100 yards from me. I am guessing it was a tornado as this whole system was lacking a condensation funnel but it was obvious that the tornado was on the ground. I began recording at this point.
Later on in the storm I video'ed a partial condensation funnel with a large debris cloud at its base. Captured all this all on video.

:cry: Now for the Disaster!
New video camera and HOW I HATE AUTO FOCUS. Almost all my video was worthless crap due to me not rembering to turn off the auto focus. I had remembered to turn it off earlier but I had shut off the camera to conserve the battery and when you do that it automaticily reverts back to auto. So almost all 30 min of video was focused on rain drops on the windshield and the trucks radio antenna which by the way was right in the middle of most of the good shots. The video of the debris cloud that was about 100 yards away was missed due to me pausing the camera when I thought I was recording. I guess I get to excited and cant remember to do all these little things in the heat of the moment.

:oops: The best video I got was of the county sheriff waving me off the road and chewing my ass for not getting out of his way when he came up behind me and passed with lights and sirens on. I did not see him untill he passed me. I did not get ticked but my behind is a little sore.

:( Well it seems that I always seem to learn alot of painful lessons on my chases. I have been burnt more than once because of auto focus. And I am very embarrased about the situation with the sheriff. He was responding to an accident that appeared to be a head on collision but I only saw one vehicle with the top torn up. I hope everyone was alright and really hope it was not a chaser involved as there were alot of them out there.

Better luck next time maybe!

Dont feel bad, same thing happened to me last year on MAY 29th.Now ive learned to alwys set the manual focus.
Don't feel as bad as I did from the July 7th monster supercell near Russell, Kansas. Almost every picture I have is out of focus. Now my best friend is manual focus at the infinity level.
Try dealing with Illinois haze ;) Its like being constantly out of focus. :lol:

Dont feel bad...Im pretty sure the focus problem has happened to everyone sometime.

And, last May 23rd, when filming one of the best structured supercells I've seen...I realised that during the better part of the structure, I had it on stand-by.
At least your camera was running. Mine had a tape jam caused by a bad cassette (NEVER use Sony HME (metal evaporated) tapes in an 8mm-based camcorder-EVERY SINGLE ONE that I've used has caused a jam) just as a wall cloud and spectacular lightning show passed by on June 23, 2004. :x

On the other hand...I like my camcorder's auto focus. It's very seldom that I have to turn it off to make it focus. :D
Its stories like those that make us all feel better about own misfortunes.

I think you lucked out with that cop, sounds like he could have locked you up and thrown away the key.
About the video - I never even take the lense cap off until I've got the vidcam set to infinity. As far as [pausing/recording issues, you just have to always be thinking about it, even when the crazy sh*t is going down. I've trained myself to be automatic with these things, as video documentation is why I'm out there.

As for the sherriff, don't let it bother you too much. Living in a fairly large community, I often see emergency vehicles in route, and I can tell you there are always cars that don't notcie them coming. It can happen to anyone, and it doesn't mean you're a bad driver/person. Maybe the radio was up, maybe you were watching traffic ahead, maybe you were distracted by a storm. It happens, we all screw up, and then you move on.