Scary Pictures? Make yours freaky!

Every picture of a tornado before 1986 seems to look almost scary.

Take Elkhart, IN for example. Sure, that is a dramatic picture but if this was taken with modern film or a digital cam would it have been as scary? Probably not!

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This next tornado which I know nothing about looks really mean and scary even though it is just dust and dirt.

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The 1981 Cordell tornado is my favorite but it looks so much meaner on 8mm than it probably would on DV.

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Even tornadoes in other places look mean, 1946 Windsor ON Tornado. I think it was rated F4.

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I think the answer as to why these tornadoes were so scary would almost definitely have to do with optics and lighting. The older film tended to have far more contrast than your eyes naturally did. This combined with B/W coloration and grainy effects as well as possible blurring is probably what makes everything so much more dramatic.

With that in mind I am wondering if anyone can make a tornado picture they like look worse than it really is/was, you know, give it that old scary feel. I would be really interested to see what people could come up with.

I did a test with the 1987 Edmonton tornado. The original image was borrowed from http://www.ece.ualberta.ca/~rob/tornado87.htm . Removing the tones and enhancing the contrast made a good deal of difference!
 
Personally, I think they looki just as scary in color (if you're in the path!). LOL

Though, really, I think that they look scary because B&W brings out the darkness of tornadoes, which I suppose is pretty scary.

Gabe
 
Brian, is that the tornado that hit Franklin KS or is that up by KC? If it is do you have the origional you could post? My best friends house was destroyed by that monster.
 
I've been wanting to do this with tornado photos of mine for a while - because it touches something submliminal that exists in all of us ... personally, this is why I feel this is:

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The Wizard of Oz was one freaky movie as far as the collective 'psyche' toward tornadoes is concerned.

Here's Tim Marshall's article on the subject: http://www.stormtrack.org/library/fringe/oz.htm

I'll work on some of mine later - - -
 
Here's one I tried to 'freak up' a bit. Someone who got the El Reno anticyclonic tornado should 'scare' one of their photos out, because that one reminded me of the Oz twister. It would look cool if someone aged it ...
 
I thought Jeff's from the 24th was a good candidate:

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(The photo is copyright Jeff Snyder, not me, so I'll gladly remove it if he wants me to)
 
The photos in this thread are pretty dang cool ... and scary. I love it ... even though I'm sure the tornado photography purists are probably squirming right now.

If you look at the example photos in the first post - the ones that really did age over time - there is some variance in tone/color that comes with aged paper - they are no longer true black and white for the most part, but most have a yellowish or bluish color cast to them that appears desaturated. Karen's is neat because its sepiatone appearance really makes it look like it could have been taken a hundred years ago, as does Ryan's rendition of Jeff's photo.

Aaron's photo of El Reno blows me away - as every photo I've seen of that tornado so far. It just looks so dang cool. It should be put on the Oklahoma state flag or on the back of the Oklahoma quarter or something. Anyway - hope this doesn't step on Aaron's sovereign right to artistic license, but I did some more playing around with it just for fun (can also be taken down at AK's request, of course) ... that's just one scary-looking mama jama.
 
As to the original question (why did they look scarier), there is a starkness to a high contrast black & white image (as compared to a color image) but I think the biggest difference between then/now is the film speeds (ISOs) and thus the shutter speeds necessary (particularly for the REALLY old-time ones).

Just as a long shutter speed on a waterfall will cause the water to blend (rather than FREEZE), the slower shutter speeds necessary in days-gone-by result in tornadoes and debris that are blurred during the exposure (not frozen by it). This implies a motion (to our eyes) that freezing an image does not. More than any single factor, I think THAT is what makes them "scarier". This not just blur. It is motion-blur.

My two cents.

Darren Addy
Kearney, NE
 
Flint, MI F5 June 8th 1953 :blink: :huh:

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Nick, is that really the Flint-Beecher tornado? Where on earth did you dig it up? What a find! I thought there were no known photographs of that tornado. The closest to actual storm photos that I've ever seen have been a couple of old color photos showing the parent thunderhead at dusk.
 
Nick, is that really the Flint-Beecher tornado? Where on earth did you dig it up? What a find! I thought there were no known photographs of that tornado. The closest to actual storm photos that I've ever seen have been a couple of old color photos showing the parent thunderhead at dusk.
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LOL Bob thats actually from June 9th, 2005
 
Nick, is that really the Flint-Beecher tornado? Where on earth did you dig it up? What a find! I thought there were no known photographs of that tornado. The closest to actual storm photos that I've ever seen have been a couple of old color photos showing the parent thunderhead at dusk.
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Nope... http://midwestchase.com/6-9-05-10.jpg

The tornado near Erie, Michigan was photographed (F4, probably F0 or F1 by todays standards):

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Oops, looks like the Hulster beat me to it.
 
LOL Bob thats actually from June 9th, 2005
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Dooooooh, maaaaan!!! Boy, did I walk into that one. I thought the terrain looked more Great Plains than Great Lakes. <_<

Guess the photo of the Erie tornado that rdewey posted is still the only one from that day. It wasn't the same storm, but it sure is a formidable-looking thing--perfect for this thread.
 
Brian, is that the tornado that hit Franklin KS or is that up by KC? If it is do you have the origional you could post? My best friends house was destroyed by that monster.
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Joey, As im sure you have seen things in this sport you will never forget, allow me to answer for Brian... That is the Jamestown Wedge.. im 99% sure.. May 29th 2004
 
Joey, As im sure you have seen things in this sport you will never forget, allow me to answer for Brian... That is the Jamestown Wedge.. im 99% sure.. May 29th 2004
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Nope...Joey Ketcham is right!! It was the May 4, 2003 F4 as it was moving towards Liberal MO...this would have been when it passed south of Mulberry KS near the stateline. I did witness that one near Jamestown KS as well though...I'll post a b/w of that one as well soon.
 
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