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Photography Science

Lightning Scribbles Across the Sky in Dramatic Footage of Extreme Storms Around the U.S.

September 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Arizona-based storm chaser and videographer Dustin Farrell just released “Transient 2”, the sequel to his 2017 film. For roughly three and a half minutes, the skies open up to reveal flashes of lightning and billowing clouds rolling across open plains. Farrell shares that he traveled 35,000 miles over two years to shoot the raw footage, and spent about 300 hours editing. To capture the brief but powerful flashes of lightning, Farrell relied on his Phantom Flex 4K, shooting at very high speeds. The short film’s music is by Harry Lightfoot. You can tag along with Farrell’s travels from the safety of your couch via Instagram and YouTube.

 

 



Photography

Take a Wild Ride Through Two Seasons of Supercell Storms with Mike Olbinski’s Time-Lapse Film

August 2, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mike Olbinski (previously) not only chases storms, he also brings his camera equipment with him. The Phoenix, Arizona-based photographer—who shoots weddings between storms—compiled two seasons of wild weather footage from around the U.S. The result isVorticity 2, a time-lapse of Olbinski’s top finds from spring 2018 and 2019. For seven and a half minutes massive clouds tear through open skies across plains and mountain ranges, rainbows brighten the calm after the storms, and sheets of rain obliterate horizon lines.

Olbinski incorporated music by Luke Atencio for Vorticity 2’s soundtrack. Enjoy the wild ride of Olbinski’s chases from the safe vantage point of your laptop on YouTube, and peruse fine art prints on his website.  (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 

 



Photography

Captivating Photographs of Storm Clouds by Camille Seaman Show Nature’s Power

November 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Camille Seaman travels the world capturing fleeting moments of power in diverse landscapes. From melting icebergs at both poles to stormy states across America, Seaman showcases the beauty, terror, and fragility of nature in her digital and film images. Seaman began storm-chasing after her daughter, eight years old at the time, suggested it might be of interest while the two were watching the Storm Chasers TV show. Her newest book,The Big Cloud, focuses on supercell storms around the U.S. It includes a forward by New Yorker science writer Alan Burdick, and includes behind-the-scenes shots and written reflections from Seaman about the experience of being a storm chaser.

“Sometimes as we pulled into a local fuel station, we would be met with superstitious folks who were not glad to see us; some of those people had lost their homes or loved ones in storms,” Seaman writes in the preface. “It was important to remember that these people lived here year after year, never knowing if this would be the day when a tornado might come through their town. It taught me great empathy and compassion. It was important that our chasing storms not become some sort of disaster tourism… I always wanted my images to speak to the duality of all things—to speak to the essential truth that there can be beauty in something terrible and vice versa, that there is no creation without destruction.”

In addition to authoring three books, Seaman is also a TED Senior Fellow, and has published works in National Geographic, The New York Times, and Outside Magazine. You can find The Big Cloud, published by Princeton Architectural Press, on Amazon. Follow the photographer’s travels on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 



Photography

Towering Plumes of Volcanic Smoke Mix With Streaks of Lightning in Photographs by Francisco Negroni

July 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Francisco Negroni, shared with the artist’s permission

Chilean freelance photographer Francisco Negroni captures nature at its most rambunctious, with a particular focus on volcanic eruptions and lightning storms. In his work, bright orange and red streaks of lava burst from mountains, enormous plumes of smoke overtake the horizon, and dramatic lightning strikes connect the earth and sky. The photographer originally studied advertising photography and tourism, but once he witnessed his first volcano, he knew that it would be his focus going forward.

Colossal spoke with Negroni about his strategies for braving the elements and capturing just the right moments:

When I go outside to take photographs, I try to leave with the images in my mind: I imagine what I am going or want to achieve that day in that place… Although many times I don’t get what I imagined or thought would be a good photograph, and I get others that I couldn’t have imagined and they are much better, it’s strange. But almost always I work in a direct documentation, with an idea in base, but trying to always obtain an understanding of something more difficult for the spectator.

Due to the expenses and difficulties of traveling in the Chilean backcountry, Negroni carefully tracks  upcoming eruptions and risk factors to maximize the potential of each trip. He travels light, only with a backpack containing a laptop, camera, tripod, and three lenses, and he camps in his car for longer excursions.  Presently, Negroni shoots for reporters and journalists, and has published his work with National Geographic, the Associated Press, and Terra. You can see more of his weather and landscape photographs, which are also available as prints, on his website. For the adventurous, Negroni also leads personalized tours and workshops.

 

 



Amazing Photography

Unique Weathering Pattern Creates Fascinating Geometric Ripples on a Chain Link Fence

June 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images published with the photographer’s permission

Over the past few years, Twitter user @Ben_On_The_Moon has photographed his chain link fence due to a mysterious weathering pattern that has caused groups of concentric rings to appear on the upper side of the fence’s segments. His macro photographs emphasize the intriguing apparitions, which appear like miniature crop circles on the metal bars. Despite his research, he has not discovered the specific cause of the pattern. You can see more of @Ben_On_The_Moon’s documentation of the curious phenomena on Twitter. (via Kottke)

 

 



Photography

An Illuminated Niagara Falls Captured in a January Freeze by Adam Klekotka

February 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © Adam Klekotka, Licensed for use on Colossal

All images © Adam Klekotka, Licensed for use on Colossal

Toronto-based photographer Adam Klekotka had visited Niagara Falls several times during his time in Canada, but never journeyed to the massive waterfall during winter. After two weeks of record-setting temperatures this January (which led the Canadian news to report that parts of the country were colder than the surface of Mars) Klekotka decided to explore the icy waterfall at night, discovering an illuminated scene that appeared more like a deserted alien landscape than natural wonder.

“The temperature was about -20C, but due to cold wind and high humidity, it felt like it was way below -30C,” Klekotka told Colossal. “After some time of shooting, my hands were really frostbitten. Because of the small buttons in the cameras, I had to handle them without gloves. Additionally the drops of water were freezing on the front glass of the lens and I had to clean it every couple of seconds.”

Klekotka captured the glowing waterfall from several angles, including an observation deck encrusted with a thick layer of icicles. You can see more of Klekotka’s otherworldly images on his Instagram and browse a selection of his small prints on his online shop. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Photography Science

Breathe: A Stunning Black & White Timelapse of Thunderstorms Across the Central Plains

January 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Phoenix-based filmmaker, photographer, and storm chaser Mike Olbinski captures approaching storms around his desert home using high definition video, often posting his works to his Vimeo in 4K. Breathe, one of his latest short films, is the first ever work posted in 8K and features a selection of storms shot in 2017 in either the American central plains or southwest. Watch the video above in high resolution to witness the magnificence of each rolling stormcell gather and disperse throughout a variety of open landscapes.

You can follow along with Olbinski’s storm chasing adventures on his blog, and see more of his timelapse videos and photography on his website.