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Mothership at Sunset | by Matt Granz Photography
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Mothership at Sunset

The Continuing Adventures of the Storm Chasing Vagabond, Part 1.

 

This will be the first photo in a long series of storm chasing images I came away with from a five day trip out to Tornado Alley last week.

 

This storm emanated from Colorado. It was very slow moving, keeping to around ten miles an hour. It took close to six hours of driving to intercept it at the Oklahoma Panhandle. Previous to this shot, it had spun out tornado after tornado. I saw this dropping one huge stovepipe twister from around 20 miles away and immediately put the pedal to the metal and found myself doing 100 mph in an attempt to get closer. By the time I arrived however, the tornado was gone and so I set up shop next to the local Sheriff and his good friend and ran out into this field immediately. It's been my longtime dream to shoot this particular kind of cloud formation and since they are kind of rare, I didn't think I'd actually have a chance.

 

I decided that though a close up of this cloud structure would be cool, to do a wide angle shot instead and catch all the drama around it. The decision was also made tyo stay a little further away because the day previous saw me accidentally inside a twister, so I made sure to keep my distance this time.

 

The mothership you see here is actually a huge rotating wall cloud. It's absolutely fascinating watching it spin and churn and change shapes, and I was often mesmerized just watching this do its thing. In this shot, it is busy dumping golf ball sized hail in that shaft falling to the earth below it's base.

 

After shooting this I returned to my car and when I turned around I immediately saw that it had dropped yet another tornado (pictures soon to come) and so I ran back to this field and shot more. This storm produced so many epic shots, not only of the wall cloud and tornado, but of all the other storm clouds nearby going berserk, that I will be editing them for quite some time.

 

Then there are the two other successful chase days I will be uploading as well.

 

Many more shots are on the way.

 

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Taken on May 31, 2010