Sterling Cloud

On Thursday there was a chance of severe thunderstorms in NE Colorado so I took advantage of a close storm chase this early in the year. My target was Holyoke, CO but as I left Sterling the fog quickly became very thick and I was driving directly into a severe warned cell, I checked current conditions further east and everything was fog, fog and more fog. I was becoming a bit frustrated and headed back West to see what looked like a timid cell on the radar, as I got through Sterling I saw the storm which didn't look like much at the time, so I stopped and waited to see what may develop. Within a matter of minutes the storm turned into this monster cloud that was rotating horizontally and moving extremely fast; I was trying to keep in front of it going 70mph and was not making any ground on it, talk about exhilarating! This is a 180 degree pano to give you some sort of scale, it took up the entire western sky from north to south.

  • Joseph 3y

    Spectacular!
  • eddie tk 3y

    sweeeeet !
  • JC Shamrock 3y

    Creepy cool, nicely shot.
  • Alex Burke 3y

    Wow it's amazing how much crazier the clouds can get just a little further out east. Looks like some sort of evil sky worm. There wasn't hardly anything that day in Greeley aside from some minor thunderstorms. Did you mention that you had gone to some sort of workshop for storm chasing? That could be really cool to learn more about.

    I would like to mention (and I only say this because I respect you greatly as a photographer and am excited to see more of this stuff from you) that the sky possibly looks like it was over-cooked or something in post processing. Of course I don't really know how it looked in person but it looks like everything is an odd shade of grey, which detracts slightly from the brooding scary storm feel. Again, I'm not trying to be negative and I am very excited to see more storms from you. We live in a good place to see this stuff!
  • ErikStenbakken 3y

    Awesome. Love the pano perspective. Looks HDR?
  • Susan Humphrey 3y

    Excellent shot!!
  • Dan Ballard 3y

    Damn!!!!!!! That is crazy!!!!!
  • David Kingham 3y

    Thanks guys!

    Alex Burke

    Alex, I went to storm spotter training at chaser con earlier in the year but you can find training all year here www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=spot_training I'm a bit of a weather nerd so I've enjoyed learning a lot about storms, it's worth going if you're at all interested.

    Thank you for the feedback Alex, I always welcome it! I think you're right, it is an odd shade of grey, it should be more blue (but not a saturated blue) I'll have to go back and play with the color of the sky. Let me know if you ever want to come along, it would be quite the challenge to pull off a shot with a 4x5 but I would love to see the results :)
  • Michael Menefee 3y

    Epic cloud and so psyched you got training for severe weather. Fingers crossed for maybe a few boomers late in the day today.

    I sort of agree with Alex on the over-cookedness. FYI, if you are using Tony Kuyper's saturation methods you really have to be careful with clouds and some other subjects where it will ramp up subtle colors too much (esp. clouds). It also seems distracting with the wires on right. I'm sure they could work for a compo but here (for me at least) I would clone them out or recompose without them. I love the form of the cloud, it's a great subject and I share your weather geek love, heh.
  • back stage 3y

    This is an amazing pano. Just out of curiosity, how wide is your lens and what amount of overlap do you use. My 18mm really distorts at the edges and so panos don't seem to come out well. Is this something that the processing deals with?
  • Alex Burke 3y

    David Kingham Cool, I should spend more time chasing storms out east. Storm chasing would most certainly be difficult with 4x5. I've gotten lucky a few times but that was mostly because a storm rolled in where I was already shooting. It's amazing how fast the clouds move, as well as change shape and morph into different compositions.
  • Mike Berenson 3y

    Sounds exhilarating and then some! That's one amazing perspective you caught on that monster cloud David!
  • romi lizama 3y

    wow!!
  • David Kingham 3y

    Michael Menefee Thanks Michael, I used colorefex for this one to bring out the detail in the clouds but I think I took it one notch too far :) plus the color of the clouds are funky. I started to clone out the wires then got lazy hehe

    back stage This was at 24mm on a full frame camera, if you have issues with distortion I would take a look at PTGui, it handles most anything with ease. I probably do 30% overlap and never have issues at 24mm
  • Photocre8 3y

    What an amazing shot of this slender whale shaped cloud! Awesome capture!
  • TERRY T 3y

    Your Artistry is simply Awesome....Each of your works are truly Masterpieces!!
  • even72 3y

    Thanks for sharing this dude.
    Nature rocks!
  • Ang Wickham 3y

    well that looks fairly hellish. i'd have to say i wouldn't want to be under that!
  • Kingdom 3y

    Powerful cloud formation... terrific capture!
  • Dennis Tromburg 3y

    That's amazing, looks like a scene from a sci-fi movie.
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Taken on April 12, 2012
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