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Summer Storms

(White hope Baptist Church-Stafford, Virginia-2021)

When our day begins and the day is beaming with sunshine, most of us are out shooting photographs with some very expensive Cameras, iPhones, gorpros, and drones, which is why we buy these items, to document what we see and share with family and friends.

But what happens as the skies darken and the weather turns quite stormy, we put our devices away to protect them. And this where only a small majority will take a chance to get those eye-popping("how did he get that shot"), beautiful, shots of some of Natures best and sometimes violent storms.

Now I am the first to say, that to me storms are very beautiful, but I know they can be dangerous and destructive at the same time. So a word of caution.....DO NOT DO THIS if you don't have experience with weather phenomena. Try running with someone who knows weather, patterns, clouds, barometric pressure, and a whole lot more. Believe me when I say, "this will save your life when things turn deadly", and I have experienced this first hand, many times, to the point where your equipment is secondary to your life. Tornadoes, Dericchios, Cloud burst, and other severe weather are all trying to kill you.

Summer storms can turn deadly in a matter of seconds, which can either make your

day, or take your life.

This time-lapse video is an example of a typical summer build up and very bad storm. Watch as the clouds roll in from the west(from bottom to top), until a Derricho appears and forms from the North(from right side to left) and produced 70-80 MPH winds, lightning, and damaging debris. This is a 2 hour time-lapse, when would you turn and seek shelter? Or would you get out there to shoot it. Only you know your safety bounds.

My advice to all, is know your weather, and your surroundings, then make a safe choice. Taking award winning photographs is very satisfying, but even I know my limits. Hang with someone who knows weather and patterns, who will guide you into the realm of Summer storms.

Slaughter Pen Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia-Half calm, half storm.

My artwork includes several stormy photographs, as seen above, and I can say I enjoy shooting them. Sometimes I plan a day or two ahead of violent weather, and sometimes I witness them forming out thin blue sky, and run to get to a place with composition(farm field, lonely tree, and single builds are a good start to building your photograph). It is totally awesome to experience Mother Nature at her fullest, and be safe at the same time, to return home safely to view my shots. While my Motto is, "It's all about gettin' the shot", I still plan safely, have backup plans and watch everything around me for possible danger. Rising water, circular clouds, heavy lightning, and several other phenomena can and will shut me down and head to safer grounds.

So, in reality, make plans, follow someone with experience, and always have a getaway plan, before you head into the eye of a Hurricane.

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