Saturday, May 27, 2006

May 26th chase

Hi, FARK!



Hi, Reddit!



(Note: All photos get super-biggified (850 pixels wide) in a new window when you click them.)



Well, yesterday caught me by surprise! I was back in Kearney, visiting the fam, when Darren Addy called me at around 4PM and asked me if I'd been watching the weather. I hadn't. :) But a quick check of the surface obs and the RUC hinted that if I was willing to drop just a bit south into northwestern Kansas, it might be a fun day. So, I quickly got the car ready (you've never seen me Rain-X so fast!), swung by to pick up Darren, and off we went. We dropped south from Holdrege, and as we did, we could see that the cap had definately broken to our southwest. As we approached the storm that was east of Hill City (at around 6PM, IIRC, though my timeline is fuzzy), the sky was putting on one heck of a mammatus display:















We sat in Norton for a little while watching the storm split. The left split was more or less just sitting there spinning like a top, while the right split, which was quite questionable at first in terms of prospects, soon took off to the east like a jackrabbit and exploded. We took the right split. Now, of course, we were behind and just north of the storm by this point, so we ended up having to punch it. But by that point it seemed very clearly outflow dominant and was transitioning to a something more linear. Darren managed to nagivate the pea hail and crazy winds that were lofting enormous amounts of dust to our north. Eventually, we punched through and got east of it, and holy cow, was that an incredible sight. The storm had developed a HUGE roiling shelf cloud followed by a boiling mass of really dark clouds caused by the outflow. All the pictures below are from after we got east of it. We also ran into a bunch of people on the road who were from Canada and Michigan -- we didn't have much time to talk as the storm was closing in at a rapid clip. If you look close enough, you can actually see one of the Canuakistanians standing stage left in one of the pictures below. :) I never got a chance to give them my name and number like they wanted -- if any of you are reading this and need to get in touch with me, my email is ryan at digicana dot com.



No tornadoes, but WOW what an incredible looking storm! Seriously, it looked like something out of Independence Day! Most of these shots are taken as we race east past Phillipsburg and Kensington.
























(a note on this last picture: in order to get the shot with the cemetery sign readable, I had to horizontally flip this photograph in photoshop. Props to Darren for seein' this photo!)



Wanna buy prints? Just click here!

100 comments:

Louise said...

Wow- these are such amazing photos. Thanks for sharing!

RahX said...

Those are amazing, if I wasn't flat broke I'd buy a print.

Ryan McGinnis said...

Thanks, rahx! Don't worry, no pressure at all to buy prints, I just put that up because last time I posted a photogenic chase here I had a good dozen people contact me wondering how they could buy a print or a high-res digital file. :)

Anonymous said...

those are some truly wild photo's man.

Anonymous said...

those are some truly wild photo's man.

Anonymous said...

These are FANTASTIC! Excellent work. Whatever camera you use I'm drooling already! Keep up the awesome photos.

Anonymous said...

My god, those are the most beautiful photos I've seen in a long time. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

Man I have never seen a storm like that. Those are great pictures. Can you buy copies of those?

Anonymous said...

Do you fear for your life when storm chasing or is the scientific endeavour taking such precedence that your emotions remain checked? Whatever the answer, your photos are evidence of a magnificent devotion to nature...a "magnificent obesession" and thank you for sharing it with us. I would have wet my britches!

Cameron said...

Great photography. I never knew the midwest looked quite so amazing. I'm jealous.

Gasoline Hobo said...

fantastic shots! nice glass, too! :)

Ryan McGinnis said...

Do you fear for your life when storm chasing or is the scientific endeavour taking such precedence that your emotions remain checked? Whatever the answer, your photos are evidence of a magnificent devotion to nature...a "magnificent obesession" and thank you for sharing it with us. I would have wet my britches!

Thanks! Actually, I'm not a chaser who attempts to do any science. I do it because I love weather and because I love photography and because sometimes I can help out by reporting severe weather before (or after) warnings go out. I think that most chasers fall into this non-science mould, though there are some really awesome bleeding-edge scientists like Tim Samaras out there chasing every Spring. If you'd like to visit on the net where some of those guys (both science and non-science) hang out, check out http://www.stormtrack.org and give the forum a look. :)

Anonymous said...

What kind of camera are you using?

Beautiful pics. Swing by Oklahoma if you want your storms to have more of a reddish tint to them :)

Anonymous said...

What kind of camera are you using?

Those are some amazing pics. My favorite is definitely the farm shot.

Keep up the great work. And swing on down to Oklahoma some time. Our storms come with an extra nice red flavor... :)

Ryan McGinnis said...

Blogger just ate a few comments (why? I dunno!). Here they are:

Cameron has left a new comment on your post "May 26th chase":

Great photography. I never knew the midwest looked quite so amazing. I'm jealous.

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Louise has left a new comment on your post "May 26th chase":

Wow- these are such amazing photos. Thanks for sharing!

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Gasoline Hobo has left a new comment on your post "May 26th chase":

fantastic shots! nice glass, too! :)

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Maria Mercedes said...

amazing pics!! absolutely breathtaking! Jawdropping, OMFG insane! Never thought there was anything to see in Kansas, man was I wrong! if i had seen them without your description of how you took them, i would have thought they were photoshopped. You rock! and hey, let us know what camera you use and if you used filters!!

harrier said...

YAY! Someone else that says "brazillion" in that context. Fabulous pics! I can see why these sell. Not much makes me consider leaving the balmy weather of the bay area, but damn do I miss storms! And, though gorgeous, uinta storms don't do stuff like this! Amazing!

Wright said...

These images DO look like something from "Independence Day" or one of Spielberg's flicks. Absolutely breathtaking!

Dannar said...

Cool photos, though I don't need to buy any prints, because If I wanted pictures like that, I'd just have to step out my back door and snap a few off.

spaazlicious said...

I'd like to buy an 8x10 of the image with the road,the barn,the tractor...howsabout a paypal button? ;)

Or just send me an invoice? How much manipulation has gone on with the image--it's just amazing.

R. Seacrest said...

Those are the greatest pictures of all time ever and always in the world. They make me tingly.

Seacreat out.

Darren said...

Sweet. Most photogenic Report of the day on Stormtrack. Thanks for letting me bum along!

Anonymous said...

Do you autograph your photos?

Anonymous said...

there is no Dana. only Zuul!

dyssident said...

absolutely sick..

i didnt see a reply so ill ask again,, what did you shoot it with?? any post processing??

René Kabis said...

I’m not much for prints, but I would love to have them as desktop wallpapers! Could you release them as 1600x1200 images?

turtlemaster117_lotn said...

inspiring photos, kickass storm!!

Patrick Potts said...

That.. is fricking amazing.

Anonymous said...

I second the wallpaper request! especially _MG_9248web.jpg

Anonymous said...

What kind of post-processing was performed on these prints?

Ryan McGinnis said...

Hi! For those of you who've been asking about camera, settings, processing etc, here's the skinny:

The camera settings should all be embedded in the file's EXIF info -- you can view this either in Photoshop by doing a "View->File Info->EXIF" or by doing a right-click properties on the file (assuming you're using Windows XP.) The camera is an EOS 20D and the lens is the Canon 10-22 EF-S 3.5-4.5 USM. The post processing was mostly curves and levels, some done in RGB, some done after switching over the LAB color. The files were shot as Canon RAW .CR2 in the Adobe RGB color space and edited as 16 bit TIFFs. Some photos, like the shot of the barn and the tractor, had almost no post processing done to them; others, like the shots of the mammatus, needed a slight Luminosity (in LAB mode) S-curve to bring out the definition the clouds and a curves gradient on the ground to simulate a ND gradient filter. I think I did a a/b color curves tweak in LAB in some of them as well to better seperate the color tonalities (RAW, by nature, is flat until you post-process it).

Whitney said...

Thanks for the comment! I wonder if I've hit my blogging peak and should give up now that I've successfully worked a Tori lyrics into a post about knitting and weather. And I'm glad you liked the rainbow shot, it wasn't really anything special, just quickly snapped out a window. Your photos, especially the storm shots, are simply amazing. I'm sure this info's around here somewhere, but what camera are you shooting with?

Virgil said...

Amazing photos! I've never really gone storm chasing before, but it seems like it'd be fun to try.

Callisto said...

Amazing.

JohnH from NH said...

Astounding photos, thanks for sharing!

My favorite is also the farm/barn/tractor shot. Have you considered making that into a jigsaw puzzle? Either via direct sale on your own, or selling the rights? Google "create your own jigsaw puzzles" for some ideas.

Karen said...

Unbelievable photos! Thank you for sharing. I moved to Maui from Kansas and I do miss a "good ol'" thunderstorm! I will be sharing this with friends. So many people have never experienced such a thing.
I would like to buy one of these, how do I order?
Maui, HI

Sister said...

You certainly are getting alot of fame!

They are quite possibly the best pictures you have ever taken. Way to go. :)

*Did you know you have past 30,000
hits?

Ryan McGinnis said...

Hi, Karen! To order, drop me an email (ryan at digicana dot com). Basically, you just paypal me the money and give me your address and what photo(s) and sizes you want, and I'll send ya the print(s). :)

Anonymous said...

These are incredible photos. Thankfully no tornado. What a sky! jane

Finlands finest said...

Those are amazing!!! Great Photos!

Finlands finest said...

Incredible!! Looked again!

hedgehogman said...

wow, at first i thought this is a weird person blog ( when looked at your photo ), but then I realize that this is a great one. Nice work man!

Anonymous said...

There's no place like home...There's no place like home...There's no place like home...

Anonymous said...

Why do you suppose only Brazilian people wanted to buy your photos?

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ryan,
Really intense, man. My pals here in the Bull City (Durham, NC) posted the link, and I'm glad I've gotten to see them. Isn't digital photogpraphy great? I know you didn't mess with these in Photoshop except for the flip of the cemetary, but it goes to show that nature is more "elementally fabulous" than most of the special effects dreamed up in Hollywood.
I get a chuckle out of the folks who say, "Wow, just like Independence Day..." when it's just the reverse. The reality is the awesome one, and the movie is just the cinematic surreality. But that's OK, I know what they mean. Awesome is an emotion that can be triggered by fake effects, too. It's just that being there in the ozone-laden "holy shit" reality of it all makes for real adrenalin.
I'm a lifetime photographer, whose done some nice stuff, and now I'm printing via my company's professional proofing Xerox Docucolor 12. It prints 12x18 size, which is nice, but I'm just snapping with a Pentax 5mg pixel Optio 50, so I've settled on a classic 6x8 image on a 8x10 white background. It works for gifts and such.
Question: Would you tell me what the special paper you use is, so that I can determine if it might work in the high-end printer here at work. I sure as hell don't want to jam it up, with hundreds of dollars on-site and my "artsy" print shredded in the middle of the mess...
Let me know, anyway, if you want. I'd appreciate it.
And I'm not needing the scary shot for my office, but any more of your fine nature work available? I'm going to post some of my Eno River shots sometime, so is this a good way to do it, VS. let's say Shutterfly?
Thanks for your time.
I'm posting this as Anonymous since I don't know if I'm an Other or not, and I'm not a blogger.
Dennis

Anonymous said...

Ryan,
Really intense, man. My pals here in the Bull City (Durham, NC) posted the link, and I'm glad I've gotten to see them. Isn't digital photogpraphy great? I know you didn't mess with these in Photoshop except for the flip of the cemetary, but it goes to show that nature is more "elementally fabulous" than most of the special effects dreamed up in Hollywood.
I get a chuckle out of the folks who say, "Wow, just like Independence Day..." when it's just the reverse. The reality is the awesome one, and the movie is just the cinematic surreality. But that's OK, I know what they mean. Awesome is an emotion that can be triggered by fake effects, too. It's just that being there in the ozone-laden "holy shit" reality of it all makes for real adrenalin.
I'm a lifetime photographer, whose done some nice stuff, and now I'm printing via my company's professional proofing Xerox Docucolor 12. It prints 12x18 size, which is nice, but I'm just snapping with a Pentax 5mg pixel Optio 50, so I've settled on a classic 6x8 image on a 8x10 white background. It works for gifts and such.
Question: Would you tell me what the special paper you use is, so that I can determine if it might work in the high-end printer here at work. I sure as hell don't want to jam it up, with hundreds of dollars on-site and my "artsy" print shredded in the middle of the mess...
Let me know, anyway, if you want. I'd appreciate it.
And I'm not needing the scary shot for my office, but any more of your fine nature work available? I'm going to post some of my Eno River shots sometime, so is this a good way to do it, VS. let's say Shutterfly?
Thanks for your time.
I'm posting this as Anonymous since I don't know if I'm an Other or not, and I'm not a blogger.
Dennis

tjansson said...

Very nice photos! Could you please release some of these images in resolutions suitable for wallpaper-use. (i.e. 1680x1050)

Kt Mc said...

Um, you really need to put a picture of yourself that is not photoshopped to make you look like Osama Bin Laden on. Seriously. >.<

Anonymous said...

Positively fantabulous photos! I sure would like to see those as screensaver pictures. Can you release them in original size?

Anonymous said...

ryan,

charge more money. you're worth it.


best,

charles

Scott said...

Please contact me about using these photos in print/presentation.

i3@usa.net

muaddib420 said...

best storm photos i've seen in a while. great job buddy. makes living in kansas a bit more bearable huh? ;)

Anonymous said...

Great shots - Reminds me of my Oklahoma days in the service. I was an air traffic controller in the tower and had to evacuate due to a tornado approaching the field. We got the the bottom of the stairs but never got out the door. I could see blue/green lightening through the bottom of the door and thought it was best just to stay put. After it passed, we went back upstairs and some of the C5s and C141 transport planes had been turned 90 degrees. That's about as close as I want to come to one of those things. Very scary!!!!

Ken P

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Work!

Jef said...

Woaw... I'm a member of iStock Photo and so I've seen a lot of nice photography in the part few years... but this is something else!

I would really like to see a decent version of some of these pics though, and the "biggified" versions don't do it for me on a 1050x1680 display. I would request a wallpaper too... if I didn't know that many people would take advantage of it and print their own copies and so on. How about a watermarked high-res. version of each file though? That way it would still give some of us an idea of the subtleties in the photographs... and I think people would understand.

Congrats on the great shots... and keep at it now that you're famous! LOL

K Keller said...

Great work Ryan. I lived in central Kansas for the first 30 years of my life -- I'm now living in Georgia, where the skies are not quite so spectacular as thos in the midwest.

AHЪ said...

It's 3d. that's all.

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Could you provide a paypal address so I can shoot you some money? I'd like to buy a print of this.

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Could you provide a paypal address so I can shoot you some money? I'd like to buy a print of this.

Derek said...

Spectacular. Makes me miss the midwest.

In the tractor/shed photo, it seems like the features on the ground are all stretched toward the center of the picture. Is that how they appeared, or it that a result of processing and/or resolution?

Ryan McGinnis said...

Spectacular. Makes me miss the midwest.

In the tractor/shed photo, it seems like the features on the ground are all stretched toward the center of the picture. Is that how they appeared, or it that a result of processing and/or resolution?


Hi, Derek! It's an effect of the lens, actually -- I shot that photo with a superwide angle lens (10mm). This makes everything at the edges stretch out a bit and causes vertical lines at the edges to bend towards the center.

Anonymous said...

http://www.easternuswx.com/bb/index.php?showtopic=96711

Meteorologist@gmail.com

Alyson said...

Amazing photojournalism!

Alyson (MsMuller158)@yahoo.com

snafubar-none said...

I was convinced that when I had seen storm photographs like these before that they had to be computer generated - the colors are absolutely unnatural and nothing we here on the east coast have ever seen before. "Wow" just isn't the right word, but my brain is wiped clean of anything coherent when I look at these. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ryan,

That group from Canada/michigan was a group of students and prof from McGill university with rented cars from Michigan. Great pics!!! Better than what we took with our digital cameras. We'll be in contact for prints cuz that was our FIRST SUPERCELL!!

Shawn Milrad said...

Hi,

I was one of the Canucks (well I'm actually American, just go to school in Canada, but who's counting) who you spotted chasing the "Independence Day" storm. Just wanted to say great job on the pics....definitely makes you feel like it was a giant spaceship. We just found this page today doing a random google search for that day's Norton, Kansas storm. Just FYI there was apparently a small tornado (so said SPC) on the western side of the storm (through the hail shaft)....score another one for not trying to drive through hail shafts in rotating mesocyclones.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ryan,

Just thought u might be interested in these, i would be might annoyed if this was done to me

»www.deviantart.com/deviation/44535320/
»www.deviantart.com/deviation/44535142/

no__1__here said...

Just wanted to let you know that someone over at DeviantArt is passing off some of your images as their own. They even made a horrid attempt at cloning out your name.

http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/44535320/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/44535142/

I didn't see any email addy around your blog so this is the best I could do...hope you see it!

It was discussed over at BBR:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,17436067

Casey said...

You're not gonna like this, buddy:

http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/44535320/

http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/44535142/

Steph said...

Wow I never saw clouds like that, thank you for your amazing pictures

Anonymous said...

Wow, it seems like magic how the clouds looked like that! Wierd huh.

home owner insurance said...

Great post! Thank you.

wanderlust said...

Absolutely beautiful

brahmasoccer09 said...

Impressive pics!

Anonymous said...

AHH! DADIGGCODE WINS! STAY + and doesn't get buried!

Matt said...

Very nice photos. I also love the fact that you said "brazillian". Keep up the good work.

John said...

Dude this is mind boggling, it looks so fake, but it isn't! absoloutley AMAZING gratz dude

Michi said...

wow these photos are amazing! Is this a supercell? What kind of camera did you use?

phillygirl said...

Those pics are absolutely stunning ... beautiful colours and amazing clouds!

G M said...

I'd really really encourage you to release one of the mammatus photos (maybe at 800x600 or 640x480) under GFDL so that it can be used in the mammatus article on Wikipedia. They are incredible and it would be a great addition to the article.

Jamie Lloyd said...

Those are some of the best storm pictures I have ever seen. I do believe I will be buying one soon!

monstergirl said...

nice photoshoped pics..

mtadj said...

Fabulous! Wish I have extra $$$. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

These are great pics. But i think we should be crediting mother nature instead of the photography. A baby could take a picture of the Pyramids of Giza, is that photography? and to copyright it?

come on

great pics bud!

Dean said...

Did you use a wide angle lense on some of those? The cemetery fence looks distorted some, but it's a very awesome picture!

Anonymous said...

photoshop work!

John Currah said...

These are really interesting pictures. Thanks for posting!

Nabin said...

WOW!
Mammoth Clouds.

Nabin said...

WOW!
Mammoth Clouds.

Nabin said...

WOW!
Mammoth Clouds.

You are on digg man!

Anonymous said...

w...w...wow.

Anonymous said...

These are absolutely gorgeous. Such a bittersweet image. Fantastic job!

Richard said...

Wow!!! Those are absolutely amazing.

I would say I wish I'd been there to see them with my own eyes, but then again...

Thanks for sharing the pics. It's great that there are people like you willing to risk your life in order to capture an amazing moment.

Richard
http://blogearth.wordpress.com/

KELLY said...

WOOW good images and good article , keep the good work

liveweatherman said...

Such wonderful formation of clouds..I had never seen those kind of clouds before..A truly captivating one..What a nice photos you have..

Reece said...

Incredible... This happened, and is happening at this moment right near me. It's too dark to see anything at the moment, sadly... These are beautiful pictures! Thank you so much for sharing them!

Anonymous said...

Man! These are incredible photos! Never seen anything like this in my life!

Tuga7 said...

photos really good, very impressive, very well captured! Congratulations.

Muse said...

wow these are great, i always wanted to chase back when my brother used to do it just for the pictures but i'm a big chicken. Now he just runs a chase hotline. And i sit in the bathtub when i hear sirens ;-)