Searching for beauty within the storm

avatar
(Edited)

Photography is therapy for most every photographer I've ever known. It allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the quiet solitude of a moment that seems to exist just for us. We absorb with every sense the beauty that surrounds us; the sights, sounds, smells; we are fully present. Alive. Breathing. Flourishing.

It might seem counterintuitive that a storm photographer like myself might find peace in the midst of storms. Where air masses collide and atmospheric chaos erupts, this is my calm. The blowing winds tussle with my hair, the electrically charged atmosphere raises the hair on my neck, droplets of rain caress my skin; I can breathe again. The weight of the world seems to lift effortlessly from my shoulders.
Dynamic Skies.jpg

There are so many parallels between storm chasing and life; as a storm photographer, my job, my entire purpose is to find the beauty and light within storms. These are often incredibly challenging scenes to photograph because they are generally moody and dark, ominous and foreboding; there isn't always much light to be found.

But I am constantly searching for it. I frequently reposition myself around rapidly-moving, sometimes dangerous storms, searching for the best possible angle to best capture their true beauty. It isn't as simple as driving up to a storm and firing off a few clicks of the shutter and driving away.

It's getting to know that storm from every angle, exploring its many shapes and facets and colors and textures, watching how it morphs and evolves and changes shape as it moves, watching how the light filters through the clouds at just the right moment for the perfect image.. and being perfectly placed to capture it.

Amber Waves of Grain.jpg

Sometimes, when chasing storms, I have to drive through heavy downpouring rain and large hail, and the visibility drops to nearly zero as screaming winds threaten to push my car off of the road. I push myself through moments of fear and uncertainty to keep going. I can't see a way out of this storm, and I'm not sure when it will end. But I do know that if I keep moving, I will make it through to the other side.

And on the other side is beauty.

Golden Hour Lightning.jpg

Those moments when I feel the storm might consume me, I have to remind myself that this is temporary. When the thunder roars and lightning crashes all around me, I allow myself to let control of what I want to happen in this moment, let go of any fear and doubt and uncertainty, and just be present. Exist within the storm, feel its breath, its movement, and let its energy fuel and recharge me.

Enlarged.jpg

Storm chasing has been a constant for the last 10+ years of my life, and every storm chase I return home from teaches me something about myself. It empowers me by showing me what I am capable of overcoming. It reveals to me my own inner strength, and teaches me that fear can only control me if I allow it to.

When life feels most oppressive and painful, when it feels like I will never get through this storm, when I'm moving forward blindly and desperately searching for the light that I know must be waiting for me, I come back to these moments in front of storms, and remember the lessons they've taught me.

Always search for beauty. No matter how dark things seem, there is beauty to be found. Find stillness in the chaos. Let the storm heal and rejuvenate you. Let it breathe life into your soul.

You will find the light again.

~ Jess

My Links

Website
Twitter
Instagram

My NFTs

Foundation
OpenSea
Tux.art



0
0
0.000
33 comments
avatar

I am constantly amazed by your photos, but even more so by your passion.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Casey that means the absolute world to me, truly, thank you so much!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Congratulations @dopplerjess! You have completed the following achievement on the Hive blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s):

You received more than 2500 upvotes.
Your next target is to reach 2750 upvotes.

You can view your badges on your board and compare yourself to others in the Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Check out the last post from @hivebuzz:

Hive Power Up Month - Feedback from day 10
Support the HiveBuzz project. Vote for our proposal!
0
0
0.000
avatar

You're lucky. When I'm out there, storms chase me.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Oh trust me, I have plenty of those moments too! It's all part of the adventure!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Incredible shots once again! Thanks for sharing with us here in the community!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thank you so kindly, I'm truly happy to be a part of it all!

0
0
0.000
avatar

You're welcome. We are thankful to have you here. Keep up the great work.

0
0
0.000
avatar

So much respect for what you do!! Also you definitely have way bigger balls than me 😂 The lighting in that last one is incredible.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Haha thank you Tristan, it's just ingrained in who I am! The scene in that last shot honestly didn't even seem real when I was photographing it. Just unbelievable to have that kind of light with a storm, I'm so grateful to have witnessed it!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Absolutely stunning Jess. I am guessing that, aside from it being scary, there are difficulties in taking these images that the viewer is totally unaware of. Wind and rain both make photography more challenging, but these storms must be next level.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thank you so much Cath, and apologies for my delayed response, but your comment really does mean a lot to me! These storms are so very challenging to chase and photograph, but so worth it when you get those once in a lifetime shots!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Wonderful metaphor for life. Your photos fuel and recharge us

0
0
0.000
avatar

That means the world to me Kieran, thank you so very much!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Just discovered you in the curation report and dang, you have me follow you because of your shots. You got some quite interesting professions and to be honest, I may not know you but hey, happy you to live the life you do. Being exposed to nature at its most powerful grounds you I can imagine. Greetz from Germany.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thanks to the photography lover curation, I was able to discover your work. The photos are very beautiful and allow us to refocus the power of nature. Well done she is very beautiful

0
0
0.000
avatar

I'm so happy that my photos resonate with you in that way, thank you so much for viewing my work!

0
0
0.000
avatar

OMG those clouds 😍 that's something we never see in the Netherlands! I love t go on a therapy session like that some time! 😉

0
0
0.000
avatar

Mother Nature always provides the best therapy!!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Beautiful and powerful images and words Jess! I recently listened to Nick Page's podcast with Mike Mez on storm chasing. It was utterly fascinating but also frightening to know how powerful these storms are.

0
0
0.000
avatar

That's awesome Alfredo, they are absolute legend storm photographers! And agreed that they are both powerful and at times scary! But I love every moment of it!

0
0
0.000
avatar

I just get storm fomo every time I look at your shots. I really love that last one with the rainbow. It's the cloud density to the right of the rainbow that makes it for me.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thank you, it really was an incredible scene, and one I had all to myself which is pretty rare these days with storm chasing, there's usually dozens if not hundreds of other chasers around! So the quiet moments with beautiful storms mean the most to me these days. This was a really special storm.

0
0
0.000