A scene from the life of a stormchaser / photographer…
“Did you catch anything today? by the way why are you soaking wet?”
“I caught myself a storm, about thiiiiiiiiis big! And…caught a bit of snow as well”
Stormchasing is something I could get seriously addicted to, it’s quite an adrenaline thrill! I reckon someday I’ll have to try a tour with Storm Chasing Tours! But this week I didn’t have to go far to chase a storm. Tuesday afternoon just as the sun was setting; Copenhagen was hit by a huge violent and short-lived snow storm. I noticed the very dark clouds building up on the horizon and jumped on my bicycle and pedaled like a Tour de France rider towards the lakes in central Copenhagen (only about 4 Kilometers away from my home so I beat the storm). The Lake Peblinge and Sortedam are my favourite places in Copenhagen and also the best spot for shooting storms or any cloudscape. I have a 360 degree open view of the sky and can quickly find the best composition when a storm is approaching.
The snow storm arrived quickly and it was over just as fast, I reckon I had the good light for 10 minutes or maybe less. The light you get with a combined storm and setting sun is so alien, so otherworldly and so special. In this case the setting sun lit up the storm clouds from underneath and the storm clouds themselves were very dramatic. This created an incredible contrast in colours and light between the dark and brooding clouds and the yellow orange tint of the setting sun.
A word of advice, when shooting this sort of scene do underexpose by about 2/3 to 1 stop even if you spot measure using the bright clouds – the bright parts of the clouds are indeed very bright and you don’t want to burn out the highlights. Also underexposing increases the contrast and colour of the clouds and I wasn’t looking for details in the buildings anyway, the storm is the subject here. A final tip: carry a camera bag that’s water proof or very water resistant. You need to keep shooting until the storm arrives so you and your gear are likely to get a good shower! (all part of the stormchaser experience)
Here are my shots from this particular storm. click to see them fullsize: