Author: Keith Briley
When Snowmageddon (that’s what we from the Charleston area call a few inches of snow when it hits the ground in our area) arrived, uncommon images within a very familiar scene started showing up in the ole’ social media feed. Upon viewing these stunning captures, we were reminded of the photographic opportunities that can be captured when Mother Nature decides to mix things up a little.
You’ve seen them; the massive, charcoal colored clouds forming rings high in the sky, producing the ominous but beautiful tornado below. The thunderstorm in the distance creating enough lightning to continually ignite the dark, night sky. Or, the crashing of the enormous ocean waves along the coast because an epic hurricane is on its way. All of these were obtained because the photographer chose to “get out in it”! They did their research and placed themselves in a safe position to acquire a capture that will wow the viewer.
It’s not every day that we have these opportunities, but when they do come along, the research, timing and effort can pay huge dividends. Everyone loves a good story. And, everyone loves a beautiful photograph. To combine the two can be rewarding on many levels. Not only do you now have the story to tell friends and family, but you very well may have created an image that can never be duplicated. In addition, the circumstances that existed while shooting the perfectly timed capture can be a once in a lifetime experience. Tell the story! Bring the viewer in! Express yourself as if the photograph didn’t exist, giving as much detail as possible in an attempt to place the viewer right beside you as you grabbed the shot. Before you know it, your photograph will come alive to the viewer allowing for an unexpected, emotional attachment.
“How does an emotional attachment from the viewer benefit my photograph?”, you might ask. It allows us the opportunity to share the experience. Not every living person will have the opportunity to personally feel and hear when a tornado forms over the plains. Nor, will everyone have the chance to watch the seas grow and churn with such anger and force. While having the urge to escape to a beautiful destination seen in many photographs but never had the chance to visit can be enticing, an anomaly by Mother Nature, never experienced in person, can be just as alluring.
Let’s not forget about you. Think about why you wanted to be there. There must have been something that created the desire to plan and execute the attempt to capture Mother Nature in rare form. Something that created a spark that eventually grew into a roaring flame of inspiration. Those sparks, as tiny as they may be in the beginning, can grow into a never ending appetite to fill the cup of creativity. The desire to capture something unique and jaw-dropping is in all of us. But, it’s not going to happen until you’ve experienced it. Until you get out in it.