I saw my first tornado in 2016, and it was easily one of the most intense moments I've ever experienced in nature. From the force of the wind to the smell of the rain (not to mention the hypnotic movement of the grass and clouds), spring storms in the midwest are truly their own special kind of landscape.
This June I had the opportunity to join my friend and fellow photographer, Kelly DeLay, for a few days of chasing in between projects. We started off with a bang when we caught a rope tornado in eastern Colorado on June 19, and after that, we followed a massive supercell, which had turned the sky an electric shade of blue. "You've seen more on your first day than most people have seen all season," a fellow storm photographer friend told me. "You're a tornado good luck charm." Seeing as I shot the double tornado that touched down in Dodge City, Kansas, in 2016, I'd be inclined to agree with him.
The rest of the week proved to be a bit less dramatic, but we were still able to take in some incredible cloud formations and lightening storms (along with a few stops at Chipotle, because, well, that's how it's done). Blue skies, flat roads and zipping past endless fields of gold and green were are generally how chase days begin, but if you look carefully, you'll start to pick up on all kinds of little details that define this part of America. Abandoned barns, towering grain silos, rows of hay bales, cows and tattered fences are all part of the landscape, and when ominous clouds swirl around above it all, only then have you really experienced the plains -- and the power of Mother Nature. I know I'll be back out again next spring, but I would love to turn this into a month-long project, because one week is never enough.
Click through the gallery below to see a few of my favorite photos from my late June trip through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico: