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  • This is the panoramic version. Check my images for the cropped version.
    (Taber, Alberta, Canada)
    In the summer of 2011 my wife and I were watching TV at about 8pm when my wife heard what sounded like thunder. Considering that it was a nice warm sunny day all day long it sure did seem odd to hear such a loud noise. Upon looking out our front door we watched as this cloud formation blew up from the south moving quickly to the left in this picture.

I ran for my camera and took some pictures at ground level from our front door. As we watched this for a few minutes we could see the cloud start to twist trying to form a tornado. Seeing that this was going to be spectacular, I grabbed my ladder and crawled up on the roof for a better view and some better shots. I was not disappointed! This picture shows the peak of the storm, after this point the clouds slowly settled down and it was done. In its wake was some golf-ball sized hail dropped damaging cars, trucks, spooked horses and a good story to tell the next day.

Ken, my neighbor across the street in the yellow house was out on his back deck chatting with the neighbor next door….neither one of them seeing this storm forming behind their trees.

I posted the image to my Flickr web site that night and sent the link to our local newspaper.What happened next I could not imagine!

The picture was spotted on Flickr by a company in England that looks after National Geographic Images for licensing. I received a number of quick emails from them saying that they would like to see about publishing it in two British Newspapers. A lady called and interviewed me to get some of the background on the image and published the article and image the next day.

The image continued to be published in newspapers around the world….Chile, Australia, Pakistan, Philippines, across Canada and even on Yahoo’s home page. During this time I did a TV and Radio interview….and finally our local newspaper heard about it after 3 weeks! Our photo club president walked over to their office to show them the picture – then they called me to do an article. Most of the articles painted me as brave or crazy for being up on the roof….trust me, there was no danger at all – it was a beautiful evening.

On my Flickr web site the image(s) (there are 3 versions) have been viewed over 50,000 times

EDITING:
I took 12 shots of this scene, duplicated each shot 5 times making exposure adjustments of 0+1+2-1-2 and sent them “this time” through a program called “HDR Efex Pro 2”…..I downloaded the trial version and it worked perfectly! Will be purchasing this program.

So I have 12 × 5 = 60 images in total. In Photoshop I photo-merged the 12 HDR images into panorama, aligned and blended them together into one large HDR image.

Once in Photoshop I did some extensive tone work and masking to get to this final version. You can go in so many different directions in editing but this “look” is what I am after.

Hey, thanks for reading this far!
Pat.

Tags

tornado, alberta, canada, taber tornado, taber alberta, pat kavanagh, hdr, storm, tornados, prairie, prairies, topaz adjust, lab color space, hdr efex pro 2, panorama

Comments

  • Peter Wiggerman
    Peter Wiggermanover 1 year ago

    spectacular

  • Alyce Taylor
    Alyce Taylorover 1 year ago

    Awesome :)

  • Angelo Narciso
    Angelo Narcisoover 1 year ago

  • Manon Boily
    Manon Boilyover 1 year ago

    wow! this is a shot of a lifetime! congratulations for all the recoignition. so well deserved!… I guess I am jealous. lol

  • Heather007
    Heather007over 1 year ago

    Lifer eh, good on you.

  • Jeff Ore
    Jeff Oreover 1 year ago

    Awesome

  • fauselr
    fauselrover 1 year ago

    cool shot

  • geof
    geofover 1 year ago

    masterful, Patrick – it looks to be potentially very powerful.

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