Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Storm is a Coming

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I lived in central Illinois for three decades and during that time I saw countless thunderstorms roll in and out. Yet I never once thought to get out and photograph one.

I stumbled across a Flickr page operated by a woman who lives near where I grew up and I have been fascinated with her work in photographing thunderstorms and other weather phenomenon that can easily be seen on the Illinois prairie.

It might look flat and boring to many people — particularly those who don’t live there — but the prairie can yield some dramatic images if you know how to “see” it.

Looking at the work of that photographer has taught me how to see my former home state.

I had just gotten my digital camera when I made a trip back to Illinois. I was driving back to Champaign and could see a thunderstorm brewing off to the west.

I pulled over just outside of Rantoul and got this image. It’s nothing spectular, but is a common sight on the prairie of a storm coming.

I was back in my motel room when the storm actually hit and it was fierce for a while.

I was driving to another hotel to attend a banquet after the storm had ended. I took the long way around, driving through the countryside west of town.

There were some really nice storm light images to be had. But, alas, I didn’t want to take my camera with me to the banquet and left it in my motel room. It was a painful lesson and this image will always remind me of it.

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