Less than 4 weeks to go...

Posted on 24th April, 2017

We are now inside the "less than a month" countdown to Chase17 and my excitement levels are building. They really are! Most of my preparation is there for the trip and I am now considering the little extras that I want to add to the tour. My camera now has a shutter release that works (thanks eBay!) and I am considering a zoom lens for some of the photography/videos I hope to take on the storm chase this year.


Currently my set-up is a Nikon D3300 with a standard AF-P Nikkor 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6 G lens for the day to day shots and secondary wide angle lens (Sigma 10-20 mm 1:3.5) for use in taking the wide angle shots.  This is generally a good set up, although I do feel it lacks somewhat when the action is a little further away and hopefully, if all goes well, a new lens may help with that. 


Nikon D3300 with Sigma 10-20 mm lens

My set-up when taking photographs and filming storms in the USA

(Nikon D3300 with Sigma 10-20 mm lens)


I have also invested in my own tripod this year. Last year, I was relying on the kind loan of my dad's tripod, although now I have my own Manfrotto Compact tripod (a special offer in Jessops in January...£50, which looks like a bargain price for the size and functionality of it).


Next up, I'm looking to invest in an action cam. After watching hundreds of hours of YouTube videos on severe weather, the footage captured by a decent action cam seems to be up there with the best. With a good quality and wide-angled lens, structure patterns and rotation (when the footage is sped up) can be seen that isn't always visible to the naked eye. I'm avoiding GoPro, as feel they are overly expensive for what they offer and may consider on of the many models of SJCam.  There are 100s of alternatives on eBay, but I am always wary on the quality (or if I end up with a fake/dodgy camera) - so will be looking to buy directly. Which model I will be going for is yet to be decided...although I had better hurry as the countdown to #Chase17 is ticking down...Any recommendations from the chase community/action cam customers?


Stunning Perryton tornado captured on fellow chaser (Laura's) SJCam. For more videos like this

one, consider subscribing to her channel on YouTube (Source: Laura French / YouTube)


I've also started a group for people to share their videos of severe weather - be it tornadoes, lightning, monster hailstones or any other strange weather. It is called Your Extreme Weather Videos and is an open group. You may want to check it out - we are already up to 37 members and there have been some spectacular videos of extreme weather being shared. Join in and share, or just join to see some great displays of mother nature!


Finally, I am in the process of workking out what sunglases to take out with me. Now, as an optometrist, I know that healthy eyes require good eye protection against the environment. From most of my pictures and videos, you're probably thinking "why does he need sunglasses? It's always raining/hailing/tornado-ing! etc". Well, actually...you are wrong...storms require a lot of heat (a great source of storm energy!). Most of our days are hot and sunny, with plenty of road trips and stop-off points. As we are much further south than in the UK, we experience the sun's harmful UV rays in greater doses...so sunglasses are vital! So these are the ones that I am looking to purchase:


Trying on some STORM London Sunglasses


Those that are eagle-eyed among you will notice that the brand is "STORM London", a frame available from International Eyewear. I haven't updated my sunglasses since 2013, so I am rather excited. The frame is comfortable and the eye-size large enough to provide sun-protection for my eyes and orbital areas. I am aiming for polarised lenses to help reduce any glare from the roads (especially when the bright sun beams down on the puddles caused by recent downpours) and an anti-reflective coating to finish the look. I generally feel I don't suit many sunglass frames, but this pair just stood out for me. 


If you are looking for sunglasses, or normal glasses; STORM have a range of frames available. I am also happy to help you choose a pair for the days I locum in Brignall Opticians (Chippenham), as they have a wide variety of STORM stock to choose from. I'm also qualified to test your eyes and advise on how best to look after your eyes for your hobbies and interests (storm-chasing or otherwise!). Be sure to head over to their Facebook page and give them a like, as I think they may be introducing a competition through their page in the very near future...


Thanks for reading and I'll be updating you on my future purchases very soon!



Make A Comment

Characters left: 2000

Comments (0)