Having lived in Elk City and Independence Kansas for two years as a teen, I quickly became addicted to storm chasing and have never stopped. The beauty of nature in its most extreme makes me thankful that I have a passion for photography. Now living in the western Kentucky area, I rarely miss an opportunity to photograph a storm. Severe weather is something I truly live for. Storms are dangerous, but also beautiful. I've spent years learning how to do what I do relatively safely. I have a 100% flawless safety record. I am a certified Skywarn spotter & have over 20 years experience chasing storms.
This Kickstarter project was created to not only help me live a lifelong dream to return to Tornado Alley & document the most severe weather I can find, but also to provide other lovers of severe weather amazing images and video from the 2013 storm season. Photography is much more rewarding when you know others appreciate your work. The money goal I have set is for a four week storm chasing expedition for Spring, 2013. I will be travelling anywhere the biggest storms develop. I could be in Oklahoma one day and North Dakota the next. For every $3,500 I receive over the set goal, I will extend the expedition by one week, up to a total of 12 weeks. The longer the expedition lasts, the more content you will receive on the downloads and in the DVD beyond what is already promised. So the longer and harder I get to chase storms, the more content everyone will get for their dollar. The expedition will happen between March 1st and June 30th of 2013. You can see a detailed budget in the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.
Tornadoes will be my main focus since they are harder to find, but there is much more to weather photography than just tornadoes. I will be taking photos of storms in general, sunrises, sunsets, and especially lightning. There's nothing more dramatic than a close up & personal lightning strike at night.
I also take my Skywarn spotting responsibilities very seriously. While on the expedition, I will be reporting my observations to the National Weather Service and offering any assistance I can provide to those affected by the severe weather I document. I love severe weather, but I never want to see anyone suffer because of it.
If you live in the Evansville, IN viewing area, you may have seen one of my dozens of weather photos that have aired on the local news, or even a few that have aired on The Weather Channel or Good Morning America. I could go on, but I would rather let my work speak for itself. You can view a sample of my weather photos by clicking here.
Nerdist.com featured this project in its first launch attempt in an article on their site. You can see it by clicking here. This second attempt will provide the same content, but at a much lower pledge amount and a much lower budget, making a pledge much easier on your wallet in today's economy.
I have set up a Facebook page specifically for promoting this project, but it has become so much more than that. I upload 2-3 photos a day from my personal library of weather photos. When the expedition starts, I will begin to post daily journal entries, 1-2 images from that day, as well as 1-2 video clips per week.
I CANNOT do this with out your help. I will only break even at the $8,000 goal but I am hoping this will start my career in a field I truly love. If only 800 people in the entire world pledged $10 each, this project would be a great success. Please, if you have any friends who are fans of severe weather & photography, please let them know about this project. I will reply to any questions or comments you may have either here or on the Facebook page. I love talking with other severe weather fans and photographers.
Thank you for taking time too look over this project and considering to help me chase my dream. I hope to be chasing for both of us next Spring.
NOTE: All the digital prints for the Kickstarter rewards will be printed on an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 printer using archival Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper & Epson Claria High Definition ink. This ink is rated not to fade for up to 98 years. You will also be able to choose your print image from the top 50 images from the expedition.
If this project is successfully funded, everyone who pledges, regardless of amount, is going to get a download of a wallpaper pack that I normally sell for $15 on CD, 300 of some of my best photos taken over the last 8 years (100 lightning shots, 50 sunset/sunbeam shots, 50 old barn shots, & 100 miscellaneous images as well as 30 images sized perfectly for Facebook cover photos).
Also, I just created a 100 page photo ebook with captions of photos, graphic designs, & drawings. I designed it & made a print version for my parents' 40th anniversary this month. Everyone who pledges will get a copy of the ebook as well (pdf format). I enjoyed making the ebook so much, I plan on making one just for the expedition photos as well. Everyone who pledges $5 and up will get a download of the expedition ebook.
There will no doubt be video footage I shoot that won't make it into the final documentary. The cut scenes of weather footage will also be made available to everyone who have pledged $7 or higher.
Risks and challenges
Documenting severe weather can be dangerous, even deadly. That being said, I have been chasing storms since 1988 & I have a 100% flawless safety record. I know how to get close enough to a storm to get great photos & video, but at the same time stay at a relatively safe distance away.
I'm going to create a picture ebook as well. This will have fully captioned photos from the expedition & from some of my best photos already taken. There will be a short section on how I take the photos I take. I'll discuss equipment, technique & composition, as well as why I crop & edit my photos the way I do. This will be included as a complimentary addition to anyone who has pledged $10 or more (If the project gets funded that is).
You will receive a link to download 500 images from the expedition at 1920x1200 resolution plus a 60-90 minute HD video documenting the most violent events of the storm season. (All the content of both the $5 & $7 reward for $2 less!)
Are you a patron of the arts & would like to help start the career of an ambitious photographer? Fund 1/8 of this expedition yourself! You will receive the digital downloads, a DVD, two 12x18 prints on 13x19 paper, and a special sponsor credit as well as a mention in the documentary.
Are you a WEALTHY patron of the arts & would like to help start the career of an ambitious photographer? Fund this expedition yourself! You will receive the digital downloads, a DVD, ten 12x18 prints on 13x19 paper, and a special sponsor credit as well as a mention in the documentary. ALSO, if you are willing to pay the travel expenses, I will personally deliver your rewards & will spend a day talking to you or your group about the expedition or any subject you choose.