Jared Weber's picture


The shot of a lifetime.

Wether it was that moment where you have the perfect composition with the perfect lighting, or you captured an event that you may never witness again, some images will stand out over the rest.

I was headed out to a field of wildflowers I found while driving during work one day. Upon arriving I was bummed because it was windy and I could tell there wasn't going to be any kind of special sunset. I stayed for about 15 minutes, trying my best to capture the wildflowers in the windy conditions. One of the most difficult photography challenges is focus stacking wildflowers when its really windy. I have to do it all the time and sometimes it just doesn't work out.

Right before I was about to leave I noticed that the skies were quickly growing darker and an especially strange cloud was twisting into an odd shape and heading directly towards me. I pointed my camera at the cloud at 18mm and began shooting. I had to very quickly within the span of about two minutes start zooming out from 18mm, to 16mm, to 12mm to get the whole cloud within the frame.

Before I knew it thunder started to crack while lightning flashed simultaneously all around me. I was now at 10mm and the twisted cloud formation was almost right over the top of me. Stunned by what I was seeing, I fired off a couple shots frantically right as rain started coming down in pelting sheets. I threw my backpack on, tucked my tripod with my camera still mounted onto it under my shirt, and ran out of the field. By the time I got back to where I was parked I was soaked completely through my clothes.

It all happened so fast that I didn't really think to look back at the shots I took until a couple days later when I was uploading my recent images to my computer and saw this. The shot of a lifetime. A twisting shelf cloud with a bolt of lighting over a field of wildflowers. I sent this image in to my local news outlets and it ended up getting featured on the National Weather Services website.


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