The story of man and weather has been one of cooperation. We basically cannot do anything, as we adjust accordingly with the weather each day. It could be the heat, the cold, or in some instances something much more extreme, such as thunderstorms and twisters, especially in the Central Plains of the U.S.
It is during such days that a camera on hand is truly invaluable. For photographer Mike Mezeul, such circumstances just make him hop into his car, and drive sometimes up to hundreds of miles to document these massively beautiful and destructive wonders of nature.
Mezeul recently spoke of his love for chasing a storm.
“For the past 14 years I have spent my springtime traversing the country, from the Texas/Mexico border to Canada, documenting severe weather. Some call me nuts, some call me adventurous, and many say I have a death wish. Me? I just like to refer to myself as passionate.”
For Mezeul there’s nothing more incredible than being in the presence of a 60,000-foot-tall thunderstorm as lightning bolts strike all around you. Mezeul say, that is incredible to watch the entire beast twist and turn in the sky as it gets ready to morph into a full blown tornado. “In a way, it’s incredibly humbling and really makes your place in this world seem pretty dang small,” he says.
“But getting to point your camera at something this incredible, something that, when it finally collapses, will never be seen again, is a moment to remember, and more importantly, a moment to share. That… is why I choose to put myself in front of some of the most dangerous storms in the world.”
Mezeul is quick to point out that he does not consider himself a storm chaser, but a storm photographer. “I don’t do this for scientific research (although I do relay reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service), nor do I do it for my ten seconds of screaming video footage on the news. I do it to capture a captivating frame showcasing Mother Nature at her finest.”
Well, whatever it is he likes to be called, one can’t complain about his incredible work.