A Storm Chaser’s Breathtaking Timelapse of Severe Weather in North America

For some photographers bad weather isn’t such a bad thing. It’s just another opportunity to make mesmerizing photos. One look at this breathtaking timelapse footage, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to assume that the photographer is a pro and has been shooting for years. As a matter of fact, photographer Jeff Boyce has a day job that’s not even remotely associated with photography:

A California police officer, Boyce picked up photography just couple of years ago, and this happens to be his first attempt at shooting a timelapse. Boyce has a long-standing love affair with severe weather, which partly explains the subject of choice. He was also inspired by the “Stormscapes” sequences shot by photographer Nicolaus Wegner.

Boyce used the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) outlooks to identify where he could find suitable weather for his pursuit. His hunt for severe weather took him from California to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and all the way to Manitoba, Canada.

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Some days Boyce would drive more than 600 miles to reach his destination. Much of the bad weather happened toward the end of the day, and that meant he had to sleep outdoors in his modified truck for much of the trip. However, he punctuated that with a night spent in a hotel room every few days.

More than 70,000 photos later and after exhausting two 4 terabyte external hard drives, Boyce came up with his timelapse film, Edge of Stability. Much of the editing work was done using Lightroom while the footage was compiled using Premiere Pro. He would often leave the laptop, wired to the electrical systems of his truck, working to compile the videos while he drove to his next destination.

As far as equipment is concerned, Boyce used two Canon 6Ds. He used a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, a Rokinon 24m f/1.4, a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8, Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 and a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. His main tripod was a Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH with a GH-100 Grip Head.

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Instead of using an external intervalometer, Boyce installed Magic Lantern on his cameras. The photos used for the timelapse sequence were predictably shot in RAW. Each photo was shot at an interval of about 2 seconds to one minute depending on the scene.

All that work sure paid off!

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