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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!


Saturday, August 1, 2015

MONSTER Minnesota Whitetail Buck in Velvet

What started out as a hike to kill some time on Friday evening sure ended up with a heck of of a reward!  Hard to really count as I'm not totally sure the spurs by the brow tines are 1" but this thing could have as many as 16 scoreable points.  The tip to tip credit doesn't look to be outstanding but still a heck of buck!  Sorry all the shots are a little blurry.  The light was REALLY bad (dark) and had to shoot ISO1600-3200 to get any type of decent shutter speed.

Look at all the mosquitoes on the side of his face!  Unreal.

This buck is in a semi-safe area and I doubt he would be hunted unless he moves out of the area.  I hope he is around during the rut as there will be some awesome photo ops I'm sure come November!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 17 2015 Northeast South Dakota Chase

4 hours late out the door on Friday and still had a fun chase day.  Just a reminder to the noobs and some of the self-proclaimed veteran chasers, please be courteous on the roads.  If you are going to deck out your vehicle so everyone knows you are a professional chaser or chase team, don't drive like a douche. Please.

Check out the full set of images and recap HERE!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 12 2015 Western Minnesota Chase

1) Have a plan
2) Stick to the plan

Chase days are as simple as that.  Unless you don't follow step 2.

Full chase account and images can be seen HERE.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A couple of local storms and lightning triggers

Seems tornado ops have outnumbered good night time lightning ops about oh, 21 to ZERO over the past year so my family gave me a lightning trigger for Father's Day this year. It's nothing fancy and not the top of the line, but it works.   Kind of.  This thing is like hyper light sensitive.  In one instance with the sensitivity turned all the way down, I could drape my t-shirt over the sensor and it would still trigger the shutter.  I dunno.  Maybe the one I have is flawed or maybe it is mean to use at night or at least post-sunset dusk.  If you have run into this problem, please email me at bill@mnwxchaser.com with any ideas or tell me what I am doing wrong. Below is the only successful capture I have from this thing out of probably 50 opportunities where it failed to capture the strike or I couldn't get it to not trigger as soon as I armed it.  It's an Opteka LTX-80.  The photo below is an image from the manufacturer.

This was the only successful capture using the lightning trigger during "daylight".  It was pretty dark as this storm approached our home from the north.

On to the storms!

Hard to compete with the June 27th chase day up in Canada, but there aren't many storms I won't at least try to find something which looks cool or at least the light gives me something to work with.

June 29th over by Hinckley, MN in the trees.  Another south moving trough coming out of Canada.  Big dew point depressions meant little to no tornado chances this day but a little cell just southwest of town did condense a brief and non-rotating wall cloud.  The big story of the day would be all the hailers which moved across the Minneapolis - St Paul metro area during the late afternoon and evening hours with some isolated spots getting nailed with egg sized stones.

This past Sunday, July 5th had a cold front crashing into western Minnesota during peak heating.  Well, OK, it didn't exactly crash.  In fact it stalled out.  I had to drop my daughter off at camp north of Brainerd in the early afternoon but all the CAMS broke out isolated storms bring the mid to late afternoon so I brought my gear along with the idea of making an intercept on the way home.  Bad idea.  Reason #1: Holiday weekend traffic.  I knew it was going to be bad heading back south but to see it back up for 18 miles from Royalton to the north of Little Falls to the 10/371 split was ridiculous.  So the wife and I drove a back roads arc home again.  Reason #2:  The CAMS were wrong.  They were ALL wrong.  No storms went up in central MN.  It was pretty evident the CF would fire late but I was still questioning on how good the storms would be with the weak forcing and anemic flow aloft.  Once the storms did go, there were some supercell structures early on but everything struggled to maintain intensity.  I opted for dinner at home and a nap until the weather radio woke me up for a blue box.  Another try for the lightning trigger at least?  I took it with but it never made it out of the gear bag.

I wandered over by Spicer, MN and tried to set up between a cell to my southwest and another to my northwest.  I usually have pretty good luck with CG's and some nice CC's going back and forth.

This ended up being pretty lame for the most part.  I really enjoy being outside of the vehicle to shoot lightning but the mosquitoes chased me back in pretty quick as the intervalometer  did the work.

Weird twisty CG.  Heavily cropped.  I think I was shooting 10s exposures at f5.6 ISO 200 for these.

Got bored as the stratoform rain shield filled in out in front of the cells pretty much killing my desire to get wet and bug bitten so called it a night.  I should have set up the cam at home as there were some cool CG's but not enough to make me stand out there.  Oh yeah, the lightning trigger...

Friday, July 3, 2015

June 27th 2015 North Dakota Tornado Outbreak

19 confirmed tornadoes.  Hell of a chase day which started at Walhalla, ND on the Canadian border waiting for the first storm to drop south to the US side and ending up in the RFD blast of the final tornado of the day in the far southeastern corner of the state near Fairmount, ND.  I saw 7 of them ranging from landspout-ish to start with to a large, but weak, stove pipe.  Pretty much 8 hours of action!  The Adams, ND was by far the most photogenic of the bunch.  The strongest was the low visibility Holmes / Hatton EF2.