Sometimes Mother Nature does all the heavy lifting

storm, summer, tornado, supercell, super cell, alberta, travel alberta, landscape, Dan Jurak, severe weather, barley, farm, rural, prairie,

I have been having so much fun these past few weeks. Going thousands upon thousands of RAW images taken here in Alberta.

Because of how my brain works or doesn’t work, always looking forward to the NEXT thing I would usually process ONE image from a drive and everything else would be forgotten.

It turns out that is not a bad thing.

Back in the summer of 2012 I was getting out quite a bit. Chasing the skies when they looked interesting on the horizon. Watching the weather forecasts carefully to see if conditions looked right for fog filled sunrises. As always it would be process one image and forget about the rest because I am always interested in what I am about to do than what I have just done.

My favourite landscape is always the one that I am about to take. Never falling in love with your work is a good thing and there is no doubt that I never got too caught up on what I had just taken.

Here in central Alberta the seasons can be very distinct. By mid July we can experience some incredible weather. With crops ripening and a daily dose of rain overnight and sunny days the combination can make for some fierce weather.

By mid to late August the severe storm period has usually however from early to late July it can be a lot of fun if you keep an eye peeled to the horizon and today your smart phone weather app on.

It turns out that central Alberta can have some of the best storms in North America, something that I never realized until I saw a documentary on storm chasers last year.

One evening while looking west I noticed the horizon getting darker than it should. Maybe some interesting weather?

I grabbed my gear, told my wife that I would be back in a few hours and headed out.

Very quickly it became apparent that the good weather would be happening sooner rather than later. There was a huge swell of clouds coming my way as I left Edmonton. I was less than ten minutes from my driveway when the clouds were almost overhead. I stopped the car, got out, snapped a few shots, one of which I processed and later became an album or CD cover for an American music group the name of which escapes me.

I followed the storm for maybe twenty minutes taking various shots as the clouds worked their way north east.

The sun was almost setting when I snapped this photo. I haven’t seen it in almost six years and had forgotten about it until looking at it, the image came back to me.

The colours were incredible to witness in person. In fact while processing it I did nothing to enhance them. Instead I purposely took a ton of blue out of the clouds because they appeared so bright. Unnaturally so.

With the high clouds being illuminated from behind, the pouring rain being lit by a setting sun and the ripening barley glistening under the evening sun, Mother Nature did it all for me.

All that was needed was to frame this, release the shutter and hop back into the Rav to take more photos. It turns out that this was one of the easiest images that I have ever caught.

Sometimes you really have to work hard to get something that works and then there are times like this that even from my smart phone the scene would have looked special.

Sometimes, just once in a while Mother Nature does all the heavy lifting for you and I had forgotten that I had even taken it until finding it six years later. 🙂

Happy shooting,


~ by Dan Jurak on April 22, 2018.

2 Responses to “Sometimes Mother Nature does all the heavy lifting”

  1. That IS a sunning shot! Mother Nature is a good artist, in my opinion and we just need to take the time to record what she gives us. One thing I can say about this long winter, other than getting out occasionally I have been going through my old photos, getting rid of a few and taking a long look at others, saying “Oh, that’s better than I thought.”

  2. Isn’t it funny how our tastes change? For better or worse? Who knows but it certainly makes things interesting.

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