Author Topic: Viewing Spots - who needs them and what do they do for you?  (Read 4066 times)

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Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Viewing Spots - who needs them and what do they do for you?
« on: 20 January 2008, 03:44:26 AM »
Hi,

The concepts of a selecting viewing points and running a thread on it obviously has merit. You sometimes require a good view of the surroundings to get a visual from a storm chasing perspective. However, I say approach with caution.

There are chasers who in the past and as well as present stick around these viewing spots either the whole chasing period or for most of the day. After all, it is so comfortable, you get good opportunities to set up tripod, you get to see the 'whole scene' I guess. That to me is not real chasing. Further, one often misses out on the best features, best contrast, and close up action including audio. There is also a limitation on perspective. I may add here that those who are just beginning to chase, in the initial stages, this is probably a good idea to begin with - determine how storms behave, from motion to development to anvil behaviour.

These lookout databases are great but I would also encourage perhaps one of the enthusiastic moderators to add a visual map location that could be printed out to assist others and from now on, everyone including google maps with the points of lookouts placer markers on them. Perhaps permissions could be adjusted in this section for members to edit their own lookout positions in this section - there is currently a time limitation for posts I think of 24 hours.

Anyway just some thoughts to treat the concepts of using lookouts with caution. If you don't get familiar or have maps to make use of, under the pressure of the chase, you will still not know where they are.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
« Last Edit: 20 January 2008, 03:58:36 AM by Jimmy Deguara »
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Offline Mike

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Viewing Spots - who needs them and what do they do for you?
« Reply #1 on: 20 January 2008, 08:03:31 AM »
Specifically the thread was started just to get a feel to where people have been or do go to photograph storms and not chasing per se.  Some people have limitations on where they can go timewise or money wise as far as fuel is concerned and in fact limitations on where they can go just by not knowing, which brings rise to your comment Jimmy re 'not real chasing'.

 Whilst seasoned storm chasers know all to well about what 'chasing' means, there are those that are new and to them simply driving to a location and staying there for an hour or so might be considered chasing for them for the time being and in time they will soon learn that to be a serious chaser and to learn, that one has to drive all over the place to either wait, intercept or follow a storm.

I, myself have posted many photos from 'favorite' viewing spots and whilst that might not qualify as chasing per se, in fact I do class it as such simply because I have done the obs, then gone out and driven around following the storms for a time period before they've reached that particular area, I know I'll see everything unfold once I'm back at that spot simply because that's the direction they're going!.  Topography and road networks plays a large part and frankly I'm after a quality shot and not necessarliy 'a shot' and some vantage points are better than others on a consistent basis with time constraints such as work stopping me driving out all day and waiting.

The thread is purely from a photographic point of view and not intended to portray chasing in its purest, elitist form - far from it.  It's just for a feel of where people like to go if storms are in their particular area.

Mike
Darwin, Northern Territory.
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Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Viewing Spots - who needs them and what do they do for you?
« Reply #2 on: 20 January 2008, 09:20:07 AM »
Mike,

In my previous post, I did not suggest what this thread was about - I suggested that to get a better perspective of storms, one must not 'over use' look outs. I am glad you have catered for the would be chaser and scenic photographer but I would like to cater for all concerned.

The gist of my message is, and I repeat, when one gets comfortable, they should explore further afield beyond the so called 360 degree viewing spot. This is not only from a storm chasing perspective but also a photographic perspective Mike. Timewise, that is up to each individual and the specific event. They can make their own choices. What about those that have all day to play but just stick on top of a lookout getting sunburnt? I know of at least two members of this forum who have begun to explore further afield and have improved their photographic opportunities.

I have seen all too often the beginning of lookout databases and threads on favourite viewing areas over the years. I found, they either failed due to lack of enthusiasm of contributers, or for some other reason which in my opinion could be that maps may not have been provided. Unless someone is able to have a mapped perspective of the lookouts, under the quick decisions arising in storm chasing or even 'limited time photographic sessions, one may not refer to the information. So why not make such maps available? That certainly is the case for the hard core chasers.

I have pretty much covered in the previous post that some may wish to in their initial chasing career so no need to cover old territory.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
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Offline Peter J

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Viewing Spots - who needs them and what do they do for you?
« Reply #3 on: 20 January 2008, 10:24:23 AM »
Jim and Mike,

I tend to find that if I were able to do better "chasing", I would look to some of these vantage points as a point of reference to start from or even in some cases a safety location. Then one should branch out beyond this reference point if one is chasing storms. For that point I agree with you. But as Mike said, if purely to get storm structure and "a good view" of developing storms (esp in my case with limited resources to chase), then these reference points are excellent.

Big Pete
« Last Edit: 20 January 2008, 10:32:02 AM by Jimmy Deguara »
PJJ

Offline Mike

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Viewing Spots - who needs them and what do they do for you?
« Reply #4 on: 20 January 2008, 08:56:59 PM »
For sure,Jimmy.  I'm well aware that some members may read that particular spots are photgenic opportnities, that's all well and good but rest assured that my aim in this forum is to educate, inform and pass on experiences that enhance those that wish to further their chasing critique.

It would be unwise for someone to sit at a lookout and get sunburnt waitng for storms to initiate - but this is what the forum provides, an enhanced perspective of what actual chasing is about.  Look, we all want great photos but in time we all have to start somewhere and with some research those will realise that information and observation is the key to chasing the right storms and relaying the information back to the BoM or relevant authorities.

It's the expertise that you and others' provide that further new member's outlook on actual chasing techniques and i applaude that unreservedly.  Look outside the square and be patient with your chasing. Learn all you can and get out on the road and experience storm structure.

Vanatge points are a great experience simply because they show an overall picture as you said, but of course if you get the chance and time, drive outward and meet the beast that greets you.

:)  Mike
Darwin, Northern Territory.
StormscapesDarwin.com
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Offline Richary

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Viewing Spots - who needs them and what do they do for you?
« Reply #5 on: 22 January 2008, 03:34:49 PM »
I tend to agree. Not all of us are "storm chasers", either due to time pressures or personal inclination. We all have an interest in severe weather, and some of us in the photo opportunities it brings. So if time doesn't permit a chase, or it is night time so photos of the structure are out of the question, it is good to know some good vantage points to get those speccy lightning shots.

Personally, I don't really feel like getting the crap bashed out of the personal car by big hailstones, then again it is insured for more than I could sell it for! And I haven't developed the enthusiasm level yet to do the big drive west/north/south or whatever because something *might* build up there. At least not until I have the equipment needed to get good daytime photos of any lightning. Which means a fairly expensive high res digital video camera. So I would like to know some good lookout points, not too far from home where I could set up the camera and get some of those great lightning shots.