Kansas-based photographer and filmmaker Stephen Locke is no newcomer to the game of storm chasing photography. His Vimeo channel is full of intense storm chasing films, including his Staff Pick “Arcus Cloud Kansas City.” Over the years, Locke began accumulating a following based on his incredible storm photographs and films, leading him to create Tempest Gallery, which became the eye of the storm for all of his chasing work.
When I woke up this morning, I saw a teaser post on Facebook in which Locke said he had something very special to be released on the afternoon of Sunday, October 30th. Locke said “I want to use the word epic but alas ‘epic’ is so appropriated and overused.” Locke, having captured some insane footage in the past, had never even mentioned the word epic before, so I knew he had something incredible up his sleeve. Once he released the film “Leoti Supercell“, it was easy to see that epic was indeed the right word to describe the five-minute powerhouse full of intense clouds, tornados, and lightning.
On his blog, Locke describes what awe-struck viewers are witnessing. At 6:30pm on May 21st, 2016, he set up his camera and began photographing a supercell that started to form over Leoti, Kansas. Standing in essentially the same location for three hours, Locke captured the eerie storm as it generated lightning and tornados, while always looking intimidating, yet, incredibly beautiful and photogenic. When all was said and done, it took Locke a week of 18 hour days on two computers to render the nine sequences that consisted of over 7,000 still images.
The result is a mind-bending look into the raw power of Mother Nature at her finest. Beautiful storms like this don’t happen in many places, but in Locke’s home state, they are more common than in most of the United States. And based on Locke’s parting words, it’s easy to see that he doesn’t ever plan on leaving his home on the plains.
Please share this movie worldwide so everyone understands why I live in Kansas.