I can remember the day that I became fascinated with severe weather and more specifically thunderstorms like it was yesterday. I was seven years old and lived in a small town in Idaho where thunderstorms were rare, but always intense when they did happen. It was during one of those intense storms that I was watching out or dining room window and saw a house about half a mile away get struck by lightning. The shower of blue sparks contrasted against the bright white of the lightning bolt was something I will never forget.
Fast forward a few years to when I started getting interested in photography and it was only natural that I would teach myself how to capture lightning with a camera, but as a young kid with a very limited budget for film and processing, plus parents that objected to my going outside during severe thunderstorms, my efforts were limited to shooting out of those same windows that I witnessed that strike years earlier.
My real passion for severe weather photography was sparked after I joined the USAF and was stationed in Illinois for training. This was the first time that I experienced the sheer power that is a tornado. The skies that day were simply magical to look at and associated storm was nothing like I had ever experienced before. Long before I had ever heard the term “storm chaser” I had sort of become one.
To this day, many years after witnessing that lightning strike as a child, thunderstorms are still very special to me. Their power and beauty are like nothing else. A lightning strike only last for a fleeting moment and will never happen the same way again, each bolt truly is a once in a lifetime event. Being able to capture that by pressing the shutter release of my camera makes all the countless miles and hours chasing those storms truly worthwhile.
My name is Scott Wood and I make images.