I went to a local nature conservatory today (Five Rivers) to check it out for a possible meeting spot for my photo group. The place was really nice and I am excited to set up the outing. I knew the weather was supposed to get crappy later in the afternoon, but I went anyway to use up whatever time I could before the rain got here. It was nice, but a pain in the ass, because the sun kept popping in an out and I had to keep changing settings. I didn’t get too many great shots because of it, but I will next time i go.

I kept getting text messages from the the Weather Channel telling me a Severe Thunderstorm watch and eventually a warning was in effect. A little bit later, I noticed the clouds were getting very dark off in the distance, so I started walking back towards the car. At one point, I felt a raindrop, so I got ready to put the camera back in my bag and then I saw it…

There was a bridge on the main road and on the other side of the bridge was a small lake with some incredibly gloomy clouds lingering over it. I quickly swapped the 70-300 for the 18-70 and started firing away. The wind started to pick up a little, so I headed for the car. As I was getting to the car, the wind gusts began. It was crazy. I was driving back out to the main roads and with the way the wind was blowing, I honestly expected to see a tornado forming.

There was debris all over the roads. Sticks, tree branches, even a tree across the road at one point. It was pretty wild, but I had the camera just in case anything crazy happened. Don’t know what i would have done had I seen a tornado, but I would like to hope I was at a safe distance to get some pictures of it. Call me crazy…

Anyway, I wanted some opinions. I greatly over processed the picture I mentioned above using Photoshop CS5’s Merge to HDR Pro and Topaz. I know they are a lot over done, but which one do you like best?

After the storm, the sun came out and it was calm and a little cooler.  I went out back to cook some burgers on the grill and the sun was setting with some amazing colors.  Between flips, I grabbed the camera and snapped off a few pictures of it.  Here’s what I saw…

It was a great day!  See ya soon!

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