Behind the Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Find out the backstory of how Marko Korošec captured this beautiful, dramatic image of a Colorado supercell thunderstorm. His image went on to win first place in the National Geographic’s 2014 Traveler Photo Contest!
Photographer/Filmer/Editor: Marko Korošec
Settings: ISO 200, Shutter Speed 1/160, f/4.0, AV Mode, Raw Format
Backstory: While on storm chasing expeditions in Tornado Alley in the U.S. I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching a storm near Julesburg, Colorado on May 28, 2013. I have been doing storm chasing for more than 15 years now. In order to get the perfect image of the weather my storm chasing days are well planned with a detailed analysis of weather data and weather models. It takes hours to make an appropriate weather forecast before choosing which area I will target. On the day this image was captured I made a forecast in the early morning, expecting the storm to fire off the mountain range along the Eastern Rockies in Wyoming and Colorado. We started in SE Wyoming to intercept one supercell storm there then continued south into NE Colorado where we saw a developing storm which looked very clear on radar, despite the rather small scale of it. When we arrived close to the storm we were completely astonished by how nicely structured it was. I drove closer to it and then found the perfect angle to capture the storm. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour but it stayed an LP (low precipitation) storm through all its cycles and never produced a tornado – just occasional brief funnels, large hail, and some rain. I found the images I captured very interesting because they immediately reminded be of the Hollywood movie “Independence Day” as the storm itself really looked like a spaceship or UFO. My favorite part of the scene captured in this photo is how it looks like there are two worlds combining together – the usual world below with a UFO from outer-space coming down to Earth. This image was recently picked as the first place winner in a National Geographic photography contest for its striking representation of the power of thunderstorms in North America.
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