2022 was a great year for me overall, even if it had some setbacks. One of them were pretty big, and I am really hoping to finish recovering from it this year. The photo above is from September 18th around 1am. While driving home with my daughter after a chase in Iowa, a deer ran out and I didn’t see it in time to react. Ended up totaling my Outback. After a few generous contributions from some followers and friends, and a little help from the left over from the insurance payout (still had a loan on it and most went to that), I do have a new vehicle. Man, I really miss my Outback.
At any rate, I now have a 2014 police interceptor utility (Explorer). Sure, there are things I like about it. Namely the extra power points in the front and rear. Those will come in handy for my ham radio gear, but also for camping stuff. That will be another post a little later once I start planning/working on that project. I’ll do videos on those once it warms up a little bit. There are things I really don’t care for, mostly the MPG’s. My outback averaged about 30, the Exploder gets around 18. They are known for transmission issues. But, it’s what I have now and I will make the most of it.
Last year was the first year I really wanted to do some real chasing and start making an entrance into the field of professional chasing. I felt like I was starting to make some great progress too. Most importantly, I learned a LOT about how the world of chasing for money works, and more importantly how I want to chase. Here are a few of those lessons.
My lessons and goals while chasing:
- Capture great images is my personal top goal. I didn’t spend nearly enough time last year working to capture images that I am proud of. That was the whole reason I got into photography was to capture storms and lightning. I barely caught any good images last year. That will be different this year.
- To go along with stills, I want to focus on getting good video of the event, but also some of the aftermath if needed. I was very lucky to be able to get in with Live Storms Media as a videographer, but also submitted a couple vides over the year, and nothing that I would call good. As you all know, chasing storms takes money, and selling footage is a source of income. I am still tossing around the idea of selling it myself through this site, but there are a lot of downsides to that right now, so I will stick with a broker.
- Live Streaming… Wow, this is a topic. So, I attempted several live streams last year, and had some interest and views. However, being that I was scraping for funds, I went the cheap route for software and struggled. I spent a LOT of time fussing with the setup instead of getting to location earlier to get video. This year, live streaming will not be a main focus. I will do live updates and if I have a chase partner, I will potentially stream. However, I will focus on rough field edits and then more polished final uploads after the event. Financially it will take a hit, but I really want to focus on why I chase, not why everyone else does.
- I think my night chases will be a little more limited. I had a close call last year in Texas where myself and a few other chasers “Zero metered” the Crockett, TX tornado. I think I ended up getting the closest based on what I experienced and the video I found from a person behind me.
- Related to that, since I am not quite as worried about keeping my car pretty, I won’t be as concerned about hail as I have been, which will allow me to get into position without as much worry. Not saying I will get into hail cores intentionally, but I also won’t avoid them as much.
I’m not going to sit here and say that 2023 will be my best year. I have lots of hopes, but I also know that it’s going to be tough for me to accomplish what I want unless I can get a lot more things together. We shall see what happens as the year progresses. I know I have already missed a few close and amazing chases, but I won’t let that stop or deter me.
I hope to see many of you out there this year. Have a great chase!
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