by the Left Coast Rebel
The following pictures taken by Montana photographer Sean Heavey are so stunning that it's hard to believe they're not photoshopped or fake. I mean, come on - this looks computer generated:
I don't see any mention of the photographs being computer-enhance or photoshopped in the media reports covering the "super cell" storm in Montana.
UK's Mail Online explains:
The photograph is just one image from the portfolio of electrician Sean Heavey. The supercell cloud was photographed in July west of Glasgow, Montana, USA.One can assume that Sean Heavey's storm pictures are legit if they are runners up for an award from National Geographic. However, his personal site though is described by Google as, "Traditional images of urban scenes subjected to extreme computer manipulation."
Mr Heavey, 34, an amateur photographer, created the jaw-dropping panoramic image by stitching together three photos from the 400 frames he took of the violent scene he witnessed in July
It caused minor damage, and lasted several hours before moving on. Massive storm systems like this centre on mesocyclones -- rotating updrafts that deliver torrential rain and high winds.
The dangerous outbreak of weather raged for several hours and caused minor damage to local communities - while watchful Mr Heavey captured all its devastating beauty from a distance.
Taking photographs of storms for the past seven years, this year Mr Heavey and his masterpiece are up for a prestigious award from National Geographic.
Called the 'Mothership', because of the striking image's similarity to an alien space ship, the photograph was actually four years in the making.
'I have two storm chasing friends I met through my wife Toni and they've been badgering me to go out with them for that long,' explained Sean.
'I' normally rely on simply being in the right place at the right time for my photography, while I'm out working. But in July I finally decided to do it and thankfully this picture was the result. We don't usually get weather like this out in Montana, it felt like the perfect storm.Known as the 'mother of tornadoes', a mesocyclone can be up to six miles wide and can produce as many as 60 tornadoes.
These severe thunderstorms form where cold dry air meets warm moist tropical air.
The wind coming into the storm starts to swirl and forms a funnel. The air in the funnel spins faster and faster and creates a very low pressure area which sucks more air - and objects - into it.
If the cyclone runs out of wet, warm surface air, it dies out. If it does not run out of this fuel, however, the rotating cloud stretches toward the ground and may become a giant tornado.
Mr Heavey, 34, is an electrician, working in the west of the American state in a town named Glasgow.
Taking photographs of storms for the past seven years, this year Sean and his masterpiece are up for a prestigious award from National Geographic.
Here's a few more pictures that Sean Heavey took of the Montana super cell thunderstorm. Photoshop or not?:
This photo is called "The Mothership" and is is featured in the 2010 National Geographic photo contest.
All photos used here are not for commercial use and c/o Sean Heavey.