Storm Chasing Photos Capture the Beauty and Destruction of Powerful Storm Clouds

Camille Seaman storm chasing photography

Minnesota, June 2014.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Acclaimed photographer Camille Seaman continues to combine documentary photography with fine art sensibilities in her new book The Big Cloud. This ongoing series, which we first featured in 2012, sees Seaman taking on the role of storm chaser, pursuing the beauty and destruction of incredible storms across the United States.

Seaman's foray into storm chasing was fortuitous. Just as she searched for new inspiration after her adventures in Antarctica, her young daughter was watching Storm Chasers on National Geographic TV and called out, “You should do that.” A bit of digging and she found herself on her first storm chasing tour, shortly after transitioning into the role of hired driver. And thus, began a new passion.

“I wasn’t prepared for just how overwhelming an experience chasing can be. It is visceral and multisensory: the smell of the charged particles, the sweetness of the grass, the scent of the pavement just before it rains, the sight of the wind blowing through cornfields,” Seaman writes in The Big Cloud. “Not to mention the colors of the clouds and the light of the sky and the lightning. It’s all so beautiful, so awesome, and so humbling at the same time.”

Over the course of 176 pages, more than 100 of Seaman's photographs demonstrate the power of nature. Each storm has its own personality exemplified by the rich colors and amorphous shape of the clouds. Through her expert lens, each photograph appears as a landscape painting, literally showing the calm before the storm.

“The appeal of clouds is obvious: no two are the same, and no one is the same for long,” Alan Burdick, science writer for The New Yorker, writes in the introduction. “And they not only manifest change but inflict it as well. A cloud can be beautiful, terrible, or both—the embodiment of the sublime.”

Camille Seaman's book, The Big Cloud, features over 100 powerful photographs of storms taken across the United States.

Storm chasing photo by Camille Seaman

Low precipitation supercell. Nebraska, June 2012.

Camille Seaman - The Big Cloud Book

Kansas, June 2008.

Storm chasing photo by Camille Seaman

Mammatus clouds on the back side of severe storms, one to two inch hailstones. Nebraska, June 2008.

Camille Seaman - The Big Cloud

Minnesota, June 2014.

Camille Seaman - The Big Cloud Book

Camille Seaman: Website | FacebookInstagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Princeton Architectural Press.

Related Articles:

Photographer Dramatically Documents Rapidly Melting Glaciers

Preserving a Penguin’s Life Through Photography

Storm Chaser Treks 20,000 Miles Capturing Lightning at 1,000 Frames Per Second

Massive Supercell Thunderstorms, Mammatus Clouds and More by Mike Mezeul II

Ominous Black and White Storms Convey an Incredibly Fierce Energy

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.

Sponsored Content