As a geographer with a passion for nature’s most mesmerizing phenomena, I always wanted to experience and record what has been catching my attention since I was five years old. I’m especially inspired by the things happening not too far from home, partially because we have so much going on in a part of the world of which people assume there’s ‘not a lot of nature happening at all’: Central Europe. Where it might be difficult for people to see the mostly hidden geological features, we have some interesting events in our atmosphere, just requiring us to lay down our phones and to look up.

Aurora Borealis, meteor showers, Noctilucent Clouds: I’ve been privileged to see and capture them, but nothing in our region remains as awe-inspiring as the, more than just sometimes, violent thunderstorms we get. Everything turning green in a sky being taken over by the most dramatic cloud structures as lightning, wind, hail and rain inspire a basic fear into anyone gazing upon the awesome dynamics of it all. When night falls, lightning can create extremely short-lived, amazing contrasts which can only be properly captured in photographs. A bolt of lightning strikes and immediately you look at the rear display of the camera as the booming thunder comes blasting through, knowing you got the shot you wanted. Marking a lot of photo locations, regularly visiting some of them, I still never know what I’m going to get, sometimes having a picture filled with a scenery I once thought I could only dream about.

I learned – and I’m still learning – a lot about photography. There’s a lot of preparation involved in getting these shots, as well as knowing how to post-process the images. There are few things I enjoy as the hunt for a good picture, whether it’s thunderstorms I’m chasing, Aurora Borealis, volcanic eruptions or something less dynamic, but just as amazing as the Milky Way or a sunset/sunrise over a beautiful landscape.

My ambition is to show nature’s finest in a natural way, sometimes with a slightly creative step outside of the boundaries I set myself, but always to show people they can just as easily experience what is so often overlooked.

I have two projects going on:

  • Level 3 Storm Chasers, which I started in 2013 with a few other enthusiasts and which has become more of a success than I could ever hope it to be. Here’s a shout-out to my awesome team mates, to which I owe a lot!
  • Dynamic Landscapes Photography, which is my personal photography page and which is currently very modest, allowing me to experiment with all aspects of landscape photography, but it gives me a platform which is not just focused on thunderstorms. Still having lots to see of what the world has to offer in what interests me most in photography, with many goals I set for the future, there’s a significant amount of attention for a specific subject: the Highlands of Scotland.
    My Facebook page has been linked to my 500px page!

In this post I’d like to show my work as a ‘storm-chasing landscape photographer’, showing that it’s not just the United States which get the best (and worst…) of what convective weather has to offer!

Gijs de Reijke