Entries in Storm Chasing (3)


Hutchinson Island On The Rocks - GoPro3 Black Edition

I recently picked up a "GoPro Hero3 Black Edition" for the upcoming storm season, and I wanted to test it out and get the feel of this tiny, but powerful little camera, as this is my first GoPro in my bag.

This past week I spent a few hours on the coast playing around with the camera, and I have to say I was really impressed from the beginning. Now, this is not going to be a big camera review for the GoPro3, just a fun video I shot on the south end of Hutchinson Island on the rocks at the "House of Refuge Museum" near Stuart Beach, FL.

I found that I enjoy shooting in the 2.7K and 1080 / 60P resolutions modes of the camera the most, with the "CamRaw" feature on. The CamRaw mode shoots a more flat picture style (not real raw) which makes color correction a lot more enjoyable during post-production. I did try the 720p @ 120FPS mode, but I was not pleased with the amount of noise that I would see in the shadows and overall "blocky" look to some of the shots even in decent sunlight.

Jeff Gammons capturing waves with the GoPro3The video above was completely shot at 1080/60p, and this allowed me to slow the footage down to 24p and give that nice smooth slow-motion effect of the crashing waves on the rocks. I attached the GoPro to an old monopod allowing me to lower it down into the rocks and the water from above. This wasn't the easiest when trying to keep the camera stabilized, as waves crashed into the it and the rocks all while trying to keep my balance on the on the sharp edge. 

You'll notice in a few shots that it looks a little "shaky", but then again this is just a test run with the camera for the first time at the beach. A lot still to learn. All post-production of this video was done in Adobe Premier Pro CS6, including color correction and slow-motion.

This powerful little camera won't replace my more pro Canon HD-SLR'S that I shoot with every day, but it will be the perfect "B" camera during hurricane chasing, severe weather, mobile blogging or just some fun on the water during the summer. The better sensor, lens, and shooting modes that come with the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition I think is the best choice if looking into getting one for your bag. Thumbs-up. 

I hope you enjoy my short video, because I had a lot of making it. Thanks!


Getting Ready For The Seabreeze Storm Season

Awaiting The Wet and Storm Season

It's that time of year again when I begin to pay attention to the weather forecast models more closely for storms as spring approaches. The first day of spring is only a few days away, and a large portion of the United States has already been experiencing well above normal temperatures and intense severe weather with deadly tornadoes.

Storm chaser Jeff Gammons looking out at storm.

Drought Improving Slowly, Wildfires Minimal For Now

Here in Florida I have already been on a few short semi-severe storm chases over the last several weeks, and the recent heavy rains have helped to keep wildfires threats low across the Sunshine State. This time last year Florida was experiencing even more significant drought conditions, and the wildfire season was just getting started.

I spent much of March and April 2011 covering the drought and brushfires in central and southern FL, and was hoping for any type of rain action at that time. So far this year the fires have been sporadic, although there was a very dangerous wildfire that caused a deadly vehicle pileup on Interstate 95 earlier in the year in north Florida.

lightning started wildfires in FL.

Ready For The Sea Breeze Boundary Action

I'm not sure if I'll make it out to Tornado Alley again this year (I really miss chasing in the Plains) with so many ongoing projects, but I would like to chase at least one impressive setup out there if possible. I'll likely chase a few Dixie Alley chases as well if it looks to be a significant event.

Without a doubt I'm ready for the lightning storm season to fully kick in, but that usually doesn't begin until the first few weeks of May. I'm hoping for an early onset of those 3 o'clock pm magic sea-breeze thunderstorms starting in April, but I know all too well that ridging can take hold over this long peninsula and increase the drought effects and bring on more wildfires... I'd rather have the rain.

So, my blog posts will once again become more frequent as the season develops, and I plan to include more video blog posts this season as many of you have requested this on Twitter.

Pulse severe thunderstorm

Launched The New Florida Weather Blog Page

I'd also like to mention that I launched a secondary blog here on StormVisuals that focuses more on Florida weather news. I created it because I do cover a lot of weather events here in FL, but sometimes they don't always warrant getting published here on my main blog. So check it out, especially if you're a resident during this upcoming 2012 hurricane season.

That's it for now, time to go clean out those camera bags for the busy season ahead.


My Storm Season Closes Looking Ahead To 2012

Jeff Gammons captures large swells on Hutchinson Island, FL. - October 2011

It’s Over, For This Season

It’s a new month and the end of the Florida storm season for me. November usually marks my end to filming storms and hurricanes, and I begin to focus on the off-season projects and look ahead to the upcoming year. I’m currently editing together a highlight video of 2011 that I should have up here on the site very soon, so keep tabs on my Twitter and Google+ feeds over the next few weeks. I’ve also locked in two non-weather related filming projects that should keep me sane while the storms are away.

No Hurricane Chasing For Me

I filmed no hurricanes in 2011, as most of the tropical cyclones never reached the United States outside of Hurricane Irene. I opted not to chase Irene in North Carolina as she was forecast to be weakening at the time of landfall, and I felt that it wasn’t worth the time and investment for a storm on the downward trend in organization and intensity. If you were going to feel the full force of Irene’s core, you had to be in the Bahamas like my fellow Hurricane Chasers Jim Edds and Mike Theiss when she was at her strongest as a category 3 hurricane. One thing I know is the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season was truly a strange one.

Wild Florida Storms Make It All Good

When it came to being busy shooting weather and storms, the Florida wet season sure paid off. My season started off covering an impressive wild fire season due to the drought conditions across Florida, but quickly transitioned into an active sea-breeze thunderstorm season. From June through October, I was busy filming some of the best Florida storm structure I have seen in years. Even spending a significant amount of time filming long-duration timelapses of many of the storms, which you’ll get to see many of them in my highlight video soon.

I always have that comfort of falling back to my Florida storms when I’m not out in Tornado Alley chasing, or intercepting tropical storms and hurricanes in the summer. Once again, Florida came through with some impressive stormy skies to frame up with my camera’s, and helping to keep my creativity flowing.

Eyeing 2012 Tornado Season

I have passed the last few years on chasing in Tornado Alley for many reasons (including my pre-kidney transplant years), and I truly miss it. I was active out there for so many spring seasons in the past and I plan to return in 2012. I did chase one High Risk event in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee earlier this Spring getting on several Supercell thunderstorms. It was great to be back out chasing real cyclic Supercells away from the palm trees of Florida, and I am really excited to roam the Great Plains once again this upcoming season. - There is a lot of work for me to do over the Winter months… and I have already begun.