Storm chaser casts her eyes on stormy skies

Megs Burgess photos of the storm over Ilarwill on Tuesday night.
Megs Burgess photos of the storm over Ilarwill on Tuesday night. Megashots Photography - SINGLE U

WHEN the afternoon sky darkens and most people are moving their cars undercover, Megs Burgess is loading hers up, ready for another adventure.

Operating under Megashots Photography, Miss Burgess passion is chasing the storm clouds and the sky, and says early preparation is a key.

"I'm an admin on Higgins Storm Chasing, so I get their updates and often you'll start preparing the day before," she said.

"Then it's just keep looking at the sky, and keep looking at the radar - and you tend to get a bit of a feel about it, and it's just like 'Yep, I'm leaving'."


And as one of the first storms of the season rolled through the Clarence Valley on Tuesday night, Miss Burgess was waiting, this time near cane fields at Ilarwill, in search of the perfect storm photo.

"My dream shot is to get a lightning strike across the cane fields. It's a pretty Australian thing," she said.

"I think people enjoy seeing photos of the storm fronts that come over. A lot of people can't capture it because they don't read the weather, when I can sit in the spot and get it for them."

And it's not just the storm clouds that have caught her attention, with the different cloud formations and stunning sunsets of our area a feature of her work.

"About two years ago I got the bug and just wanted to chase," she said. "The clouds really fascinate me now, they're just so different - there's so many different formations. We can get shelf clouds that can come over, and I'm straight out."

And while a photo taking expedition can sometimes take Miss Burgess into Queensland chasing the perfect shot, she says safety is paramount in her field.

"If we've got a severe electrical storm with lightning, I won't let it get too close. You know in yourself when it's too close, and then it's time to pack it in," she said.

"I've heard of people who will stand out in the open in the midst of a storm, and it's just madness. Safety comes first."

And while Miss Burgess says this year's storm season has started late, she is hoping for some more action soon.

"It's going to fire up late this afternoon, which will be good, and I'll head out," she said.

"Hopefully it's just the beginning of it."

Lightning over canefields reference

Megs Burgess' comments amount lightning over canefields reminded us of the 1985 Gang Gajang hit Sounds of Then (This is Australia).

Remember these lyrics:

"We watch the lightning crack over canefields and laugh and think ... this is Australia."

Topics:  higgins storm chasers lightning photographer storm chaser storms

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