The 2019 Texas Bluebonnet season is right around the corner and early indications look promising for a solid season. Last year was the worst season I have witnessed, there were some nice scenes to find but it took a ton work and a lot of driving to find them. The Texas Hill Country had nothing to speak of in the way of bluebonnets.
2017 was an interesting year for Texas Bluebonnets. Overall, it was a good but not great season. An early onset to spring brought on two distinct blooms. If you knew where to look, there were excellent fields for about 6 weeks, from early March through mid-April. Northern Texas still had blooms hanging around in late April. The roadsides were good in spots but levels of coverage were below what we had seen over the last several seasons.
Photographing Northern Lights can seem like a daunting task. Planning to shoot this phenomenon can require combining a little bit of astronomy with meteorology. You will need some clear skies. Looking at a basic local forecast, you wouldn't want to see more than 50% cloud coverage. If the forecast looks clear, get an aurora map and you will be good to go.
On April 29, 2017, I was chasing supercells through Van Zandt County with my wife, Savannah Weingart and friend, Matt Phelps. We saw the storm in its initial stages south of the town of Malakov. The environment was so heavily sheared it immediately began rotating and quickly had a tornado warning issued for it.
Torando sirens blared as we followed the wall cloud through town. We drove northeast reposition as the storm was moving quickly.
Current signs are pointing to an above average bluebonnet season for the Texas Hill Country. As we transitioned from El Nino to La Nina, winter temperatures returned to a more seasonably cooler normal, with a few weeks of very cold temperatures. We have also seen some precipitation over the last few weeks with many areas receiving three to four inches.
2016 was by far the most successful year for my career in photography, which should be expected as each year you gain knowledge and confidence. The jump I saw in my income from my photography was astronomical. This was the first year that I didn't have to work a side job to make ends meet, all income came directly from my photographic work. One of my biggest issues was that I used to wait to be inspired, but now I find inspiration in my progress.
2016 was an exceptional year for my career and photographic work. For the first time, I focused my entire year on creating timelapses (see video below).
My first book, The Anatomy of Severe Weather was released in February. After spending much of 2015 working on the book, it was nice to get out and shoot more often.
Everything You Need to Know to Photograph the Prolific 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower
The 2016 Perseid Meteor shower peaks this weekend and astronomers believe it could be a shower for the ages with rates up to 200 meteors per hour. Perseid meteors are small pieces of debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. Usually Earth grazes the edge of this debris, but thanks to the gravitational pull of Jupiter, this year we will plow straight through the middle of it.
As April wears on we are getting deeper into the heart of severe weather season in the state of Texas. This state is no stranger to violent weather systems causing scores of fatalities. In 2015, 24 Texans perished during the Memorial Day Floods, while 11 lost their lives in tornadoes on December 26th (8 in Garland alone).
The galactic center of the Milky Way is beginning to be visible in the Northern Hemisphere before dawn, as it rises on the southeast horizon. It will retroactively be visible for longer durations as the year wears on through October, when it aligns closer with the sun and is no longer visible.
Shooting the Milky Way can be very challenging, yet rewarding. The following will teach you everything you need to know to go out and capture your own view of our galaxy.
During Spring, fields of bluebonnets can be spotted throughout central, southeast and east Texas. Many of the state's major highways are lined with bluebonnets and other wildflowers during this time of year, making for some incredibly scenic drives. Over the years, the wild population has been supplemented with planted parcels of bluebonnets. So, if you're looking to see blooming bluebonnets in Texas, what's the best spot to look?