October 12, 2016 Meeting

The second meeting of the 2016-2017 year took place at the National Weather Service Jackson office. Our guest speaker was photographer Allen Leiberman.

Meeting Minutes

Call to Order
The second meeting of the 2016-2017 AMS/NWA chapter was called to order at 7:05pm by President Eric Carpenter. The meeting was held at the National Weather Service office in Flowood.

Recording Secretary Joanne Culin passed around a sign in sheet. Ten people were present.

Minutes Approval
Minutes from the September meeting were summarized by Recording Secretary Joanne Culin.

New Business
The business session began with a treasury report. Treasurer David Cox gave the report. He stated that $210.50 began the meeting in the treasury. One person paid dues and this brings the total to $230.50 by the end of the meeting. There was discussion on implementing a new process for when membership lapses. Instead of paying dues each chapter year, dues would be collected on a rolling basis. For example, if a member paid dues in December, then their membership would not lapse until the following December. Regular dues remain $20, and student membership dues are $10.

Next order of business was electing new officers for the chapter year. Many officers remained the same as there were no other nominations. However, two new Vice Presidents were selected. Will Day volunteered to take over as the NWA Vice President position that was vacated by Benny Holden. Thomas Winesett was nominated by Joanne Culin for the AMS Vice President spot. The nomination was seconded. The following are the officers for the 2016-2017 year:

Dave Roberts – AMS President
Eric Carpenter – NWA President
Thomas Winesett – AMS Vice President
Will Day – NWA Vice President
David Cox – Treasurer
Joanne Culin – Recording Secretary
Daniel Lamb – Corresponding Secretary/Web/Social Media

With no other business to attend to, the guest speaker was introduced. Allen Leiberman, who is a new member to our chapter, spoke on weather photography. Allen is well known among the NWS group and Dave Roberts for his stunning weather pictures he shares via social media. Allen believes that weather photography should be fun and affordable. He doesn’t use or have expensive equipment. Most of what he uses is an iPhone, a simple point and shoot camera with a telescopic lense and a GoPro. He believes in letting the camera do all the work and not filtering images or doing a lot of post-editing, so that viewers can see the image exactly as he saw it. He uses his iPad to upload pictures. He also uses a tripod for center types of pictures or length of time in taking pictures.

He gave tips on which type of camera works best for which situation. A point and shoot type camera works best for weather in the distance that requires zooming in. A phone camera is most versatile and easy to use and works best for panoramas. He recommends the GoPro for wet weather conditions, since he has a case around it and for time lapse videos. When he gets videos, sometimes he gets his pictures by just taking a screenshot of the video frame. Thomas Winesett interjected about a lightning camera app that will record video and he is able to get lightning pictures that way.

Allen talked about his accessories which really just include a car, tripod and common sense. He doesn’t travel with a lot of equipment. In terms of common sense, he says he plays it safe. He recommended not looking directly into the sun via a viewfinder on a camera but rather through the screen. Also, he has seen a few people so wrapped up in their cameras that they walked right off a fishing pier into the water. He also mentioned several times of safety and that he is not a storm chaser and follows the “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors” slogan. He gave us a map of locations in the area that he finds photogenic, mostly around the Ross Barnett Reservoir, which is near where he lives. He doesn’t venture much out of that area.

Allen talked about the composition and exposure of picture taking, making sure that the camera/picture frames the right images. He doesn’t change any settings and likes his pictures to show what his eyes see. He also talked about what distance from weather events he feels is good. For lightning, he thinks the optimal range is 15 to 20 miles, especially to capture the entire cloud to ground stroke. When the storm is about 10 miles from him, he feels it is time to leave in order to get home safely. For wall or shelf clouds, he says that five miles is a good distance. Any closer and you lose the perspective of the entire cloud.

Some other tips he shared included how to best take panoramic pictures in order to yield a level horizon. He also says to always have a full camera battery! He gave a sunset website that supposedly forecasts the quality of the sunset, which may or may not always be accurate. He doesn’t watermark his pictures because he does it for fun and not for money or fame. He also thinks that watermarks distract from the picture.

Allen was then asked about flying, which is another of his hobbies. Allen said he flew into TS Faye and it was worse just outside of the actual storm due to the differential heating. He then spoke about how Memphis ATCC has a 20 minute delay on weather radar, so when he calls them about weather they are using their phones. He has been to 60 of the 88 airports in Mississippi. He used to fly for work. To be a VFR pilot, you need to have 40 hours of flight time and 1 year of training; whereas for IFR you need 60 hours of flight time and an additional year of training.

The meeting concluded at 8:30 pm, and it was adjourned.

Minutes were submitted by Joanne Culin, Recording Secretary.

View a copy of Allen’s presentation here:
Weather and photography

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