Amazing Weather Events Captured in Pictures

By By Heather Buchman, Meteorologist
July 22, 2011, 2:15:20 AM EDT

Video by Grace Muller, staff writer

For some photographers, weather is just the backdrop for their photography. For Armond Scavo, weather is everything.

Scavo, a Philadelphia native, has been taking pictures since 1969. He has received various awards and honors and was featured in WeatherWise magazine for Desert Storm, which captured a gustnado, microburst and lightning strike side by side.

"Supposedly, it's the only still photograph that captures the events in the same front," Scavo said. "It just went what we would call 'viral' now."

Though they look similar, gustnadoes are different than tornadoes. They form along the outflow boundary (or gust front) of thunderstorms and are visualized by a rotating cloud of dust or debris.

A microburst is an intense downward burst of air out of a thunderstorm that covers a small area (less than 2.5 miles wide).

"I got one chance to shoot the lightning. It came once," Scavo stated. "I caught it because I was doing the right thing at the right place at the right time."


The gustnado can be seen on the left, while the microburst and lightning strike appear on the right.

While Desert Storm may be the most famous of his pictures, much of the rest of his photography is a bit more "romantic," as he calls it. The way he gets that romantic feel is through the weather.

"I didn't realize weather was important to me. I just always found myself in it," Scavo explained. "What I realized over time is that I use weather as a filter."

Fog is his favorite form of weather to work with. He loves the feel it gives to the scene and pictures.

"Weather is an important factor because it creates an atmosphere I love and I am really attracted to."

He also says he uses weather to help him capture his view of the human condition, which he sees as being very positive.

The example he used was when he went out shooting in Philadelphia during a blizzard. He saw a couple walking through a park holding umbrellas and enjoying themselves anyway.

In regard to the photo he took of that couple, Scavo said, "Photojournalism captures the human condition. Well, that's my human condition, and that's how I would like it to be."

See more works from Armond Scavo.


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