Yesterday’s storm that passed over the Pine Ridge and dumped several inches of rain provided another opportunity to “storm chase”, as well as a lesson in how not to trust your digital camera! It also is a reminder that photographers should have a healthy respect for life and limb and not get too far out on a limb while trying to find beauty in dangerous weather. Shown here is a massive storm cloud covering the Pine Ridge on the horizon before moving out over the Oglala National Grasslands north of Crawford. The evolving storm clouds provided plenty of landscape “photo-ops”. But as the cloud continued to change, I too quickly forgot that I’d defaulted the digital camera to a mode that saves both a digital RAW file (a complete recording of the sensor’s data) as well as a jpeg-format file that applies in-camera processing that reduces the amount of file information. Unfortunately, I forgot that when a digital camera “shows” the image on the camera’s LCD screen it is the “processed” jpeg version. I’d set the camera’s jpeg recording to an option called “dynamic range optimization” — that automatically processes the file to try and capture the brightest and darkest areas. So the camera’s LCD screen was, in fact, showing me a lie — everything looked great and I continued photographing without realizing that the camera was drastically underexposing the RAW file that I was counting on. Me Bad! Before the cloud made its way across the grasslands and heavy rain and hail began to fall I shot a few last frames of a unique cloud formation that I now wish were better exposed to give me files that could be processed to really look much better without the dark, grainy (noise) and terrible contrast. Anyway, the next image shows the best I could do with the poorly recorded file. The lesson is to keep your photo-subjects from overwhelming the brain in motion..