Father’s Day is just a few weeks away and that means the hunt for the perfect gift for a darling dad or a wonderful husband has begun. And for many women, it’s the most challenging gift hunt of the year. Men can be notoriously hard to shop for and so finding a gift that they’ll actually enjoy takes some forethought. Well if you have a book lover, a thrill-seeker, a photographer or an outdoorsman to shop for, finding a great Father’s Day gift just got a little easier!
Blown Away: A Year Through the Lens of the Tornado Hunter by Greg Johnson is described as “one man’s journey into and through the most horrific and awe-inspiring storm season on record.” This stunning coffee table book is packed full of stunning severe weather photos, anecdotes about life on the road and information about just how challenging and dangerous life as a storm chaser can be. I received a signed copy of the book to review and I couldn’t wait to flip through the pages and see what it was like.
The first thing that really pulled me into this book was the photography and I knew that my husband would like it just as much for this reason. Curtis is an avid amateur photographer and the stunning shots of lighting, stormy skies, tornadoes and northern lights were absolutely breathtaking. Even better, the book contains information about Greg Johnson’s camera strategies to help other photographers learn more about severe weather photography.
From poignantly moving shots of the destruction created by the EF5 tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri to the peaceful dance of the Aurora Borealis over the parliament buildings in Regina, Saskatchewan, I knew many people would be content to simply flip through the pages of the book and never read a word. But once I started reading, I was even more fascinated. The life of a storm chaser is, in large part, a combination of long periods of drawn out tension while tracking and travelling followed by that sudden intense activity when the chasers make an intercept. Following along was fascinating and I appreciated the fact that there were “ChaserCode” definitions of some of the common terms storm chasers use so that I could understand the situations that the storm chasers faced.
While the photos of tornadoes were fascinating, I have to admit that the part of the book I loved the most was the final three chapters, which featured stories and photographs of extreme weather events in my own home province of Saskatchewan. It’s not for nothing that our province is known as the land of living skies and while there were photos of the roiling clouds that foreshadow tornadoes within the final pages, most of the photography depicted the stunning fork lightning that I’ve loved watching ever since I was a child.
For more information about Greg Johnson, check out the Greg Johnson, TornadoHunter.ca Facebook page or follow @canadogreg on Twitter. Blown Away is available across Canada at Walmart locations, Relay stores in airports nationwide and online at Chapters/Indigo. It would make a great Father’s Day gift for any man fascinated by adventure, danger and the power of nature. The beautiful photographs make it appropriate even for non-readers like my husband and the stories that accompany them can either be enjoyed chapter-by-chapter over time or devoured all at once. Check it out for yourself and let a special man in your life get blown away on Father’s Day by this look inside the world of extreme weather!
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