This week has been probably the hardest in my journey as a photographer. In a crazy accident, Dale Sharpe was killed while storm chasing in the USA. I’ve known Dale for years now and he is my photography icon. At such a young age, he had so much skill and knowledge, his photographs literally take your breath away.
He reached the pinnacle of success and was living his dream, supported by his amazing partner and family. To be taken so soon is just an absolute tragedy and friends and fans across the world are in mourning.
There are some brilliant tributes around for Dale now, more appearing every day. The facebook group he admined for Australian Landscape photographers is brimming with brilliant photographs taken in his honour.
I knew Dale first through storm chasing, and then in general. He was always ready to lend a hand, offer suggestions, or just have damn good laugh. A real aussie character, and legend, there was only one Dale and everyone either knew him or knew of him. He has taught countless photographers around the world the craft. Journeyed to locations only most of us could dream of and came away with the best photographs ever taken. With storm chasing he was everywhere, tirelessly chasing the next storm, the next cell, whooping and cheering with every wall cloud or crashing bolt.
His enthusiasm for life and photography was bar none. No-one came close. And it infected everyone who’s lives he touched whether it took just a moment, or a lifetime.
Dale, you will be sorely missed but never forgotten. I’ve created two tributes for you mate. You loved your astro photograph, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting subject than the legendary Queenslander building, for you mate, a legendary Queenslander.
I’m not poet, but I’m giving this a go :
A cold and clear night
We drag our gear along
We’re here to shoot for Dale
A legend too soon gone
The house lights are on
The core is rising fast
The night is still and silent
Only one car has gone past
We think of what to shoot
Framing up our shot
I wonder, what would Dale do?
He’d shoot the bloody lot!
We take our tests photos
We help each other out
There are torches everywhere
To bring the building out
The cold is creeping in
And finally the time has come
To say goodbye to this old house
With a feeling, job well done
We have learnt from Dale
And tonight that showed true
WIth close friends and laughter
Queenslanders through and through
We’ll miss you mate, a legend
And certainly the best
We’ll never forget all you did
May you find peace in rest
3 hours of shooting in the field, 6 hours of editing 24 separate images together, in an attempt to come close to something Dale would create. I know he’d get the shot, just a lot better than I did. For those interested, the camera used is a Sony A7, with a Samyang 14mm F2.8 lens. F2.8, ISO 5000, 20 seconds per star photo. 10 photographs taken for the sky and stacked to reduce noise. The remaining photos were all of me walking around light painting the house while with the camera on continuous shooting. ISO 800, 20 seconds, F5.6 for the house shots.
I’ve added this photograph to my Nightscape Gallery.
I also took some time going back over my storm photography from the last few years and put together a great video. I used an app on my phone to animate the photographs, then joined them together to create the entire video. Please take a moment to watch and think about the ones we have lost, but remember them fondly as they have given so much to us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. It’s been a hard few days since Dale passed, creating is my relief and sanity. By getting out there and creating I’m easing the pain just that little bit, as I’m remembering the positive moments we spent together, how little brief.