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A partially blind photographer took these stunning images of storms

After Bechet’s disease impaired Terry Rosema’s sight, he left his career as graphic designer to take up storm chasing. Here’s his story and his images.
Aug 18th 2013, 6:30 PM 13,387 5

TERRY ROSEMA IS a partially blind storm chaser from Michigan.

Despite having little to no vision when looking straight ahead, the trained graphic designer takes arresting photos of tornadoes, lighting, and other severe storms.

Rosema’s story came by way of The Weekly Flickr, where you can learn more about his path to storm-chasing.

The photographer was kind enough to let us republish some of his images here.

You can see more of Rosema’s work on his Flickr photostream.

Storm chasing first caught Rosema’s interest in 2008 while he was working as a graphic designer in Michigan.


A meteorologist asked him to help design a vehicle that could drive through storms. Rosema sketched out some ideas, and here’s the final result.


The Dominator is an SUV with an external roll cage, bullet-proof glass windows to protect the crew from flying debris, and a low ground clearance so wind can’t flip it over. You might recognise it from the Discovery Channel series “Storm Chasers.”


Shortly after the car was completed, Rosema was diagnosed with Behcet’s disease. The cause of disease is unknown, but it can affect many areas of the body. For Rosema, it led to an inflammation of an eye which caused partial blindness.


That means he has little to no vision when looking ahead, he told The Weekly Flickr, but still has some peripheral vision.

After learning of his condition, Rosema was invited out to Oklahoma to look at the cars he had built. This turned out to be a blessing, as it sparked Rosema’s interest in storm chasing after he learned that he could still take photos of storms using a camera’s magnifiers to help him get a better view, somewhat overcoming his visual handicap.

The designer changed career to chasing storms, and now he photographs everything from tornadoes to lightning to heavy rain…


… and even some beautiful, blue-sky days.


Heading into the heart of a storm can be scary, Rosema admits, but his camera provides comfort. “I’ve become addicted to chasing and documenting these storms,” he told The Weekly Flickr.

- Dina Spector

Read: Blind man walks 140km from Longford to Dublin to help wheelchair user >

Pictures: Stunning photos capture wreck of Tall Ship Astrid at dawn >

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