From the Newsroom

Lone rider of the storms

Geoff Helisma

Iluka resident Peter Johnson captured this image of a storm last Saturday – chasing storms reminds him of surfing – and the Doors song, Riders on the Storm, was playing in his head.

“My truck is my storm sled,” he says. “It’s like I’m inside a barrel; it’s’ on top of you, but you’ve got to get out in front of it so you can stop and get a landscape of the big storm coming at you.

“It’s an incredible buzz … especially if you get a good shot.

“It’s the next big thing to surfing, to chase them. I saw this one on the BOM, starting at Moree, going towards Coffs Harbour and fringing on Grafton, so I decided to drive to Grafton and meet it head-on.

“It’s a challenge, because you pit yourself against nature – the storms make up their minds which way they’re going to go – and the pro fishers always told me, ‘If the tide is running out, they won’t cross the Clarence River’.”

Peter took up photography about four years ago, “to replace surfing, primarily”, when age caught up with him.