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The Tornado Hunter hosts photography workshop in Carlyle

Greg Johnson reflects on his career and his workshops.
Tornado hunter Greg Johnson loves good thunder and lightning storms to capture on camera.

CARLYLE - Greg Johnson was born and raised in Ottawa and although they have some great thunderstorms, he said nothing compares to the ones that are seen in the Saskatchewan skies.

The famed Tornado Hunter came to Carlyle on Feb. 24 and 25 for a two-day photography workshop at the Carlyle branch of the Royal Canadian Legion to show enthusiasts the best way to capture these moments.

His classes were full of participants who wanted to learn the ins and outs of the trade and get the full essentials on how to work their cameras.

Johnson began his photography career in 1990 and decided to move to Saskatchewan in 1995. He said the storms in this province are incredible and he had never seen anything like them before.

Photography has been his passion for over 25 years and lightning is his number 1 draw to take photos.

In 2011, Johnson started chasing storms, which has taken him south into 35 states.

At times Johnson and his friends will track a storm system for 14 days. As the storm comes closer, they will decide if it is one worth chasing.

Having travelled to so many states to see these acts of nature, nothing would prepare him for the chase that happened in El Reno, Okla., in 2013. Johnson and his crew were caught up in this dangerous tornado that killed eight people.

This included three storm chasers from the National Geographic crew, who remained in their vehicle.

The tornado was over five kilometres wide and rated as an FE5 at first, but later was downgraded to an FE3, only after it had taken so many lives.

Johnson has put on a million kilometres, looking for the perfect storm and to catch it through the lens so he can share it with the world.

Lightning storms are by far his favourite and he has captured many phenomenal photos across the Prairies.

Having an excellent quality camera is the trick of the trade, he says, with interchangeable lenses. There is no camera that Johnson has not worked with as he has owned many over the years.

Living in Tisdale, his storm chasing begins in April.

But before that happens, Johnson is launching is new book called Camera Canada on March 6. This book contains over 200 photos from individuals that have taken his photography workshops. His book tour will take him across Saskatchewan and into parts of Alberta.

Johson plans to host another workshop in Carlyle this fall when the storm chasing season ends.

He will continue chasing the storm, looking for one more incredible shot to share.