Photographer Casey Robertson captured a dramatic waterspout off the coast of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, a set of pictures he had waited “years” to capture.
Robertson tells PetaPixel that he had wanted to capture the rare columnar vortex for a very long time before finally achieving it over the weekend.
“Waterspouts would form but I would always just miss them, they would dissipate before I got there, or I would be off the island,” he explains.
“I’m pretty happy with the results. Though a few shots I would have liked to get were rained out. It’s definitely been the largest reaction of any photos I’ve done yet.”
The remarkable images, a mixture of color and black-and-white, show dark brooding clouds with the tornado-like column spinning down to the water to create an apocalyptic scene. A throng of people is also present in some of the pictures, capturing the event on their smartphones. Robertson used a Canon 80D with an 18-135mm kit lens attached.
The photographer, who is also a school teacher, reports The Virginia Pilot, says that he’s no “weather expert” but there are usually a couple of waterspouts every year on Ocracoke Island.
“I ran out of the house, left my phone, taking pictures like a madman,” Robertson tells The Pilot.
Robertson operates Actively Awkward Photography and Digital Art Facebook page and lives on the Outer Banks, located off the coast of North Carolina.
Photography is a side hustle for Roberston who teaches computer and business at the Ocracoke School, a campus of about 165 public school students. He’s been living on the island of Ocracoke for 10 years.
Waterspouts tend to pop up due to a mix of warm water and high humidity in the air and typically last between two to 20 minutes. They are similar to tornadoes but take place over a large body of water and tend to be less intense.
Waterspouts have appeared in a few places across the United States in recent days with one developing in northern Ohio’s Lake Erie and Wrighstville Beach, also in North Carolina but further south.
Image credits: All photos by Casey Roberton.