A cloud-to-ground lightning strike severs the sky near Los Lunas, New Mexico. Tim Samaras and his crew chased the slow-moving storm cell until they ran out of road, and now can only watch as it moves on. New Mexico's sparse road system makes lightning chasing difficult. Far easier to navigate are the tight grids of farm roads crisscrossing the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles.
Veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras was one of 14 people killed when tornadoes ripped through El Reno Oklahoma last Friday. Tim, his son Paul Samaras and their colleague, Carl Young, perished while trying to document the storm. Tornadoes weren’t the only elusive weather phenomenon Tim was chasing. Last summer, we spoke to him about a more painstaking quest…he spent six years and traveled tens of thousands of miles to try and capture a lightning strike in super-slow motion using a six-foot-tall, 1600 pound, cold war-era camera, an endeavor profiled by National Geographic Magazine.
Guided by the laptop weather map reflected in his window, Tim Samaras rushes to catch up to a dying thunderstorm. He hopes to be the first to photograph the split-second event that triggers a lightning strike
Swirling to West African rhythms, residents of the Santa Rosa dos Pretos quilombo celebrate the recovery of a sick neighbor with a tambor de crioula, a “creole drum” festival that mixes African and European traditions.
After Brazil’s coastal forests were leveled for sugarcane plantations in the 16th century, millions of slaves were imported from Portuguese Africa. Today farms like this one in the northeast near Rio Formoso produce sugarcane for ethanol, a major export.
Terecô priest Pedro de Souza is “channeling” a menacing female spirit: A client has hired him to cast spells on her unfaithful husband. Terecô is one of the quilombos’ many hybrid religions, interweaving African and Christian beliefs with native practices
We begin with a story that defies credibility: descendants of escaped slaves still thriving in the Brazilian forest. Of the five million Africans brought to the Portuguese colony of Brazil, thousands escaped into the dense rainforest to live freely in isolated communities – called quilombos – where many of their descendants still live.