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  • Writer's pictureBen Welsh

How I filmed Storm "Emma".

The super storm nick named "Emma" passed through Tarifa on the 1st of March, 2018. Moving along the Costa de la Luz, Southern Spain, with the full force of Mother Nature. With waves of over 6 meters high and coinciding with one of the highest tides of the year, plus winds of over 50 kilometres per hour, it seemed like disaster was on its way...

La Isla de la Palomas, Tarifa, Cadiz, Southern Spain.

These three meteorological events converged creating an incredible display of the Atlantic Ocean. It had to be filmed !!!

My heaviest tripod was essential to avoid camera shake and allow me to film in 4k and in slow motion - around 50 or 60 frames per second. As it was, winds were so fierce I still had to apply digital stabilisation in Final Cut pro X during post production.

Drone view of a beach bar in Tarifa after the storm.

My equipment included a Panasonic Lumix GH5 with my super zoom 150 - 600mm which is perfect for this kind of action. In order to capture this energy of nature that in some cases was happening far away, as in the scene of the waves crashing against La Isla De las Palomas which is a island that extends into the sea connected to Tarifa by a narrow road and divides the Mediterranean sea from the Atlantic Ocean, about 500 meters from the beach, I had my zoom extended to its maximum which is 600mm plus I digitally extended "in camera" the focal length making it an incredible 1200mm.

Beach bar, Le Club 7, destroyed by Storm Emma.

A few days after the epicenter of the storm had passed by, I decided it was time to fly the drone and photograph the after effects. Normally a drone can fly in 15 to 20 knots of wind, but this day there was more than 25 knots of wind and a further 30 - 35 knots in the gusts, making it extremely difficult to fly the drone, which was hovering sideways and I barely managed to get a few images before it got wet from the incoming rain and had to land it urgently.

The beach bars that are located on the sand were seriously damaged by the powerful effects of the high tides and waves. In these photographs done with the drone I have posted of the beach bar "Le Club 7" in Tarifa, we can see the flood left by the high tides and the destruction of the property.

I have never seen in my 25 years living in Tarifa, such big sets of waves rolling towards the beach and colliding with the Island as can be seen in my video published on Youtube and named "The Super Storm in Tarifa" . After 3 days it was published more than 25.000 viewers had watched this video.

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