Tornadoes have this unpredictability and destructive force combined with a colossal beauty that appears to move gracefully disregarding everything in its path. They have always fascinated photographer Ryan Hopkinson and watching programs like ‘Storm Chasers’ got him thinking about ways of taking weather elements out of context and bringing them within a controlled environment and ultimately into his own work. He wanted to create these artificial tornadoes for real so Hopkinson collaborated with Lightning + Kinglyface. It was at first a game of trial and error, delicately balancing the right artificial environment with the correct amount of rising smoke. Any slight wind changes in the studio or on the surface would knock the vortex and stop it from forming. In total they managed to create twenty tornadoes, each around 4ft in height all with their own personalities and weight. The delicate nature of their creations was a big juxtaposition in many ways between natures own, but being able to create one and see it up close, regardless of its size and power was mesmerising for Ryan Hopkinson.
All images © Ryan Hopkinson