My name is Sven Swalef, I was born and raised in the city of Spijkenisse that’s located in the south-west of the Netherlands. After my period on primary school I went to study electrical engineering, and later on switched to mechanical engineering. When I was a little kid I got fascinated by weather, particular thunderstorms. The weather couldn’t be severe enough to me. Once I got really thrilled when a massive Shelfcloud came into the city and dropped a short lived tornado. This event made me so impressed by what nature can do that my parents decided to let me watch the movie Twister. After the movie I just had one dream, chasing in the USA. Sadly this trip still hasn’t been made yet. But I’m chasing severe thunderstorms in my own country and the surroundings countries such as Belgium, France, but often I’m to be found in Germany.
Together with my fascination for weather, also photography became a hobby of mine. After all, what would be the point of chasing storms and not being able to capture them. I started out with a small pocket camera Olympus FE-250. Just shooting random pictures nothing special, until one day I started trying to capture lightning. Using firework mode, I could get a proper exposure that would be long enough to catch the bolt. I succeeded, but it was just terrible. The noise couldn’t be worse than an old TV that couldn’t find a channel for example. So it was time to move to something bigger. So, I bought a Canon 400D DSLR camera. As soon when I got out with my camera, I was so impressed what you could do with these cameras and couldn’t wait an opportunity to shoot lightning again. Actually the next part is quite a shame, due to a lack of knowledge. Finally, I got the chance to try my camera out on lightning. It was a warm afternoon evening, thunderstorms coming from France into the Benelux and passing directly by my region, tried to capture one strike after another without any success. As disappointed as I could be, one week after I sold the camera and just fell back on taking pictures of normal things.
A few years later I got in contact with other weather enthusiastic people on a weather board. This is where I got involved into meteorology. The base of understanding how weather works, and how to predict weather. By years this has taken a more serious form, and nowadays it’s a daily routine to wake up with weather maps and to go to bed with weather maps. But most of the time I’m just interested in the severe weather events and long term predictions. Beyond that I have acquired knowledge about meteorology, I came in contact with photographers and learned the basics of photography. So, I decided to buy a new DSLR camera a Canon 1000D, more and more I went out and found myself particular enjoying landscape and weather photography. Which still today is my main interest of photography. Over the years my photography has grown to a higher level, and last year stepped up to a Nikon D7000 DSLR camera, and I must say I couldn’t be any happier. It has become a part of me, and I’m rarely seen without it, if so I’m always equipped with my Sony Xperia smartphone.
This is a short summary of my life, and how both hobbies have raised my interest.
I welcome you to my website, and thank you for your visit.
My camera gear:
* Nikon D7000
* Nikkor AFS 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR DX
* Nikkor AFS 55-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G ED VR DX
* Hoya PL-CIR Pro1 Digital
* JJC IR-N2 Wireless Remote Control
* Nikon MC-DC2 Remote
* Velbon EX-630
* Lowepro Compuday photo 250
* AEO Lightning strike trigger