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Mark Seltzer (Young)

Electric Sky UK
Mark Seltzer BSc FRMetS RMet

What's on here?
Welcome. On here are my personal weather and thunderstorm photography/videography collections, including meteorological write-ups. I often aim to share knowledge and theories in hope I can inspire those likeminded, and help those who would like to understand what's going on with the atmosphere. This website serves as my primary hub to find all my work, including links to my Youtube Channel, Facebook page and Twitter. I aim to include interesting explanations with my posts, instead of sensationalistic spam with no context. Apart from a few ads on the site and uncontrollable (currently) ads on Youtube vids, this is a non-profit exercise, but instead, more of a legacy of my observations and theories.

Who am I?
I am a registered time-served Meteorologist. Since becoming incredibly inspired by thunderstorms and learning about the meteorology aged 10, I endeavoured to continue finding truth in the (often unproven) science, and experience the reality by observing through the lens of a camera. By observing directly, most of my "textbook" knowledge has been fortified and expanded upon. Since then, I followed the career path of Meteorology and remain in that profession today. Now all I see when I look up at the sky is the MatrixTM code, and Navier Stokes equations swirling around the bubble bath. I must admit, knowing the how and why has pretty much ruined the wonder I once had as a 10 year old...but the skies never cease to impress me. Nor do the computer models that predict such a chaotic dance.

Mark Seltzer (Young)

I am based in the UK, where the meteorology is often somewhat muted and thunderstorm activity is rather infrequent due to our often dynamic and cool maritime weather influence, especially in the west where I live. For this reason, a bit of thunder is usually an exciting event for us Brits; "Newsflash! One strike of lightning!". But although our weather is unlikely to impress many continental and hotter climate dwellers, I aim to bring the best (of the worst) we've got to offer. Most of the artwork on this website is my own footage from the UK, for example. If you know where and when to look, you can snoop out some real gold.

Why do I take footage of thunderstorms?
One is not a true "weather-nut" unless their face is pressed up against a window during a thunderstorm, or measuring the depth of snow, the size of hail, or staring at weather data until your eyes bleed to come up with a 1% excuse chance of something really interesting happening. I've always been a "weather-nut" with a particular focus on thunderstorms. The unpredictability and shear range of ferocious beauty of a thunderstorm is highly addictive, and like with Poker you get better at predicting the unknown the more you play the game. Storm chasers and enthusiasts alike thrive off the seemingly unpredictable power, and try and capture something truly awesome that would have otherwise been lost forever. It's a thrill ride -  the "thrill of the chase". But there's more to it than that for me, since I also strive to study these things and attempt to understand the physics and dynamics of what I am observing using meteorological theory, which I then aim to share.

"Once you've seen one storm, you've seen them all.."
...as someone once said to me. How wrong that statement is. Take a look at my range of footage and you'll see that they are all indeed unique in most aspects. Every cloud is different, every lightning is different, every thunder is different. Every experience is different. You never quite know what you'll see and uncover next.

My analysis
To understand the dynamics of what is happening, most of my pages, posts and online videos offer explanations, rather than "I'll just leave this here with no supporting information and hope it goes viral". That's not what this is about. I learnt much about how thunderstorms worked in my early teens when I acquired a video camera (1997) and filmed every thunderstorm that came along and studied the footage. Since 2007, I trained as a Meteorologist which has been my profession ever since, so hopefully my analysis and theory you read will be just.

My footage style
I try and document every aspect of a thunderstorm if possible, w
here lightning and cloud development/structure are my favoured goals, including timelapses and audio. I feel other chasers often forget about the thunder and ambient sounds, so I never speak on my videography and try and offer the highest quality audio for a more realistic video. The latter enables the viewer to absorb the ambience, and also for me to study the thunder - a lot can be revealed about the characteristics of the storm and it's surrounding environment just by listening to the thunder, like a wolf. If I was to be presented with a tornadic storm, I make sure non-tornadic aspects are also documented, especially CG lightning barrages. Observing absolutely everything reveals many secrets of the workings of mother nature.

My content
As you will see once you trawl through the website, up until 2007 I had plenty of time on my hands plus the advantage of living in what is known as the "Cheshire Gap" where land convergence or Welsh mountain lee-storms develop. I also had a cracking view being positioned on the top of a hill.
Since moving away southwards to Devon and becoming a "proper adult", life has inevitably got busy and storm documentation became much less frequent. Also, decent cold-air thunderstorms are much rarer down here in Devon being surrounded by cold ocean and sticking out westwards into the Atlantic - the weather tends to be very "flat" throughout the year here. Having the freedom to chase eastwards is a challenge. I am also playing catch-up with my existing footage, so bear with me whilst I fill all the gaps on the website.

What happened to "Ravenstorm.co.uk"?
You may see some watermarks of this website on my older pictures. Embarrassing but interesting - I was experimenting with HTML in 2003 whilst at Uni, so I designed a website around club/dance music (rave) after I got into bedroom DJ-ing and music collecting, and combined it with a place to put my thunderstorm footage. So the website was dubbed "Rave'N'Storm". My online game alias happened to be “Raven”. Ravenstorm also sounds like Thunderstorm. So Ravenstorm.co.uk it was. At the time it looked good as a brand and an alias, but as the years have gone by the "rave" aspect has long gone, and the weather footage has expanded, and I've grown up! So in an effort to re-brand in 2020 to something more professional, "Electric Sky" was born.

Mark Seltzer (Young)

What's to come?
Quite a lot, and it will be slow but steady. Again, you will see the website is largely incomplete, but over time I intend to fill the gaps and add more. My long-term plans for the website are to showcase as much of my offline footage as I can (even if it's rubbish) as well as providing educational value. I will aim to construct a large section on how thunderstorms work from my professional and observational understanding, rather than carbon copying what's already written out there in the gospel.

I hope you enjoy the website and please feel free to follow my ventures through the eye of a camera on Youtube, Facebook or Twitter.

Mark Seltzer

My Photography Equipment (Chronological)
Sony AX53 4K Handycam
Nikon D610 DSLR (2014-Now)
Samsung S21 Phone (New 2021)
Zoom H4n Pro Environmental Microphone (New 2021)

Nikon Coolpix S9700
Sony CX550VE HD Handycam (2010-2018)
Canon EOS 400D (stock 18-55mm zoom lens)
Canon XM2 Semi Pro MiniDV SD Camcorder (2006-2010)
Fuji Finepix A310
Samsung VP-H65 Hi8 Camcorder (1997-2006)

Lightning flash density in Europe based on 10 years of ATDnet data
1st May 2020 Atmospheric Research Volume 235 Article 104769

Spike in Asthma Healthcare Presentations in Eastern England during June 2021 (Thunderstorm Asthma)
24th Nov 2021 Int Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 2021 Vol 18 Article 12353

A big thank you to all my followers, subscribers, and supporters who encourage me to share my footage and insights. This is a non-profit personal endeavour and certainly costs me more money than I make (I currently haven't made any). My main driver for this is passion, and in hope I can inspire, document and explain some of the unknowns that people often wonder about.

Special thanks to UK Weather Chase for supporting the promotion of my work. Go and check out their activities!

UK Weather Chase - Sam Whitfield


© Mark Seltzer  www.electricsky.co.uk


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