Tag Archives: Dallas Morning News

Chasing the Texas Tornado

Talk about a whirlwind day. Yesterday started out like any other for Dallas native Parrish Ruiz de Velasco. The 21-year-old freelance graphic designer and photographer was headed to work on a carpentry job in Ovilla, Texas, when he decided to ignore his GPS.

“As soon as I saw the swirling clouds, I knew it was going to be something cool. I went ahead and took the left turn instead of the right turn, just to chase it down and see if it turned into anything,” he says. “It ended up being a pretty big tornado that unfortunately messed up a lot of peoples’ homes.”

Ruiz de Velasco followed the storm for what he estimates to be about 15 miles, up I-35 toward Route 20, getting in front of the storm, before he did a u-turn. As always, he had his camera with him. He took a photo.

He didn’t end up making it to work. After submitting his picture to the Dallas Morning News via the paper’s website, the young photographer was called into the office, where he would spend the rest of the evening dealing with requests for the image. By the next day, the picture would have appeared on the front pages of 17 newspapers from the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post to papers in Montreal and Buenos Aires—and it will appear this coming week in TIME.

“They were pretty mad at me,” he says of his carpentry employers, to whom he had to make excuses on the day of the storm, “until this morning when they saw the newspaper.”

Ruiz de Velasco had never experienced a tornado before—and his home and family made it through yesterday unscathed—but he says he wasn’t scared, just excited, an excitement that persists even now that the weather in Texas is sunny and clear.

“It was pretty stupid. I had a lot of adrenaline going on,” he says. “It’s the crazy power of nature. I really wanted to capture that.”

More: Tornadoes Rip Through Dallas-Fort Worth Area

Parrish Ruiz de Velasco is a Dallas-based photographer and designer. Check out his Facebook page here.

Christopher Anderson

Christian Anderson is a humanist and an artist all rolled into one terrific photographer. He is widely known for his editorial and advertising work, but has a host of book projects, including Son, featured below. Christian will be teaching a workshop at the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville from June 4-9th, and if you are inclined, it looks like a wonderful opportunity to learn from someone who wants to help photographers grow and discover meaning in their work.

Born in British Columbia, Christopher spent his early years in Texas, where his father was a preacher, before moving to New York City and then Paris. He began working at newspapers including Dallas Morning News and a small Colorado newspaper. In 1996, he became a contract photographer for U.S. News and World Report . He would go on to spend the next several years photographing extensively in conflict zones such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon including following the first company of American soldiers to enter Baghdad in 2003. Later that year he published his first monograph, Nonfiction.

“In 2004, Anderson began following the “revolution” of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. This work would become his second book, Capitolio (published in 2009) and is the culmination of four years of photographs. He joined the VII Agency in 2002, and became a Magnum nominee in 2005 and member in 2010. He has served as a contract photographer for Newsweek magazine since 2005. He lives in New York with his son and wife.”

Images from Son