"My background is in photography. I'm a dumb photographer that got into storm chasing."
Since 2010, Greg Johnson has been a storm chaser. It's a pastime that led to him becoming a TV presenter, an author, a public speaker and a photography workshop leader on the subject of chasing tornados – or, indeed, hunting them, per the title of his TV show Tornado Hunters (which is streaming on Netflix).
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However, the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to his tornado tours business and he is focusing on what got him started in the first place: the art of photography.
"My real passion is photography and teaching, and so yeah, I'm teaching workshops," he said in an interview (opens in new tab) on the Mix 103 Morning Show, out of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Johnson leads photo adventure tours to locations like the Yukon and Nova Scotia, in-person workshops across Canada, as well as courses delivered online on how to use your camera.
Watch video: The largest tornado Johnson ever witnessed
He remains best known, however, for his white-knuckle adventures as a death-defying storm chaser – though he insists that his habit of running towards tornadoes isn't because he has a death wish. "I have no death wish. I have a life wish. I do not want to leave this planet prematurely."
The Mix 103 interview offers a fascinating insight into what it's like to go from a mild-mannered photographer, who typically takes images from a very safe distance, to a tornado hunter who gets as close as possible.
"It's the terror which keeps you alive honestly, because without that fear you would just drive into a tornado, theoretically," he said.
"It's terrifying watching a tornado rip through a community. It's terrifying seeing a barn, a house, and vehicles being tossed in the air. Somebody's life is changing at that very moment, and it's a terrifying thought."
We highly recommend listening to the full interview on Discover Moose Jaw (opens in new tab), and checking out Johnson's photos, videos and workshops on his website (opens in new tab).
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