Lewis Norman has a knack for freezing the most fleeting of moments; a flash of lightning, a plane gliding over the Charlotte skyline, the fingernail of the moon—Norman somehow manages to capture it all. Originally from Lenoir, with stints in Raleigh, Asheville, and Charlotte, Norman resides today in Fort Mill with his wife. Believe it or not, photography isn’t his full time gig by a long shot; he works in the Performance Improvement department at Atrium Health.
“I had friends tell me I had a natural eye for it. The positive feedback made me want to go out and try new things.”
Even more surprising, Norman has zero formal training, and he only began his photography pursuit a couple of years ago. As a child, he fondly remembers being mesmerized by the photographs in National Geographic, but he never really knowing how to explore photography on his own. After winning a camera at a work conference, he decided to wander around the Asheville area, his home at the time, and photograph whatever caught his attention. “I had friends tell me I had a natural eye for it. The positive feedback made me want to go out and try new things,” Norman explained.
Early on, Norman realized the power of sharing his art through social media and today, Norman has quite a following on his Instagram account, @normthestorm5. At present, Norman uses a Nikon D5500 to create his work and edits through the Lightroom app. But, he attributes the beginnings of his editing education to his iPhone 4s.
“It’s been fun to see the progression of my work and those ‘Aha!’ moments when something clicks.”
“I started messing with the different filters and editing options on Instagram. I chose the trial-and-error route for a few years with little research. It’s been fun to see the progression of my work and those ‘Aha!’ moments when something clicks.”
The majority of his portfolio consists of skylines and airplanes, but Norman’s favorite thing to shoot is undoubtedly lightning. “It’s a major rush; I love how every bolt is different. I’ve had a couple of close encounters that made me jump, but I always shoot from inside a parking deck or covered area unless it’s really far away,” Lewis noted.
“Enjoy the experience and don’t worry if you don’t get a shot that session. Keep plugging away and it will happen.”
The key to capturing those bright bolts or speeding planes? Patience, Lewis says. “Enjoy the experience and don’t worry if you don’t get a shot that session. Keep plugging away and it will happen,” he says simply.
After his recent move to Fort Mill, Norman is excited to begin working in a new area. Specifically, he hopes to continue his work with weather photography, particularly in rural areas during the summertime. Additionally, within the next year, Norman plans to ideally make a trip to the Great Plains to engage in storm chasing, supervised by a National Geographic guide for safety precautions since he hasn’t photographed tornadoes in the past.
In the future, Norman looks forward to continue reveling in the energizing, yet relaxing qualities of his subject matter. Particularly, he is working towards improving his website, in aims of having his prints for sale and the pricing for portrait packages listed. Until then? Norman will keep doing what he loves, sharing to his Instagram, investigating the unpredictability of photography, and moving towards the storm.