Tornado touches down in Rome

A man in East Rome unexpectedly snapped the only known photo of the tornado that hit Verona last Tuesday while testing out the settings on his new point-and-shoot camera.

Daniel Mizer, 53, said that he purchased his new camera while it was on sale, urged by his son to pick up new equipment. Mizer said that he picked up the camera to test some settings and try to capture a few shots of the lightning outside of his fifth-story apartment and didn’t even realize that he had captured to the funnel cloud forming.

It wasn’t until the next day when he was freeing up space on the device that he saw the tornado, which he initially thought was part of a tree.

“I thought it was a tree branch, but then I realized I was way too high up to get one in the shot,” Mizer said.

Mizer recently settled into what he considers an early retirement after he injured his back during a construction incident. Mizer said that doctors have told him he cannot return to work without extensive surgery. For years, he has worked as a caregiver, moving from the ARC to a maximum security hospital in a local correctional facility. He spent several years as a drug and alcohol abuse counselor in Florida before moving back to New York.

Mizer’s interest in photography is nothing new.

“I always liked taking pictures,” Mizer said. “From throw-away cameras to Polaroids, I’ve always taken pictures of fishing trips and other outings. I like to keep memories of things.”

Mizer said that he considers the picture a “stroke of luck” and does not consider himself a photographer. He spends his time behind the camera taking photos of wildlife around his apartment complex and neighborhood, in between coffee breaks and visits with neighbors. He used to hunt, but he said he can’t sit for prolonged periods of time anymore because of his back.

“I was just so excited,” Mizer said. “I was messing with different timing settings and other features and I got a picture of a tornado.”

Mizer said that he plans on spending more time developing his photography skills. His most recently accomplishment, however, was becoming a grandfather– he said that he is looking forward to making a trip to Tennessee soon to meet the newest member of his family and make some new photographic memories.

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6 responses to “Tornado touches down in Rome”

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