Fine Art Photos of Tornado Alley Storms

Fine art photographer Mitch Dobrowner wanted to photograph storm systems, so he partnered up with Roger Hill — regarded as one of the top storm-chasers in the world — and was introduced to Tornado Alley. Dobrowner writes,

Words are inadequate to describe the experience of photographing this immense power and beauty. And the most exciting part is with each trip I really don’t know what to expect. But now I see these storms as living, breathing things. They are born when the conditions are right, they gain strength as they grow, they fight against their environment to stay alive, they change form as they age… and eventually they die. They take on so many different aspects, personalities and faces; I’m in awe watching them. These storms are amazing sights to witness…. and I’m just happy to be there—shot or no shot; it’s watching Mother Nature at her finest. My only hope my images can do justice to these amazing phenomenona of nature.

His images certainly do them justice — the stormy landscape photographs Dobrowner has made through these trips are jaw-dropping.

You can find more of these photographs over on Dobrowner’s website.

(via Lens Culture via Photojojo)

Image credits: Photographs by Mitch Dobrowner and used with permission

  • Ranger 9

    Amazing and beautiful images; kudos to his storm-chaser, as it’s a challenge finding conditions for making good storm photos (well-defined storm with lots of clear space between it and you.) As someone who grew up in Nebraska I am glad to see that he sensibly has made them from very, very far away! Anyone who gets the urge to try to do something similar should keep in mind that these storms do kill people and are capable of obliterating entire towns (‘Mother Nature at her finest’??)

  • Valentino

    Storms of this type are a passion of mine, and I hope to experience the same soon! CLouds are my love . . . I can’t get enough of them. Hopefully they can find out more about how Tornadoes form, and give peopel ample time to prepare. . .

  • Anonymous

    Brilliant work.

  • Johonn

    Amazing photos!
    You have a typo in the first sentence though.

  • 8fps

    The next Ansel? These pictures look surprisingly overdone. I can almost identify which parts look real and which parts are digitally enhanced to a level of contrast and sharpness that is artificial. 

  • Lizzie Buxton

    These photographs are beautiful, who cares if they are enhanced. It just highlights the beauty and chaos of nature. I was actually browsing the web for fine art insurance when I stumbled across this article. I really like these prints, I look forward to seeing some more.

  • Charles Stafford

    Enhanced or not, I like them. Pretty amazing captures regardless.

  • Richard

    I agree with you. Adams used red filters but never produced contrast and saturation like this. These spectacular images would appeal to me more if some of the processing was dialed back a bit.

  • 8fps

    Who cares? We all should! Once Photography becomes that artificial (read: unnatural) and the content exceeds human vision we can just as well talk painting.

  • Anonymous

    Have you been present in the last decade? Photography has taken on so many faces, including manipulations in excess through PS, that it is impossible not to have “artificial” photography. On the subject of painting, where the hell do you think photography’s roots are buried, sculpture?

    I see you making a whole lot of comments on this blog about how valid a photograph is as a photograph. I think you need to spend some time contemplating where you are at in photographic history, and how not to be a troll all the time.

    Manipulation is not a new thing to photography, since it’s inception photographs have been dodged and burned, composited, and completely staged. Now we have all the tools in one area and there are trolls throwing fits about it.

    Your aesthetic taste is yours alone, sometimes it would be good to keep it to yourself instead of trying to sour other people’s. Just a thought, looking forward to your next omniscient comment.

  • Guest

    Sorry, doesn’t appeal to me.

    Nothing against enhancing images or even manipulations, but there is a point where the ‘enhancements’ take something away from the image.

  • Frank Johnston

    The series of fine images of the storm clouds is just spectacular, and using the red filter is a compliment to Mitch Dobrowner and his fine eye. You can see when a real pro knows when to use the right combination of really great photography and knowing his direction  and courage under fire. Mitch, keep up the fine work.

  • Matt

    Very nice, I’m sure they would be more dramatic in large prints. 

  • Brent Eades

    That’s just silly. Does “human vision” see depth of field like a camera? Does it view in B&W? Does it freeze moments at 1/1000 s? Can our eyes increase exposure at will? Plain nonsense.

  • 8fps

    Every digital manipulation (more so than any other form of image manipulation before) threatens the evidentiary quality associated with the medium, raises the level of suspicion and degrades the value of information. In this case the photog made the storms look like what he wanted them to be rather than what they were. Regardless of whether someone lies to look at them this way it remains image fakery.
    If we can’t count on honesty in a photograph there is not much difference left between a photograph and a sketch or painting.

  • Artksp

    One word : AMAZING NATURE

  • leopoldo

    Impresionante coleccion de fotografias de fenomenos atmosfericos. Es majestuoso lo que nos ofrece la naturaleza.

  • Steve

    Actually, Digital cameras have given us the ability to make photographs that are more “realistic” than ever. And, yes, more easily manipulated. But, ask yourself: were photos of people who had to sit perfectly still for 2 or more seconds in the early days of photography more “evidentiary” than folks caught in unguarded moments at 1/60 second today?

  • Anonymous

    Ansel used red filters and whatever he could during the picture-taking but you can bet your ass he never banged a print out straight from the negative. He did enough burning and selective contrast adjusting on his own (his assistants, rather) to make it look how he wanted. I would call a couple of these a tad overdone but they were obviously intentionally made to look more dramatic by the photographer. There’s such thing as taking control of your art…