While most run away from the bruise-colored nightmares, Mitch Dobrowner transforms them into magnificent works of art.
For millennia, people have been both fascinated and terrified by storms. Massive, awe-inspiring storm systems have the unique ability to rise out of the most pristine day, promptly destroy what’s around them, and then disappear into the day or night as quickly as they arrived.
Giving them greater power, they are one of the few elements of our lives over which we can never gain any control. This is all the more problematic as it’s becoming and more common for them to come with a multi-million dollar cleanup tab.
Though destructive, there are those that are still drawn into a storm’s path. The thrill and beauty that comes from these meteorological spectacles leads many to try and capture their brute force on film. Mitch Dobrowner has perfected this art.
Once when worried about his future direction in life as a teen, Dobrowner’s father handed him an old Argus rangefinder. Soon after receiving this gift, he discovered the works of photographers Ansel Adams and Minor White. Inspiration was sparked, and addiction was born.
As is oft to happen, however, Dobrowner’s hobby and passion took a backseat to his family. After finding his wife and having three children together, time for photography was hard to come by. But in early 2005, with the support of his children and spouse, Dobrowner again picked up a camera and rekindled his relationship with photography.
“Today I see myself on a passionate mission to make up for years of lost time – creating images that help evoke how I see our wonderful planet” says Mitch. “I feel that I owe much to the great photographers of the past, especially Ansel Adams, for their dedication to the craft and for inspiring me in my late teens. Though I have never met them, their inspiration helped me determine the course my life would take.”
Mitch Dobrowner is currently best known for his stunning storm photography, taken across many different landscapes. His stripped down, black and white images highlight the power and beauty held within these turbulent events. Dobrowner has become a storm chaser -not in the way of gathering data and research- but ever seeking that next perfect photograph of a subject that holds so many people’s interest.
When describing his work and what he hopes to do, Mitch states:
“Landscapes are living eco systems and environments. They have existed well before, and will hopefully be here way beyond the time we are here. When taking photographs, time and space seem hard for me to measure. Whenever I shoot a ‘quality’ image, I know it. At those moments things are quiet, seem simple again – and I obtain a respect and reverence for the world that is hard to communicate through words. For me those moments happen when the exterior environment and my interior world combine. Hopefully the images presented help communicate what is visualized during those times.”
The video below captures what a typical shoot for Mitch is like: