When clouds form in the sky and the weather is categorized as “inclement,” award-winning photographer Mitch Dobrowner is ready to spring into action. His work is focused on storms and stormy images.
Photo-eye Gallery presents “Tempest,” an exhibition of Dobrowner’s atmospheric black and white photos from September 15 through November 11.
“I love chasing storms,” explains Dobrowner, who lives in California but spends a lot of time in the Southwest and Midwest. “I first got introduced to storm photos by a friend who runs a storm tour company in Denver. I go out with him for two weeks at a time in July. Since we started going out together in 2009, I’ve logged about 150,000 miles of ground travel chasing storms.”
Dobrowner says his inclement landscape photos are actually more challenging to take than his storm photos. “The light constantly changes,” he adds. “One second can make a difference in getting a good photo versus a great photo. I also have to do a lot of hiking to get my landscape images. I usually don’t photograph for the first day or two so I can detox from my life and get into the new environment.”
A native of New York whose work has appeared in National Geographic magazine and in museum shows in Houston, Portland, Santa Barbara and Cleveland, Dobrowner owned his first camera, an old Argus rangefinder, in high school. After seeing images by Minor White and Ansel Adams, he became addicted to photography.
For many years, while his children were growing up and he owned and operated an image design studio with his wife, Dobrowner stopped taking pictures. In 2005, with encouragement from his wife and children, he refocused his attention on his 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,” he says.
One of Dobrowner’s favorite images, which will be in the show, is his 2008 “Shiprock Storm” photo from the Navajo reservation. “I have it tattooed on my forearm,” he adds. “It inspires me and reminds me to stay grounded.”