Mitch Dobrowner has been chasing storms since 2005. Working with a professional storm chaser, Dobrowner has traveled throughout Western and Midwestern America to capture nature in its full fury. This photograph, taken east of Lewistown, Montana, depicts a spectacular pillar cloud seemingly connecting Earth to sky. The subtle tonal gradations are evidence of Dobrowner’s mastery of black-and-white printing processes, and the sense of awe the image provokes shows Dobrowner to be a worthy heir to Ansel Adams, one of his greatest influences. Making such pictures takes an ever-changing combination of skill and luck. As Dobrowner has noted, he has come to “appreciate the complexity of these … massive storms with deep, rotating updrafts that sometimes spawn tornadoes. As a photographer, I always count myself lucky to get to the right place at the right time.”
This image appears in Storms, the first book exclusively dedicated to Dobrowner’s storm photographs, forthcoming from Aperture in Fall 2013.
Mitch Dobrowner (born in Bethpage, New York, 1956) derives his inspiration from the natural world, and from the masters of landscape photography who have captured it before him, in particular Ansel Adams and Minor White. Dobrowner began one of his main subjects, photographing the landscapes of the American West in 2005, and since then, storms have become one of his main subjects. Although widely exhibited, collected, and published in periodicals, Storms is the first book featuring Dobrowner’s storm photographs created for a broad audience.