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Behind the Photo: Mitch Dobrowner – Tempest


photo-eye Gallery Behind the Photo: Mitch Dobrowner – Tempest In this Behind the Photo segment, we asked Dobrowner to share a few of his favorite storm stories and describe a few particularly memorable experiences from the field. Mitch Dobrowner's exhibition Tempest is currently on view at photo-eye Gallery through November 11th, 2017.
In the nine years that he has been photographing storms, Mitch Dobrowner has often mentioned that no two atmospheric events are ever alike and that even given similar conditions storms tend to have their own unique personalities. In this Behind the Photo segment, we asked Dobrowner to share a few of his favorite storm stories and describe a few particularly memorable experiences from the field. Mitch Dobrowner's exhibition Tempest is currently on view at photo-eye Gallery through November 11th, 2017.

Mesocyclone

Mesocyclone, Archival Pigment Print, 14x20", Collective Edition of 45, $1,500

"It was the second day I ever went out photographing storms. We started the day in Sturgis, South Dakota as the storm began to form to our south. That day we chased for about nine hours, from Sturgis, through the Badlands of South Dakota,  and into Valentine, Nebraska. As I got out of the vehicle a highly electrified 60,000-foot rotating mesocyclone appeared in front of us. The storm was about a mile wide and only a half mile away, with winds between 50 to 60 miles per hour and spinning in front of us. A big rig had pulled off on the road as it couldn't go any farther, and when he hit his air brakes I remember being pelted by the flying debris.

We stood in front of this storm for about 45 minutes while it stayed in the air and rotated in a field outside of Valentine. There were multiple lightning strikes every five or so seconds. The experience was so surreal and I was so awestruck that I turned to my friend Roger Hill and said "What the @!#uck are we looking at? You have to be kidding me!!" I could not believe what I was looking at. I felt like I was on another planet. We chased that storm into the night, and it was during this storm that I decided photographing storm systems would turn into a long-term project for me."  – Mitch Dobrowner

Mesocyclone
Archival Pigment Print
14x20", Collective Edition of 45
$1,500

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Bear's Claw

Bear's Claw, Archival Pigment Print, 20x30", Collective Edition of 45, $4,500

"In regard to getting too close – this is the one storm that comes to mind.

We started tracking in South Dakota. We had chased the storm for three or four hours waiting for something to happen. Eventually, we ended up in Moorcroft, Wyoming where we stopped in a field just outside of town. We sat there for about ten minutes when right in front of our eyes the storm crossed over the hills and turned straight towards us. At that time we realized it was an extremely violent hail storm traveling at about 50 to 60 mph straight at us, dropping golf ball sized hail stones. We had to run quickly and I had just enough time to get off about 7 shots before I picked up my tripod and ran towards the van.

If you look at the image you can see the ground is a little blurred. This is because of the 50+ mph winds we were standing in. The situation had quickly changed from us chasing the storm to the storm chasing us. We eventually got out of its way but sadly the storm did major damage to the small town of Moorcroft." – Mitch Dobrowner

Bear's Claw
Archival Pigment Print
20x30" Collective Edition of 45
$4,500

» Inquire


Jupiter


Jupiter, Archival Pigment Print, 20x30" Collective Edition of 45, $3,500

"We got out of the van at about eight o'clock at night. It was dark but as I looked out into the field there was something out there. I could hear the rumble and random flashes of light in the distance. It was an approaching storm. Almost like a monster in the closet, where you could only see it when there was a lightning strike when it wanted you to see it. The wind began to increase and you could hear the approaching rain as it was moving across the cornfield heading towards us... I composed the shot where I thought there was potential for lightning strikes. It just happened to be at the right place at the right time when I clicked the shutter. Looking at the image on the LCD of my camera was the first (and last) time the storm revealed itself to me." – Mitch Dobrowner

Jupiter
Archival Pigment Print
20x30" Collective Edition of 45
$3,500

» Inquire

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Next week, in honor of the Tempest exhibition, Gallery Director Anne Kelly will be publishing an all-new interview with Mitch Dobrowner covering the artist's intention, inspiration, and process while creating his storm images.

Prices listed are correct at the time of posting; please contact Gallery Staff for up-to-date price and availability.

Mitch Dobrowner's exhibition Tempest is currently on view at photo-eye Gallery through November 11th, 2017. For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff 505-988-5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com.

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