Photographer Captures Beauty and Power of Tornado Vortexes

Black and White Tornado Vortex by Mitch Dobrowner

Photographer Mitch Dobrowner is known for his artistic storm photography. His black and white images elevate extreme weather to fine art and his latest photo is no exception. Vortex No. Duae is a stunning photograph of a tornado vortex touching down in South Dakota. Dobrowner has expertly captured the incredible, elegant shapes that form the powerful storm.

To achieve a photo like this—as is often the case with storm photography—it's all about patience. This particular image came toward the end of what was an uneventful chase. Dobrowner had brought his 17-year-old son for an adventure with expert storm chaser Roger Hill and their day was winding down when they saw a supercell forming nearby.

“We eventually caught up to a newly formed supercell which began to drop a series of tornados,” the photographer tells My Modern Met. “The image Vortex No. Duae was captured towards the end of that day. I watched as the outermost shell clouds of the tornado unwove revealing its core underneath. But to be honest, the best part of that day was that my son had an experience with me he will always remember.”

It's a sweet sentiment that shows how often photographs can have a special, hidden meaning for the photographer. Whenever Dobrowner looks at the image, he'll be reminded of the time he spent with his son. And, at the same time, the public can observe it as an artistic documentation of Mother Nature.

Certainly, this isn't the first tornado that Dobrowner has captured. So we were curious about what challenges one faces when looking to photograph something of this magnitude. “It's such a surreal sight,” he admits. “Their stature and prominence always overwhelm and amaze me. Each one is so different and individual. The biggest challenge is to stay focused, to remain calm and ‘see' as a photographer…. to be patient as the light, composition and various other elements are constantly changing. To wait for the right moment—if there ever is a right moment.”

While Dobrowner realizes how destructive storms can be, he hopes that people will gain a new admiration for them through his work. And while he acknowledges that most people are interested in hearing how “scary” it was to take these photos, he's more interested in evoking the emotion he feels while standing in front of these creations of nature.

See more of Mitch Dobrowner's incredible tornado photography.

Black and White Tornado Vortex by Mitch DobrownerBlack and White Tornado Vortex by Mitch DobrownerBlack and White Tornado Vortex by Mitch DobrownerBlack and White Tornado Vortex by Mitch DobrownerBlack and White Tornado Vortex by Mitch DobrownerBlack and White Tornado Vortex by Mitch DobrownerBlack and White Tornado Vortex by Mitch DobrownerBlack and White Tornado Vortex by Mitch Dobrowner

Mitch Dobrowner: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Mitch Dobrowner.

Related Articles:

Fine Art of Storms by Mitch Dobrowner

The Hair-Raising Art of Chasing Supercell Storm Clouds

Ominous Black and White Storms Convey an Incredibly Fierce Energy

Storm Chasing Photos Capture the Beauty and Destruction of Powerful Storm Clouds

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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