Acclaimed storm photographer Mike Olbinski is passionate about his craft. And so he wanted to create a place for other storm photographers to show off their work and be rewarded at the same time. Thus, Storm Photos of the Year—affectionately known as The Stormys—was born. Now in its second year, the contest has just announced winners across three categories.
French photographer Alexis Maillard won Photo of the Year for her evocative photo of a lightning bolt touching down in French wine country. Everett Occhipinti, who chases storms along with his identical brother, took home the top prize for the best tornado photo of the year. His powerful photograph shows a twister descending upon a town in Texas. Beautifully composed, the photo shows the rich textures of the cyclone.
The final category, Photographer of the Year, was judged based on a 10-image portfolio. Winner Amy Howard was awarded third place in last year's portfolio contest but jumped ahead of the others this year. Her work shows a rich diversity, with her capturing everything from impressive lightning strikes to dark, stormy clouds rolling through the sky.
“The motivation for making this contest is to reward those who work so hard every year,” shares Oblinski. “I see the images that cross my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter timelines all day. Many of them are mind-blowing, and then they disappear down the newsfeed and that’s it. My hope is to recognize your efforts, hard work, epic photos and reward you for that.”
Given the quality of the photos and the recognition they're receiving, Oblinski has certainly accomplished his mission.