A new year begins

Well…here we go. It’s 2011 and time to forget whatever I did last year, start with a clean slate, try some new things and see where it all goes.

Okay, kind of hard to do if you realize I posted the color version of this photo on Friday, the last day of 2010. Where is the new? There is a reason of course, and I think a good one.

Last year I was inspired by Mitch Dobrowner’s storm photography. His work is absolutely incredible, powerful and spellbinding. He’s naturally become my favorite storm photographer. There is a picture in his Storm section called “Monsoon: Lordsburg, New Mexico, 2010″…there aren’t many words to describe how beautiful that work of art is to me.

The main inspiration I took away from his work is the power of the black and white storm image. After publishing my first stormchasing book last fall, I wanted the next one to be filled with powerful B&W storm photos. I have an incredible love for the style, but it’s hard to break the habit of naturally processing an image in color. Hence the reason I’m posting the above image twice…it’s a reminder to me to not be so focused on something that I forget my goal for this year.

I was prompted by a reader of my blog to do the image in B&W and I was thankful for the prodding. It reminded me of what I forgot I wanted to do. It was like the photowalk we did last Wednesday in downtown Phoenix. The night before I told my wife I was thinking of shooting with nothing but my 50mm 1.4. But once I got there, I had the Tammy 17-35 on there by default and almost forgot my mission until buddy Rick mentioned he was going to use his 50mm a lot. Slapped my forehead and wondered aloud how I could have let the plan slip my mind. Doh!

Same thing with this photo. Because while I enjoyed the one I posted on Friday, this one gives me chills. I would venture to guess this photo could end up being on the cover of the next book and likely a print on my own wall.

I’m excited to see where this year will go as far as stormchasing goes. Of course I have other passions…the urbex stuff is compelling, the portrait work, the weddings…I’m pumped for all of it. But photographing weather will always be in my blood, driving me and compelling me to keep chasing.

  • http://brianmatiash.com Brian Matiash

    Good to have you back in the mix, amigo. And you kicked it off with quite the dramatic shot. I appreciate that you kept the landscape to the lower third of the frame and let the grandioseness of the sky have center stage. Amazing.

  • http://www.behindmyeyes.me Jim Denham

    Great start my friend. The black and white definitely adds drama! Amazing work!

  • http://heathofee.com Heath O’Fee

    Nice one, Mike! Definitely love the drama of the B&W.

  • http://dudewithcamera.com Jesse

    Wow man, love the scale of this image. Great start to the year buddy

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  • http://www.davewilsonphotography.com Dave Wilson

    Lovely black and white conversion, Mike. Very powerful image indeed.

  • http://oscarnav.posterous.com Oscar Navarro

    Sublime My friend… what a way to start the Year.. 🙂

  • Didier Kaade

    This is my favorite way to see a storm… Through your eyes…. I don’t think, for now at least, I could see a storm like that with my own eyes….

    Great way to start off a year! 🙂

  • http://wfrostphoto.wordpress.com Wayne Frost

    The B+W rendition of this image is so much more powerful than the color version, You are right, too often we lose sight of the adage KISS, being creative with a 50mm or equivalent prime lens, or rendering a scene in shades of gray.

  • Case

    Good one Mike! I’m not a fan of B&W printing, but in this case I agree, it brings out more drama to the photo.

  • http://www.gilbertfarmersmarket.com Jessa Koppenhofer

    WOW! LOVE this one in B&W…. Great Job Mike, Looking forward to hanging you work on my walls this year…. Keep up the AMAZING Work!! Go B&W!!!

  • http://www.redkphotoblog.com Kelli Boling

    Wow – looking at that shot totally takes my breath away. So powerful and amazing!

  • Chris DeAngelis

    Such a cool shot! I really like the B&W for this one…

  • http://toomuchglass.net/ Mark Garbowski

    Just amazing. I definitely prefer it to the color version. That sky is truly outstanding.

  • http://www.flickr.com/nolansternphotography Chris Stern

    I am so glad you decided to convert this photo into B&W. I think it looks so much better than in color and it screams a POWERFUL storm.

  • http://scottwyden.com Scott

    Such an amazing b/w!!

  • http://www.ScottFrederickPhotoBlog.com Scott Frederick

    Instant Favorite. This goes into the history books with all the greatest photogs that used to walk the planet, first name Ansel last name crankypants! 🙂

  • Mike

    Wow…I am blown away by the reception this image got from everyone who commented and visited the site today. So blessed and excited that you all shared the same excitement I did.

    Sometimes you love an image you make so much, you literally are praying everyone else does too…and I am just thrilled to see it wasn’t only me 🙂

    Thank you all so much!

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  • http://brianfurbush.com/blog Brian Furbush

    Boom, excellent shot dude, and I love the dramatic processing you gave it. Pretty astounding how grand the sky is.