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.

21 replies
  1. Brian Matiash
    Brian Matiash says:

    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.

  2. Didier Kaade
    Didier Kaade says:

    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! 🙂

  3. Wayne Frost
    Wayne Frost says:

    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.

  4. Case
    Case says:

    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.

  5. Mike
    Mike says:

    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!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] year on January 3rd, I wrote a blog post that talked about some things I was excited about for 2011. Appears as though that might end up […]

  2. […] would get something like this or this –  both shot by Scott Ackerman. Another great cloud shot is this one by  Mike Olbinski – amazing stuff.  Well, I got to work with what we get up here, so the […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Olbinski, Heath O'Fee and others. Heath O'Fee said: RT @mikeolbinski A new year begins http://bit.ly/gBrwpL <- Love the B&W, Mike! […]

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