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HomeContentsThemes > Weather


Meterological conditions
283.01   Weather: Clouds
283.02   Weather: Fog and mist
283.03   Weather: Lightning
283.04   Weather: Rain
283.05   Weather: Rainbows
283.06   Weather: Snow
283.07   China: Typhoon (September 1874)
283.08   William B. Post: Snowscapes
283.09   André Kertész: Washington Square
283.10   Wilson A. Bentley: Photomicrographs of snowflakes
283.11   Richard Neuhauss: Photomicrographs of snowflakes
283.12   Mitch Dobrowner: Storms
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated.
Meterological conditions 
283.01   Nature >  Weather: Clouds 
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283.02   Nature >  Weather: Fog and mist 
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283.03   Nature >  Weather: Lightning 
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In 1888 a request was made by the Royal Meteorological Society of England for photographs of lightning:
Photographs Of Lightning.—The Royal Meteorological Society of England is appealing to photographers, both professional and amateur, to take photographs of lightning. Last season the society received sixty impressions of lightning flashes, taken in various parts of Europe and America, but the information thus gained, while most interesting, was not sufficient for any trustworthy deductions to be drawn from it. All that can be confidently asserted is that the popular idea of the form of forked lightning is entirely erroneous. The most typical forms are as follows:
(1) Stream lightning, a plain, broad, rather smooth streak of light; (2) sinuous lightning, when the flash keeps in the general direction, but the line is sinuous, bending from side to side in a very irregular manner; (3) ramified lightning, in which part of the flash appears to branch off from the main streak like the fibres from the root of a tree; (4) meandering lightning, in which the flash appears to meander about in the air without any definite course, and form small, irregular loops ; (5) beaded or chapletted lightning, in which bright beads appear in a general white streak.
In photographing lightning, a rapid plate and ordinary rapid lens, with full aperture, are left uncovered for a short time at night during a thunderstorm. The focus is arranged for a distant object, and, if possible, some point of landscape is included to give the position of the horizon. If this is not possible, then the top of the picture is marked. A single lens is preferred to a doublet, in order that there may be no possibility of a second image being produced by reflection between two portions of the lens. For a somewhat similar reason it is recommended that the sensitive film should be on paper instead of glass. The society will be very pleased if copies of lightning photographs be sent to them at No. 30 Great George Street, Westminster, together with any available particulars as to the direction in which the camera was pointde, the state of the weather and the like.[1]
283.04   Nature >  Weather: Rain 
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283.05   Nature >  Weather: Rainbows 
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283.06   Nature >  Weather: Snow 
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283.07   Nature >  China: Typhoon (September 1874) 
A Chinese photographer, Afong, who was active in the 1860s-1880s in Hong Kong (now China), took an album of albumen prints of the 22 September 1874 typhoon that struck Hong Kong harbor sinking the steamers moored there.[2]
A personal account of the 1874 typhoon is provided in Walter William Mundy's 1875 book Canton and the Bogue. The Narrative of an eventful six months in China:
...the storm commenced with a violent wind suddenly springing up, and it soon became so irresistible in its might that no obstacle seemed able to retard it. As the night wore on, the destruction increased, and each fresh blast of the hurricane was the doom of houses and of ships. The bars across the windows snapt one after the other with a report like that of cannon; and the Venetians, torn from their fastenings and banging against the wall, increased the noise, till at last the wind swept them completely off, and rushed into the house with a shriek, as if about to carry everything before it. The washing stands were in the verandah, and the wind caught the jugs and basins up as if they were but leaves, and smashed them in all directions. The glass doors leading into the bedrooms were then taken bodily off their hinges, and fragments of the glass were scattered throughout the house. Many pieces fell on my bed, but I escaped without any bad cuts. The doors throughout the different corridors were the next to succumb; and now the risk became very great that the wind would lift the roof completely off the house, which actually happened to many other houses in the colony. To add to the confusion of the scene, the wind got into the pipes and put the gas out, leaving us in total darkness.[3]
283.08   Nature >  William B. Post: Snowscapes 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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283.09   Nature >  André Kertész: Washington Square 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Hungarian photographer André Kertész moved from Paris to New York CITY in 1936 to work for the Keystone Agency but he worked for them only until 1937. With the coming of the Second World War (1939-1045) it was impossible to return to Paris and as an alien it was difficult to find work in America.[4] From his apartment on Washington Square he found solace by photographing from his window - in winter the tracks, trees and metal railings combine into forms of movement even when no people are present. 
283.10   Nature >  Wilson A. Bentley: Photomicrographs of snowflakes 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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The American Museum of Natural History in New York has a number of slides of snowflakes that appear to be the work of Wilson A. Bentley  
Attributed to Wilson A. Bentley: 35mm colour slides of snowflakes 
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   Wilson A  Bentley 
View exhibition 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
283.11   Nature >  Richard Neuhauss: Photomicrographs of snowflakes 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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283.12   Nature >  Mitch Dobrowner: Storms 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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In an artist's statement from January 2011 Mitch Dobrowner[5] described his Storms series:
The images produced in this series represent the beginning of a new project that started as an experiment in the summer of 2009.
Growing up on Long Island, NY I've always loved being caught in thunderstorms. Since childhood the memories have been seared into my brain. Now fast forward to today – and while photographing the landscapes of the Southwest I’ve always gone out in the nastiest, most unstable weather possible. Thus I decided my next move was to locate the most severe weather I could. This brought me to Tornado Alley and the Great Plains of the USA.
The Trips
The trips to the Great Plains are an adventure unto itself. As I write this I sit in Tucson Arizona preparing go out on my 4th trek….. chasing after monsoon thunder/lightning storms. In each of the last 3 trips we have traveled 5600, 4800 and last month 6100 miles (over 16,000 miles in total) – seeing over 14 states. Besides the great storms I’ve had the honor of seeing the midwest and central states - whose small, tight knit communities make up a majority of the United States. But that’s another story (and maybe another project).
The Storms
The first time I witnessed a structured supercell thunderstorm was June 12th, 2009. What I saw would give me a fresh prospective on the power of Mother Nature and how small and insignificant we really are.
One memory is of June 13th, 2009 in Valentine, Nebraska: I was standing in a wheat field with wind gusts eclipsing 50mph, witnessing lightning strikes every few seconds, hearing the rumble of hail – all while standing in front of a 60,000 foot high mesocyclone. I could not believe what I was seeing; it was unlike anything I’ve even see before in my life.
It was also then that I realized that these storms are living, breathing things. They are born everyday, they fight against their environment to stay alive, change their form as they age, they lose their strength – and eventually they die. Standing in front of one of these phenomena of nature is an adventure into the extreme. For me, I’ve had the honor to witness Nature in her beauty (illustrated in landscapes) but these storms (besides being beautiful) represent Mother Nature in a fluid, ever-changing manner. Seeing Nature in this manner is an extremely personal level experience as it has helped move my relationship with nature and our planet to a newer level.
The hope is that the images presented communicate how I feel while standing in front of these amazing forces of nature.
   Mitch  Dobrowner 
View exhibition 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist

  1. Λ September 14, 1888, "Photographs of Lightning", The Photographic Times and American Photographer, vol. 18, no. 365, p. 442 
  2. Λ Further examples of the photographs of Afong showing the destruction of the September 1874 typhoon that hit China are requested - 
  3. Λ Walter William Mundy, 1875, Canton and the Bogue. The Narrative of an eventful six months in China (London: Samuel Tinsley), pp. 237-238 
  4. Λ Nicholas Doctor (ed.), 1972, André Kertész: Sixty Years of Photography, 1912–1972, (New York: Grossman Publishers); Sandra S. Phillips et al., 1985, André Kertész: Of Paris and New York, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago); Sarah Greenough et al., 2005, André Kertész, (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art; Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press) 
  5. Λ Mitch Dobrowner - Personal website
    (Accessed: 12 November 2013)


HomeContents > Further research

Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
Harold Burdekin 
Morrison, John & Burdekin, Harold, 1934, London Night, (London: Collins) [Δ
Sebastian Finsterwalder 
Finsterwalder, S., 1890, ‘Die Photogrammetrie in den italienischen Hochalpen‘, Mittheilungen des Deutschen und Österreichischen Alpenvereins, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 6-9 [Δ
Finsterwalder, S., 1928, ‘Geleitworte zur Karte des Gepatschferners‘, Zeitschrift für Gletscherkunde, vol. 16, pp. 20-41 [Δ
Finsterwalder, S. & Muret, E., 1901, ‘Les variations périodiques des glaciers. VIme Rapport, 1900‘, Extrait des Archives des Sciences physiques et naturelles, vol. 106/4, no. 12, pp. 118-131 [Δ
Finsterwalder, S. & Muret, E., 1902, ‘Les variations périodiques des glaciers. VIIme Rapport, 1901‘, Extrait des Archives des Sciences physiques et naturelles, vol. 107/4, no. 14, pp. 282-302 [Δ
Finsterwalder, S. & Muret, E., 1903, ‘Les variations périodiques des glaciers. VIIIme Rapport, 1902‘, Extrait des Archives des Sciences physiques et naturelles, vol. 108/4, no. 15, pp. 661-677 [Δ
Morrison & Burdekin 
Morrison, John & Burdekin, Harold, 1934, London Night, (London: Collins) [Δ
Alfred Stieglitz 
Steiglitz, Alfred, 1923, ‘How I Came to Photograph Clouds‘, The Amateur Photographer & Photography, vol. 56, no. 1819, p. 255 [Δ
Larry Towell 
Towell, Larry, 2006, Larry Towell: In the Wake of Katrina, (Chris Boot in association with Archive of Modern Conflict) isbn-10: 0954689496 [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

Sonja Braas  (1968-) • Mitch Dobrowner  (1957-)
HomeThemesNature > Weather 
A wider gazeA closer lookRelated topics 
Landscape photography and natural catastrophes 

HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Weather

Please submit suggestions for Online Exhibitions that will enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailMitch Dobrowner - Storms 
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Released (January 8, 2011)

HomeVisual indexes > Weather

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailAlfred Stieglitz: Equivalents 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailAlfred Stieglitz: Winter on Fifth Avenue 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailCharles Marville: Vue du ciel de Paris, de la fenętre de l'artiste 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFred Judge: Lightning at Hastings, 9.30 pm, June 6 1904 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailGrace Robertson: A pea-souper fog, London 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailHenry Peach Robinson: Temps orageux - Wild Weather 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailHenry Stuart Wortley: Seascapes and clouds 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailMitch Dobrowner: Storms 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailMorrison & Burdekin: London Night 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailW. Stuber & Bro.: Tornado Views of Louisville, KY, March 27th, 1890 
ThumbnailWilliam B. Post: Snowscapes 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailWilson A. Bentley: Frost 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailWilson A. Bentley: Snowflakes 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailAlfred Stieglitz - Léonard Misonne 
ThumbnailWeather: Clouds 
ThumbnailWeather: Fog and mist 
ThumbnailWeather: Lightning 
ThumbnailWeather: Rain 
ThumbnailWeather: Rainbows 
ThumbnailWeather: Snow 
   Still thinking about these... 
ThumbnailBlack Blizzards 
ThumbnailSnowflakes and ice crystals 
Refreshed: 07 August 2014, 15:56
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