Winners of the 2021 Storm Photo/Photographer of the Year
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Winners of the 2021 Storm Photo/Photographer of the Year

The winning images and photographers of the inaugural Storm Photos of the Year competition have been announced, revealing a collection of awe-inspiring shots of Mother Nature on display.

The Storm Photos of the Year competition was launched in February 2021 by Emmy award-winning photographer and filmmaker Mike Olbinski when he teamed up with storm chaser and Nikon ambassador Mike Mezeul. Together, the pair added YouTuber and landscape photographer Nick Page, as well as photographer and filmmaker Linda Van Rosmalen as judges.

There were two categories to the contest: Photo of the Year and Photographer of the Year. ‘The first [award] sought to find the most incredible, single photo taken from the prior year’ while the 'second award looked to recognize the achievement of putting together an amazing set of 8–10 images all taken on different days in 2020.

In the creators' own words, ‘the idea with Storm Photos of the Year was to skip the conception of public voting and popularity contests, and instead have the artists know that their image was judged by photographers who know storms and understand what it takes to get theses photos.’ Below is the live awards show the creators streamed on YouTube late last month:

First place took home $750 in cash, a Davis Instrument VantageVue Weather Bundle, an Air Quality Sensor, a 20" x 30" print of their winning image and a Lightning Trigger IV from Stepping Stone Products. Second place each won $200 and third place took home $100, each.

In total, almost 650 images were submitted from eight countries. The judges also shared video critiques of select submissions ‘to help educate and discuss ways to improve your photography.’

The second annual Storm Photos of the Year contest will ‘return in early 2022,’ according to its creators, which will require images to be captured from throughout 2021. You can visit to find out more information and to subscribe to the contest’s newsletter for upcoming happenings.

The following gallery will showcase the top three Photo of the Year winners (in order from first to third), followed by three images for each of the Photographer of the Year winners (in order from first to third). You can see a full gallery of the winning and finalist images on the Storm Photo Contest website.