Welcome to the blog for Mike Olbinski Photography

Hey there...my name is Mike and you've arrived at my blog. If you came from my main website, awesome...take a look around and see all the latest weddings and engagements, lifestyle shoots and of course...storm images.

Approaching

(click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8, 16mm, iso 100, f/5, 1/100th, handheld 7-image stitch // buy print) Wow, yesterday was amazing…with this being the grande finale. An approaching severe thunderstorm with a leading shelf cloud edge. These use to be a rare sight in Arizona it seems like, but this monsoon has been completely insane. Beautiful structure and amazing storms. This looks like a plains-like supercell despite not really having a rotating mesocyclone. This was south of Glendale road just west of the 101 in the west valley. I time-lapsed this beast from around…

Thunder and Stars

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, iso 4000, 16mm, f/2.8, 20 sec // buy print) I’ve been chasing storms like crazy for almost six years now. During that time I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Milky Way just hanging out with a thunderstorm brewing nearby. This past Saturday I pulled off at a favorite spot, got out of the car and saw the Milky Way just up there, hanging out, watching some lightning. Blew my mind. And this thunderstorm to the left was going nuts. I’m almost always out at…

15 Seconds

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, 16mm, f/11, iso 200, 15 sec // buy print) July 31st was a pretty amazing night for lightning. This storm just exploded over Wickenburg and didn’t move much and didn’t send any outflows at me. I just sat around for almost an hour capturing bolt after bolt. This was only a 15-second exposure, but there are six strikes plus maybe a seventh off-camera. An amazing display of power…it’s the kind of lightning-fests I live for!

Microburst

(click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 50mm f/1.2 l, f/8.0, iso 200, 1/1000, lightning trigger) Yesterday as I was time-lapsing a few cells rolling by, I look over to the southernmost one and I see a giant ball falling from the rain. There had been talk from the NWS and the SPC of wet microbursts…and I’ve seen them before, but never like this. This was just west of Gila Bend over farm lands. The storms were moving to the north, and this back cell was building as I was standing there shooting. And then boom,…

Highway 74

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, 16mm, iso 200, f/11, 10 sec // buy print) Last night I went up I-17 just a little ways to see if the outflow headed south would do anything. I quickly figured it wasn’t going to happen, but as the outflow starting shifting towards Wickenburg, I thought something might happen there. There were some cells along I-10 popping up and I just figured there might be a collision of outflows near Wickenburg. That place is a hot bed at times, so I dropped to Highway…

20140710-MOP_8947

In early July I had to photograph a wedding in La Jolla, so we packed up the family and made it a three-day weekend. Also joining us was our friends the Hoskins…Aaron helped out with the wedding as a second shooter, Marisa and kids hung out with Jina and kids while we were working. In between the wedding though, we hung at the beach and had an awesome time. Lyla and Isaac were maybe kinda dating by the end of the trip, I dunno…all I DO know is Lyla cried when she realized she wasn’t going to see him again for…

JessMatt-001

Jessica and Matt are getting married next year but we wanted to get their engagement photos done in time for save the dates! We met up in Flagstaff for a beer at the Lumberyard, then walked around town and finally up aways on Humphrey’s Peak. Loved hanging with these two…and the light at the end of the day was sick.  

Sunset over the Rincons

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, iso 400, f/5.0, 1/100th, 10-image stitch // buy print) Sometimes the only way to capture an amazing scene is with many, many photos. This is a 10-image stitch of a gust front moving over the Rincon Mountains and Benson area on July 27th. You can make out the gust front as it curves from the right side of the photo, to the left and then back towards the mountains and to the right again. That is basically an outflow/gust front boundary and as it moved…

20140726-177959

Saturday night and Sunday morning were so amazing, I wanted to do a little write-up of the events that unfolded so that I don’t forget them plus I wanted to share some of the crazy photos I took. Everything started out down in southern AZ. I made it to near Wilcox and that dry lake bed around sunset and time-lapsed some clouds and a few cells trying to build, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. In fact the night was supposed to be pretty meager, but I was desperate for any kind of lightning that I went for it anyways. Lightning…

Filaments

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 50mm f/1.2 l, f/8.0, iso 100, 13 seconds // buy print) My favorite focal length to shoot lightning with is 50mm. I dunno what it is…but if you get a bolt that fills the frame, it’s pretty much the perfect distance for me. You see the filaments more than if you are using say a 200mm or even a 135mm. That closeness to the storm and to the strike gives you that much more. This was taken last night north of Sierra Vista, Arizona. We got caught in…