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.

On Fire

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, 16mm, iso 400, f/4, 1/100th // buy print) An amazing sunsets east of Sonoita, Arizona. The sky was on fire from a monsoon thunderstorm and the setting sun of course, but an actual wildfire was off camera left of this image, which created a sky full of smoke and only enhanced the colors this night. I was amazed when I turned from the fire to look at this mountain…that the field of grass was actually reflecting the reds and oranges. It was stunning.  A rainbow…

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Just a little something for your Friday.

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Words cannot describe what it’s like to be published in Arizona Highways. Even people who don’t live in Arizona have heard about this magazine. It’s historic. It’s been around forever. I grew up looking at these amazing photographs and gorgeous landscapes because of course my dad had a subscription. I’ve made it into the magazine twice before this current August issue. Once for their centennial issue with my July 5th haboob image and then a random bridge photo I took in Two Guns, AZ made it into the back of their magazine’s “Where in Arizona is this? feature. I’m proud…

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Last year on this date I was in Zambia along with Hoops of Hope. I was gone for 10 days, it was one of the most amazing times of my life and also one of the toughest. I was blown away by what I saw, the images I was able to capture and the people I met. But at the same time, I missed my family dreadfully. Looking back now, it feels like the distant past…so I wanted to remind myself of the adventure I had a year ago. I went through my 900+ images and tried to narrow it down…

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I thought I’d finally take the GoPro Hero 2 into the pool to see how it did. I had no clue about sharpness or anything, I just went with it. Afterwards I realized you need a special lens cover to get it sharp underwater…BUT…I don’t really mind the results! I can’t put my finger on it, but I love these images. They feel warm and full of emotion. I did edit with my normal Lightroom preset, but otherwise, most of the film-ish look is right out of the GoPro. Needed to get some personal work up here, hope you enjoy!

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Andrew and Carolyn are two of my most favorite clients ever (they paid me to say that)…but seriously, I love these two. From the moment I met them, they were a blast to hang with. Their engagement session was full of laughs and even helped give birth to the #hiwerethecheneys hashtag they used for their wedding. There was so much love and laughter, and lots of tears throughout the day on Friday.  We started at a rental house in La Jolla and ended up at the Darlington House closer to the coast. It’s a beautiful little venue, with all kinds…

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We chased this dust storm from Picacho Peak all the way into central Phoenix. It was pretty nuts…the outflows flying all over the place, colliding. Dust storms were going west/northwest, then north and northeast, and then back northwest again. Made it tough! So tough that we got too far east along Hunt Highway, and so it took us a bit of time to get back out of the dust storm in order to race in front of it to downtown Phoenix. We had intended to go to another parking garage that I like, but the ol’ standby is right off…

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Last night was amazing. On my way south from Benson chasing some storms, I found myself noticing some dusty outflow to my west. As I got further south, I realized it was smoke from a fire. Since it looked fairly fresh, it appeared to have been caused by lightning. I sat and time-lapsed from the east at a location just north of Whetstone, AZ from 5:40 to 6:20 pm. I knew the road went west a few miles south and curved back to the north, so I assumed we’d be in a good spot to shoot more of the wildfire…

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This was a shot of the Radio Fire west of Whetstone, AZ yesterday evening. I didn’t see the lightning strike that started it, but I noticed smoke around 5:30pm and started timelapsing from the east side of the fire, over a mountain range. I think we saw it fairly quickly after it happened. After a bit we moved west and got right up on the fire, maybe within a mile or two…and it was amazing. As the sun started to go down and a storm moved in, the outflow kicked up the first and it exploded west. The flames were…

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I love this wedding. LOOOOOVVVVVE IT.  For so many reasons. Primarily it harkens back to a wedding I photographed a year and a half ago. Julia and Peter. That’s where Amanda and Chris met for the first time in person and the wheels were set in motion for this past Saturday. Stuff like this is an added bonus for me. I mean, who knew when I took the below photo back on November 10th, 2012…that it would end up on their sweetheart’s table at their own wedding in 2014? How COOL is that?? In fact, when Amanda emailed me about…