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.

Fingers

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 35mm f/1.4 l, f/10, iso 200, 15 sec // buy print) Judging from the light on the little hill on the horizon plus the 35mm lens I was using, this bolt hit fairly close to my position…maybe a mile or two away. This was another shot from July 31st out near Wickenburg along Highway 74. That night was one of the most intense lightning chases I’ve ever been on. More to come, even a couple that actually hit that little hilltop!

Pinpoint

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 50mm f/1.2 l, iso 100, f/8.0, 20 sec // buy print) I’ve been on a mission this year to capture some lightning landing in mountains or hills or whatever I can. It’s been tough because I don’t just camp out waiting for hours, I chase the storms so it’s just something I hope happens. I definitely went for these last night knowing the storms were over some ranges, so the chances were good. But about 3-4 minutes before this photo, the lightning was on the OTHER side of…

Over Whitmann

(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) The night of July 31st was one of the best nights I’ve ever had shooting lightning. Hours of non-stop action, sometimes sitting in one spot for over 30 minutes, capturing bolt after bolt. But some of the best shots I got happened right as the evening got started and storms started firing. As I was flying west on Highway 74 towards Wickenburg, a little cell built up to my south. I stopped for a moment, watched…

Trigo Shelf

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, 16mm, iso 200, f/16, 1/15th, lightning trigger // buy print) The models yesterday lined up for a huge severe event in western Arizona, so I headed out late morning to Quartzsite. Watched storms for a few hours until a huge MCS exploded out of Mexico near Mexicali, and rushed northeast-east into Arizona…which triggered some amazing storms and flooding. As near as I can tell, this shelf cloud and lightning strike occurred over the Trigo Mountains southwest of Quartzsite, Arizona. Mad props to Mike Leuthold and…

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…