Brownsfield, TX

Finding clear skies and beautiful, isolated supercells was tough this past week, but Thursday gave us a nice one west of Brownsfield, TX for a little bit before it got messier looking later on. We jumped on this as early as we could and because of the haze, had to get pretty close to see the structure. But once we all got setup, the bolts began to drop near and far, and finally one behind us, which caused us to reposition. This one was spectacular though, landing just a few miles away.

A great way to end tour one…now I’m back flying to Denver for two days of chasing with Brett Wright and Brad Sevy, before our next tour officially kicks off on Monday. Gonna be 10 days of hilarity I’m sure with the five people we have coming 🙂

Launched a Patreon page!

Hey everyone, my loyal blog readers! I’ve launched a Patreon page which I’m real excited about…you can see it all at the link below, as well as a video introduction as to why I’m starting this up!

Mike Olbinski’s Patreon Page

Denver City

No words for yesterday’s chase. From watching the tower go up just west of our target of Tatum, NM, to this moment near Denver City, TX…hands down, probably top 3 structure I’ve ever seen in person. I passed up some time-lapse opportunities that were insane on the south side of the storm with the updraft, but I knew I wanted to get right on the east side of the storm to get a view of the vault and holy crap did it deliver. Time-lapse dream for me yesterday, but this spot was the icing on the cake.

This season is turning out to be one of the best I’ve seen in years so far, hopefully it keeps rocking.

Corkscrew

First chase of the year wasn’t a bust, so that’s great…got to see some pretty wild structure here east of Monahans, TX yesterday after the sun was down, which should make for a fun time-lapse! Great to shake off the rust and see some nice convection. Back at it today, really want to play some dryline stuff in NW TX, hoping it pays off.

Ord Madness


A beastly embedded supercell approaches the town of Ord, Nebraska back on June 1st, 2018. It was pretty amazing to see this form out of a big messy line of convection and it actually dropped a brief tornado north of town just about 15 minutes after this.

Willcox Shelf

One of the best nights of last summer…September 1st, sitting here just NE of Willcox with my buddy Chris Frailey shooting lightning for over an hour. We were in such a good spot to watch it get close, but never really overtake us, so we score far away bolts, then super close strikes…and this beautiful shelf cloud rolling towards us with tons of lightning underneath it.

Tyron

A beastly storm moves towards the town of Tryon, Nebraska on May 23rd, 2018. A noisier photo than I like…the Canon 5DSR at 1600 iso and bumping the exposure up a bit isn’t ideal, but it’s a frame from a time-lapse and I love it, so sharing anyways! Can’t wait for sights like this again!

Intensity

One of my personal favorite images of 2018 was this one early in the morning of July 21st on the Vekol Valley Road overpass looking east. Asher and I had gone almost all the way to New Mexico earlier, and then raced back towards home as a huge MCS blew up and started blasting west and northwest. We raced ahead of it here and had only a few minutes to setup before it blasted us again with strong winds, dust and rain.

It’s rare (to me) for these kinds of MCS storms in the desert to move fast and have so much cloud-to-ground lightning as well. It’s usually in cloud, back in the rain…so this night was such a treat. This is just a single exposure, around 20-25 seconds…and lightning was exploding everywhere. It was an intense barrage for hours, ones I like to call “widow makers” because they just seemed fast and deadly.

Ringwood

Not sure what took me so long to get to this one, but one of the more stunning scenes from last spring for me. Long chase on May 29th from north of Laverne, Oklahoma to here southeast of Ringwood. The colors went nuts at sunset and this supercell/shelf cloud looked all kinds of amazing. Had to bail shortly after this to meet up with tour guests in Colorado the next day.

The best settings for lightning photography

A tutorial on the best settings for lightning photography, from day to astro, with real world images and exif information.

Stuff from this video:

Lightning Trigger IV: https://store.lightningtrigger.com/
Join a tour or workshop: http://www.mikeolbinski.com/workshops
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