Storm of Dreams


Wont soon forget standing in front of this supercell near Denver City, TX on May 4th. My absolute favorite moment chasing this year. Seeing this sculpted beast was like something out of a dream. I stood here as long as I could as the hail started to fall around me, hoping to get a photo before I had to run. Thanks to one of the camera crew who were following me for hitting the shutter button!

Vorticity 2

The premiere of this video is tonight, July 22nd, 11:45pm!

Become a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/mikeolbinski
BluRay discs (Combo of Vorticity 1 and 2) available here starting Tuesday: http://mikeolbinski.com/shop/
Music: Canyon and Scars of Courage by Luke Atencio (through TheMusicbed.com, sign-up for licensing here: http://share.mscbd.fm/mikeolbinski)
Gear I use: https://www.amazon.com/shop/mikeolbinski

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Two years in the making. I made the tough decision last year to save everything I shot that spring and combine it with whatever storms I captured in 2019 and make the best possible time-lapse film I could. It was incredibly difficult to sit on that collection of footage for over a year, but I’m glad I did. When you’ve done a few of these, at some point you gotta work even harder to top yourself and I did my best to make that happen. Even though I’ve lost all perspective at this point having watched this a million times during editing, I do feel it has some of the best footage I’ve ever compiled into one of these films. I had such a high bar set and many, many clips did not make the cut.

My storm chaser friends will recognize some memorable supercell/tornado events like Tescott, Tahoka, McCook, Hoisington, Cope, Imperial, Quinter, and Denver City (my personal favorite). I was lucky to be on those days, even though I did miss a few that I would really have loved to have been able to capture.

None of these clips would come alive without the right music and I searched and searched and searched for months until landing on the right tracks back in May. Luke Atencio has such a gift and two of his songs were blended to create the track for this film. Proud and thankful to be a Musicbed Ambassador. They have collected some of the best artists and musicians anywhere, and it’s an honor to be able to use their songs.

I want to thank some people here who helped me along the way. My tour guests from the past two years who came from all over the world and spent their hard-earned money to join me for storm chasing adventures…you all are amazing. Marko Korošec, a friend and epic storm chaser from Slovenia, who helped me with some forecasting last year when I was leading tours by myself and starting to get drained. You saved my butt on a few days.

Brett Wright…who has become a close friend of mine and is one of the best chasers/forecasters I know. Thanks for joining me for the grind of essentially four tours over 38 days this spring. I mean…I never could have done that without you buddy…you have my eternal gratitude. I learned so much.

To all of you watching, who follow me on YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Twitter and those who support me on Patreon…thank you SO MUCH for all of it. You guys are amazing and your support and kind words over the years has been an incredible motivator. I am humbled and honored.

Finally, to my amazing wife Jina and the kiddos…it was really hard being away, especially this past spring. I made it back more than I thought I would, but it was still grueling and difficult. Thank you Jina for everything you do to help make this happen. And for supporting me no matter what. Even encouraging me when I sometimes feel like quitting. As I always say, and is the absolute truth, I never would be where I am without you.

There is also a special “post-credit” dedication someone who has always pulled for me and been in my corner since the beginning of this journey 🙂 We are both huge Marvel fans so he will definitely get a kick out of that!

Okay, rambling is over….hope you enjoy!

Technical Details:

Everything shot with two Canon 5DSRs and various Canon lenses. A couple lightning sequences with the Sony A7R3

All clips available in 8K Resolution

Processed in Lightroom, LR Timelapse, After Effects and Premiere Pro.

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.