San Simon Supercell

After nine days of no storms, I struggled with motivation, but somehow still dragged myself out of bed last Thursday at 5am to get to the AZ/NM border in time for late morning development. It seemed like a lock for a supercell to form between 10-12 near San Simon and move east into New Mexico. Arrived early, took a cat nap, enjoyed a weaker storm waking me up with rain drops, but I knew the real show was the tail end one rapidly intensifying over the Chiricahua Mountains. Lightning showed up on radar finally and I knew I was in business. I sat back and watched it arrive in San Simon mostly a blob of rain, but then the bolts starting hitting around me and some structure began to show. I headed east on 10 to get out of the precip and avoid the widow maker bolts, but after a few miles I pulled over to a nice high view overlooking this valley. And that’s when this thing rapidly turned into the most incredibly structured supercell I’ve ever personally witnessed here in Arizona. The wall cloud, the vertical updraft, the incredible rain/hail falling to the right and then NUTSO towering lightning bolts landing everywhere. There is actually another faint one on the left. Thankful I pushed myself to chase this and feel lucky to have been on this guy for the 20 minutes it was awesome. The time-lapse is great, look for it in Monsoon 6!

Crawler near Sublette


A very nice crawler exploded out of this storm as we sat in amazement watching this supercell near Sublette, KS back on May 21st.

Vorticity 3

Support me on Patreon!

Blu-Rays available in the shop!

Music by Ryan Taubert via The Musicbed.com

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This past spring was definitely a crazy time. I wasn’t even sure how much I’d be able to chase with everything going on, but luckily the storms waited until the middle of May to truly get going and things seemingly had gotten much better then and made chasing possible.

One thing you will notice in this film is a lack of tornadoes. It was a bad year for them right up until July when I stopped chasing! But the structure was magnificent. So many legendary days. I wasn’t even planning on doing a film this year, as I was figuring to do what I did with the previous Vorticity: Wait to gather up two years worth of footage in order to give you nothing but the very best. Incredibly, this year was so good, I had no idea how NOT to do a film, because if next year was anywhere close, I’d be making a 30 minute movie or having to leave a ton of clips on the cutting room floor.

So I started to work on it, first with the music as always…and I love Ryan Taubert. His album “Fool” actually had four tracks on it I love, but individually they didn’t quite have it all. So I spent a few hours, blended four of them, came up with a nine minute song and boom, went to work!

I wanted to do something a little more methodical, slower paced and majestic this time, fitting with the music and the footage. I hope you enjoy that! The lightning was off charts this year for me, so much night-time structure and awesomeness, plus the daytime supercells were incredible.

I want to big time thank my partner in crime this year for about two weeks, Brett Wright. He helped me with our tiny little one-guest tours this year, and having him along to help drive, forecast and make on-the-fly decisions was much appreciated. Moreover, incredibly thankful for our friendship. And to Deran and Kristy, thanks for tagging along! Seeing your reactions and yes, even tears in Kristy’s case, was inspiring!

Thanks to my YouTube peeps, the channel has really exploded this spring, and I appreciate and love all the comments and feedback, despite a few crazies tossed in there 🙂

To my Patreon peeps…thank you for the love and support this past year, not to mention the growth this spring. To Sarah and Samantha, my two top supporters…no words for you two! I appreciate you so much!

Finally, to my wife Jina and the kids. With everything going on with the coronavirus, and putting an addition on our home at the same time, it was tougher being away this spring. No doubt about it. Luckily there were long breaks at home this time with marginal storms to make things easier, but it’s still always a rough time, which is why I stop chasing out there once June is over. I thank them for allowing me to do what I love and to be excited to see what I captured whenever I get home. I love you all!!!

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.

Segment on PBS documentary!

Hey everyone! I know I haven’t blogged much lately, but wanted to make sure you all knew about this documentary H2O: The Molecule that Made Us and the segment in which I appeared!

Here’s the link: H2O

My segment starts at the 17:25 mark!

New Virtual Workshops

Last week I did a couple of Virtual Workshops, which is basically a tailored workshop to your needs done over Zoom Conferencing! I’ll record them and send them your way as well.

More info here: Virtual Workshops

This was 2019

It’s a little late, but here’s my annual blog of my favorite photos from 2019. Bits from weddings, engagement sessions, family sessions, my own kiddos and family and of course, storms.

Hope you enjoy this look back!

Reverent: A 8K time-lapse film

Become a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/mikeolbinski

Song by Bullet & Cass: “The Way You Do” // http://bit.ly/TheWayYouDoITunes // http://bit.ly/TheWayYouDo // http://www.bulletandcass.com/

Follow me: http://www.twitter.com/mikeolbinski / http://www.instagram.com/mikeolbinski

A couple years ago I made a black and white time-lapse film just for fun, and now here we are with the third installment in the series. It’s a way to play around in the winter months with something new and different, get creative and also help pass the time until spring returns!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with this one, and couldn’t even find the perfect song for it, until the duo Bullet & Cass emailed me about wanting to use my footage for their upcoming debut single. I get a lot of those kinds of emails, so I didn’t think much of it…until I clicked on the preview links for their two tracks…and wow, I was blown away by how much I loved “The Way You Do.” A few seconds into the song, I was immediately laying down tracks to it in my head. I listened all the way to the end and knew I had found my song. We did a straight up trade…footage for the track, and the editing began in earnest.

After I finished editing back in November, I needed a title. It took me weeks. The song has a sort of folksy haunting old west vibe to it (at least to me) and I needed the perfect name to go along with it. I finally pulled up a list of old west terms and when I stumbled across Reverent…I knew it was the one. Not only did it sound and feel right, but it actually is how I feel standing out there a lot. These storms are powerful and deadly, and sometimes you are just staring out at them with this deep respect and admiration for what you are witnesses. Or perhaps, in my case, for the one who created it.

I hope you enjoy this film as much as I do. All footage in it is from 2019, with some unseen monsoon clips in there as well. Definitely felt like it was taking a risk on the song choice itself, especially as lyrics aren’t my normal deal. But I love it, love it, love it and I hope you do too! And if you do, please visit the links up top and buy the single and check out their website!

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.

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://www.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 🙂