Инстаграм @mikeolbinski Mike Olbinski
A new image I never edited from September 5th, 2017...one of the most spectacular monsoon scenes I've personally experienced...the light was so intense from the setting sun, so magical...the color out of control, that I just stood there in awe. Toss in a rainbow, gorgeous desert cactus and shrubs and a strong downburst over Organ Pipe and it was almost too much haha. Missing this stuff.
Awhile ago when looking at one of my time-lapses from May 1st, I noticed this suction vortex rotating around the main wedge tornado Only appeared in about 3 frames before it was gone, but kinda cool to see that on the backside. A rough spring, very thankful I was able to see this tornado...only my third day out chasing in 2018. A nice treat for Sarah Al Sayegh who landed the night before all the way from Kuwait...what a way to kick off a week of chasing.
August 14th I was down in Tucson finishing up my second Monsoon Workshop of the summer, and after we broke camp around 11am, I hit Benson first and captured some daytime bolts near there, and then raced up to Phoenix for a nice line of storms moving down off the Mogollon Rim. As the sun went down, the storms moved through town and I decided to skip all the buildings and blast to the west side to get in front of the outflow boundary. Sure enough, as I got here west of Buckeye, storms exploded over the White Tanks and put on quite a shot of bolts. Love this one, 30-second exposure with a bolt hitting on the east side and then one on the west side near Sun Valley Parkway. Crazy enough, ended up back on I-8 east of Gila Bend around 1:30am still shooting. What a wild night. Miss it.
Hey y’all! I have two spots open for my Monsoon Workshops next year! As you can see in this photo, it can be fun 😍 Link to pricing and more info is in my profile!
September 1st was a slow developing day...tons of shear down in southeastern AZ, but once I got there, storms looked meh and lightning was hard to come by...meanwhile northern Arizona was a structure-fest of course! But eventually, patience paid off and storms rapidly intensified in the later afternoon...I watched a couple of downbursts happen and move my way, and finally the lightning got awesome. From here on out, the rest of the day was pure gold...so much lightning and fun storms. This was east of Sunizona along Highway 181 where it's just pretty and grassy fields are everywhere. You can kinda make out two buildings there, I believe it either hit the left roof or just out in front of it. Close-up in comments.
July 17th was an awesome afternoon of chasing in southern Arizona with supercells, severe storms and some nice structure. As night hit, the storms intensified and a couple strong ones moved west towards Ajo. This spot is west of Maish Vaya just after getting out of the mountains and we had this awesome view east as it kept racing towards us. This shot immediately reminded me of Stranger Things...the big Shadow Monster crawling over town in the Upside Down :) Great to hang with my buddy @chris_frailey that night not to mention running into @monsoonchaser! #mop #mikeolbinski #mopphotos #instagramaz #see_arizona #igsouthwest #ig_stormclouds #earthfocus #earthpix #discoverearth #canon #stormhour #igworldclub #monsoon #storms #madwx #azwx #weownthenight_az #lightning
Fairly epic storm back in 2013 near Marana. At the time my mind was blown to see a shelf cloud emerge from the rain and start rolling towards me with lightning striking all over. Such a treat!
October 1st was my final chase of the monsoon this year and it was a wonderful way to bookend a spectacular season. This image was taken along the AZ/NM border late in the day. A low-topped supercell with a wall cloud spinning to the north as it slowly died out. This is basically the closing image from the year for me, although I still have lots to edit. After this storm faded, I turned and headed for home and that was all she wrote. Didn't even know the time-lapse caught a lightning bolt until weeks later, which was a pleasant surprise!
Someday I may get through the queue of images I have yet to edit from the years chasing storms, but that's doubtful 😂 Here's a new shot from June 12th, 2017 after a rough day chasing, missing tornadoes and epic structure...I found redemption near sunset in western Nebraska close to the town of Minatare. This supercell was electric and put out a sick ton of bolts. I'd keep chasing this guy through Alliance and well into the Sandhills until almost midnight.
Not gonna lie, and I've said it before probably, but July 9th was definitely the best day ever chasing haboobs 😂 This was southwest of Gila Bend aways, eight-image panoramic with the Sony A7R3 and Sigma Art 14-24. Massive, dense haboob riding underneath a pretty nifty shelf cloud. That wall of dust originated southwest of Phoenix and ended up rolling into California and Mexico after dark...what an amazing day. #mop #mikeolbinski #mopphotos #instagramaz #see_arizona #igsouthwest #ig_stormclouds #earthfocus #earthpix #discoverearth #canon #stormhour #igworldclub #monsoon #storms #madwx #azwx #haboob
A favorite image of mine from this past summer that I've been saving for whatever reasons, but figured I'd post it finally. Sometimes you like an image so much you are afraid to post it thinking others wont feel the same...silly, but it's real. Captured this about 3 miles from the Mexico board in the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge west of Nogales, while on a workshop with Paula and Karen. It was quite the show and shocking to us that this storm that seemed to be dropping rain on the other side of the mountains, was putting down lightning strikes on OUR side. That hill got hit at least two other times and it was quite amazing to see from up so high. This area seems so non-Arizona, it was almost like we WERE in another country for a little bit. Green mountains that definitely have more of a central America look to them. Such a gorgeous part of the state. #mop #mikeolbinski #mopphotos #instagramaz #see_arizona #igsouthwest #ig_stormclouds #earthfocus #earthpix #discoverearth #canon #stormhour #igworldclub #monsoon #storms #madwx #azwx #lightning
Another shot from September 1st in southeastern Arizona...this was near Elfrida looking south towards the Mule Mountains. I was shooting a storm to my north and then this distant guy with the 135mm south of me. Oh I kinda wish I had been closer, especially as a few previous bolts were slamming into those mountains. Likely the best lightning night of the season for me...missing this stuff already, gearing up for spring!
Five years ago today Thor 2 was released and my Booker supercell footage made the final cut! Not only was it in the film but it took up the top half of the screen during one of the biggest scenes in the movie. Will always be proud of this! Saw it with good buddies and when my name appeared in the credits we all cheered 😍😍😍 November 7th is also the ninth anniversary of my graduating from college and also marks four years since I quit my day job and went full time photographer. Been a wild, fun ride! Thanks to everyone for all your support over the years!
Other than Tescott, my favorite day chasing last spring was May 23rd in western Nebraska. Started off frustrated when we found out we had missed a tornado near Roswell, NM after being there just the day before...but then as the day got late, our supercell finally intensified and put on a gorgeous display of lightning and sunset colors amongst the sandhills. This was west of Tryon...with a little special appearance from Brandon Ivey and his tour group :) Lovely to see the faces on Sandra Herber and Ajit Menon during this chase...finally got on something amazing on our last chase day! #ig_stormclouds #earthpix #discoverearth #igworldclub #igworldclub #storms #supercells #earthfocus #canon #manfrotto #stormhour #tornado #storms #stormhour #corepunch #wunderground
May 18th was a big storm day across western and southwestern Kansas...but we sat in one spot along an outflow boundary waiting hours for initiation and missed all kinds of storms going on, even a beast in SE Colorado...but finally near Park, KS a storm went up and we punched through the south side of it. At first it seemed to be headed north, but then it pulled off a nifty right turn as it latched on the boundary and headed into Quinter, which is where this shot was taken. Not your typical stacked plates structure for a supercell, but it was stunning nonetheless and at one point seemed to have a funnel halfway to the ground. I never knew I caught a lightning bolt until scrolling through the time-lapse this morning! Lovely surprise! #ig_stormclouds #earthpix #discoverearth #igworldclub #igworldclub #storms #supercells #earthfocus #canon #manfrotto #stormhour #tornado #storms #stormhour #corepunch #wunderground
May 28th with the dual tornadoes near Seibert, CO was a nice surprise...I so badly wish I had been on the Daniel Shaw side of them, but it was amazing to witness my first ever two-tornadoes-on-the-ground moment. This was shortly before they completely dissipated for the day. Some unfortunate camera shake made this not really worthy of printing, but still such a fun shot for me personally!
Lots of stuff to share still from the 2018 storm season...not sure I'll ever get to all of it, but here's a new one from east of Safford near the town of Solomon, AZ. Was taken during one of my monsoon workshops with Alice, Jim and Bill...such a great lightning show off in the distance...loved seeing this guy blast those hills north of town. #mop #mikeolbinski #mopphotos #instagramaz #see_arizona #igsouthwest #ig_stormclouds #earthfocus #earthpix #discoverearth #canon #stormhour #igworldclub #monsoon #storms #madwx #azwx #weownthenight_az #lightning