The music in this film was composed by Kerry Muzzey and is a track called The Secret History from the album The Architect. Please consider purchasing this album over on iTunes: http://bit.ly/PAT_MO
I am forever in Kerry's debt for his kindness and generosity in donating this song for my film. I do not have enough words to thank him!
If you'd like to purchase a digital download of the film for your iPhone or iPad, please visit http://www.mikeolbinski.com/theblog/2015/07/the-chase.
This past spring I spent more time chasing storms on the plains than ever before. The most I had spent prior to this was seven total days and that was last year. What I came away with from that short time made me realize that if I could double that...the stuff I could capture would be amazing. Of course I long to be out there for a month or longer, but when you live in Phoenix and have a wife and three kids...you have to be realistic.
I turned 40 years old this year and I told my wife all I wanted was 10 days chasing on the plains. She loves me though and it ended up being 14! Two days in April and then 12 straight days from May 23rd - June 3rd. Those 12 days were absolutely incredible. I'm friends with other chasers via social media, met them on the side of roads while chasing, even grabbed dinner together...but never have I felt more of a part of the chaser community than being out there for almost two weeks. Living the life...seeing the same amazing chasers over and over...it was overwhelming to me. I missed my family, it was hard at times, but it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Both chases originated from where I live in Arizona. In April I drove out all night to Colorado, slept maybe an hour, chased all day, got a good night's sleep, chased the next day in the Texas panhandle and drove home that same night, stopping only for a quick nap in New Mexico. The second chase was the same. Left Phoenix late on the evening of May 22nd, never really slept and the chase was on the next day. All in all I drove well over 12,000 miles over the course of those two weeks, visited 10 total states (New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota) and shot over 45,000 frames of footage for this film.
I have many people to thank. Pat O'Brien for being my first private tour attendee this spring. Mike Mezeul II for one very big tip on a spot above Rapid City, SD. To James Langford who not only guided me to that spot over the phone, but "now-casted" for me many, many times. I may have missed out on four crucial clips in this film if it wasn't for him suggesting I punch the core in South Dakota. Thank you sir. And to my pal Andy Hoeland...who was with me for over a week of my time out there, driving, looking at forecasts, talking to weather experts and always helping us have a great target for that day. He's become my chase partner for most of these big plains trips and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Also thanks to Cinetics (http://cinetics.com/axis360) for sending me their Axis 360 to play with. I used it one time in this film and wish I had used it more. I love that scene.
Finally...above everyone else, of course...is my wife. To let me go for that long, to never complain, to never discourage me...but to only believe in me...how could I be so lucky to deserve a wife like that? We have three kids and that's tough on a parent to have her husband away that long. It will never cease to amaze me that I would not be here, doing this, if it wasn't for her support and encouragement.
Technical details...everything was shot on Canon 5D3's, along with an array of Rokinon lenses. I got sick of lens-twisting (mostly of FORGETTING to lens twist) so I mainly used those manual lenses on this trip. Everything was processed using LR Timelapse, Lightroom, After Effects and Premiere Pro.
I'm in absolute love with this film. The stuff I saw rivaled anything I've ever seen on the plains minus that insane Booker supercell in 2013. We saw four tornadoes (one of them appears in a deleted scene at the very end of the film), countless supercells, gorgeous shelf clouds, stunning mammatus and some awesome lightning shows. The song..well, the song for this film blew my mind. I loved it when I heard it, but then seeing how everything started coming together on the timeline, the pace, the slow build-up, the huge ending...I've said it before, but the song is 50% of the film. Thank you again Kerry for everything!
All this movie does it fuel me to want to do better next year and this summer in Arizona. Stay tuned for Monsoon II and for The Chase II next spring!
I sincerely hope you enjoy and share this film around. Thank you!
Song by Kerry Muzzy: "Palladio Rebuilt" (on iTunes: http://bit.ly/pall_MO)
I've been chasing the monsoon in Arizona for about 6-7 years now. This summer was different though. Back in late July, I was wondering why it felt like I was out chasing more than ever before. And then I remembered. I had a job last summer. This year I didn't. I went full-time photography in November of 2014 and haven't looked back.
I was free to roam and had virtually no limitations. I even had multiple chases where I never actually wend to bed, but instead chased all night. I took the kids to New Mexico at one point early in the season.
Last year I counted roughly 31 total days that I chased a storm during the monsoon. This summer: 48. Yikes.
17,000 miles driven, which was about 3,000 more than last year. Perhaps the biggest difference this year was shooting nearly 60,000 more time-lapse frames than I did in 2014. 105,000 total. And what sticks out to me even more than any of the other numbers above, is that only 55,000 of those 105,000 frames made it into Monsoon II.
What that means is I was able to stuff this new film with only of the best of the best. We missed out on some of the huge dust storms like I've captured in years past, but overall, I think this represents some of the best weather I've ever photographed in Arizona. There are stunning shelf clouds, gorgeous rain shafts, lots of blowing dust, tons of lightning, and even multiple mini-supercells/mesocyclones. The brief meso over Cottonwood at the 3:38 mark is one of my all-time favorites.
I can't talk much more about the film without addressing the music real quick. The song is called Palladio (Rebuilt) and it's once again by the amazing Kerry Muzzey who donated it to me for Monsoon II. He also let me use another song of his for my previous film, The Chase and I'm beyond grateful for his generosity. I mean, how do you thank someone enough for that? Click here to find the song on iTunes and please support his work! I've said it a million times...the music is at least 50% of these movies I make. Kerry's art helps bring my films to life. Thank you my friend!
When I'm out there capturing footage for these films, I'm constantly thinking about the story I want to tell. For example, I wanted a lot of erupting, towering cumulus at the beginning to launch into the meatier clips. I started laying out the film back in mid-August. Certain clips I already knew would be in certain places in relation to the ups and downs of the song itself. As the season wore on, I gathered more and more clips and began to lay out the entire film. I'd remove clips when I got something better. There was exhausting editing, re-editing, looping music, reluctantly dropping clips that didn't work or were unfixable and watching it over, and over and over, to make sure I was telling the story I wanted to tell.
At one point, about halfway through...I was telling Jina that I have a lot of great stuff, but still haven't shot the final scene yet. I had no idea what it would be, but I knew I didn't have it. And then that very night (or maybe the next day)...I was out west of Tonopah and I knew on the way home that the monsoon had finally delivered my ending.
That is what is so amazing about doing this. You hit the road with zero idea about what you're going to see over the course of a summer. You might imagine scenarios or have ideas, but they get blown out of the water by reality. And that's what I love about it.
My hope is that you can see and feel that love in this film. The beauty of the monsoon in Arizona. This is where I'm from and this is home.
More here: http://www.mikeolbinski.com/theblog/2015/10/monsoon-ii/
Captured with Canon 5D3's, a 5D2, Canon 16-35mm, Rokinon 14, 24, 35 and 85mm.
Processed using Lightroom, LR Timelapse, After Effects and Premiere Pro
- Mike Olbinski PhotographyIntegration/Photography, present
I love taking pictures… making pictures. Finding pictures in anything and everything. I’m self-taught and still learning which probably explains my unquenchable desire to grow and grow and grow.
I love candid photography. And I love merging that style with portrait photography. I was inspired years ago when my wife and I had an anniversary photoshoot, and I was blown away by how simple, yet powerful, the candid portrait can be. The style is sometimes called photojournalistic or journalistic portraiture. Whatever you call it, that’s how I shoot it. Kids, babies, teens, engagements, families, whatever the occasion, I love capturing those special moments for people where they can let their personalities and feelings shine through and create a keepsake that will last forever.
I love event photography. The same passion I have for candid pictures drives the fun I have shooting a birthday party, a baby shower, a church get-together, anything where people are gathered for a purpose. The images you capture at moments like these feel more real than almost anything else I photograph.
I love weather photography, landscape pictures and anything else that strikes me as being worthy of a shutter snap. There is no limit the things I find interesting. I’ve photographed flowers, buildings, mailboxes and a million other odds and ends. But when it comes to storms and weather, I have a deep desire to capture nature in all of its raw power and glory. After living here in Arizona my entire life, I’ve suddenly gone through a re-awakening when it comes to what’s around me. Arizona offers an amazing venue for lightning and summer thunderstorms. We also have an endless supply of natural beauty from the dry, desert floors to the snowy peaks of the northern areas. This state is gorgeous.
That’s who I am. I would love to get to know who you are. If you are interested in using me for your photography needs, just contact me. You can use the form below, it’s quick and painless!