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 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 (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!# vimeo.com/134173961 Uploaded 565K Plays 6,541 Likes 193 Comments
This entire timelapse sequence was recording between May and June of 2015. During this time, I managed to arrange about 5 weeks off from my regular job as a Police Officer in California, and set out in my truck with no particular destination in mind. I had only picked up photography as a hobby within the last couple years, and this was my first year ever recording or producing timelapse videos. Having always been very interested in severe weather, nature, and traveling, I picked up storm chasing during spring of 2014. I spent a few weeks in 2014 traveling and photographing storms, but without a solid goal or understanding of the concepts of photography. My interest in timelapse photography of storms stemmed from seeing Nicolaus Wegner's "Stormscapes" videos around this time.
This year, I set out with much better equipment, more ambition, and a solid goal - to produce the timelapse compilation that became "Edge of Stability". Using the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center outlooks (SPC), I was able to see generally where and what type of severe weather would occur during the next few days. Twitter also became a huge part of my decision making process - following the posts of more experienced storm chasers and meteorologists. I drove over 600+ miles some days in order to reach areas where the environment would be favorable for severe weather. Typically the most intense weather occurs during late afternoon and into the night, so there wasn't a whole lot of sleeping - but it was worth it.
I ended up traveling through California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and into Manitoba, Canada. Most of this time was spent car-camping in my truck (I had removed the back seat and built a sleeping platform and storage compartments), but got a hotel room every few days. During breaks where there was less severe weather, I got a chance to photograph the Milky Way and other landscape scenes. I even, on a whim, decided to drive into Canada and attempt to see the Northern Lights for the first time. This paid off - and I was incredibly lucky to see brilliant displays of the Aurora Borealis both nights I spent in Manitoba. It even made getting detained by Canadian immigration officials for a couple hours and searched at the border worth it!
By the end of my journey, I ended up with about 70,000 individual high resolution photos. Having recorded up to 8,000 photos per day, I had to buy two 4TB external hard drives just to keep up. I also had to edit and save each day's clips as I went. I used Adobe Creative Cloud's Lightroom and Premiere Pro - but even these phenomenal programs would take hours to compile timelapse sequences only seconds long. I set up my Dell XPS 15 laptop to run off my vehicle's electrical system, and was able to let it work for the hours each day I spent driving.
Once I arrived back home in California, I began the long process of sorting, categorizing, and ranking my sequences. I had SO many photos that probably less than 30% of my content made it into "Edge of Stability". In fact, to this day I still haven't even converted about 20% of the photos into timelapse videos.
As far as the technical parts of how I produced the video: I used two Canon 6D's paired with a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, Rokinon 24mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8, Tamron 70-300 f/4.5-5.6, and a Canon 50mm f/1.8. I used a Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH Tripod with a GH-100 Grip Head, and it worked great. When doing two sequences at once, the second camera sat on a cheaper and more frustrating tripod I picked up from Costco a year earlier. I installed "Magic Lantern" software onto my cameras which allowed me to use an internal intervalometer and not have to purchase two extra external devices. "Magic Lantern", a sort of software hack on the camera, came with a number of issues - but it got the job done and did it well. The timelapse sequences were recorded with a RAW photo taken between every 2 seconds to every minute. The type of shot, movement in what I was photographing, and lightning conditions all played into this. Rapidly evolving supercell thunderstorms were recorded every 2 seconds in order to capture as much detail as possible and to create the longest clip in the shortest amount of time. On the other hand, I would leave my cameras on a mountainside exposing the Milky Way all night long, and might set the cameras to record a 20 second exposure every minute until the batteries ran out.
I had to return to reality eventually, but I plan to make it back out to capture more images as soon as possible! All of the compliments I've received have been very motivational, and I plan to continue to improve and challenge myself!
Thanks for watching! :)
Email: Jeff@negativetilt.com (Please contact for commercial/broadcast licensing)# vimeo.com/133202655 Uploaded 1M Plays 3,240 Likes 123 Comments
Two dust storms hit Phoenix on August 11th, one was just after 9:30am in the morning and then a second one hit 12 hours later, well after dark.
I've shot many dust storms over downtown Phoenix from this spot, but never with the lightning show we had at the same time. It was an incredible sight, the winds were strong and we ended up bailing as a new thunderstorm over our head dropped a bolt less than 1/4 mile away.
This a clip from Monsoon II, which will be coming out in late September/early October hopefully!# vimeo.com/136319598 Uploaded 9,033 Plays 42 Likes 3 Comments