Stunning Time-Lapse Featuring the Most Extreme Weather Phenomena of the American Midwest

Mike Olbinski, an award-winning photographer, did it again. Here is his latest production, a stunning time-lapse showing some of the most powerful thunderstorms, supercell structures, and tornadoes of the American Midwest. Olbinski specializes on storm chasing but this season was particularly tough for him. Mother Nature has not been cooperative this year despite his extensive weather forecast knowledge. The storm chaser had to drive 27,000 miles across 10 states during a month to capture the 90,000 frames necessary to finish the project. Hence, he called this video “Pursuit.”

“I saw the most incredible mammatus displays, the best nighttime lightning and structure I've ever seen, a tornado birth caught on time-lapse, and a display of undulatus asperatus that blew my mind," said Olbinski. "Wall clouds, massive cores, supercell structures, shelf clouds... it ended up being an amazing season and I'm so incredibly proud of the footage in this film."

Olbinski told me that this actually wasn't the best year for storm chasing. However, he did get out there and enjoy his passion nonetheless. This year, he wanted to do something new so he brought on Composer Peter Nanasi to create a custom music track for the film. "I'm super excited about it and loved the process of exchanging ideas and building the song as the editing of the film progressed," said Olbinski. "I am so thankful to Peter for what he came up with; I'm in love with this track!”

Behind-the-scenes picture of Mike Olbinski capturing time-lapse. Credit: Mike Olbinski

To film "Pursuit," Olbinski used two Canon 5DSRs along with a Canon 11-24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 135mm, Sigma Art 50mm, and Manfrotto tripods. The final product was edited in Lightroom with LR Timelapse, After Effects, and Premiere Pro.

You can find more of Olbinski's work on his website.

Oliver Kmia's picture

Oliver Kmia is specialized in time-lapse, hyperlapse, and aerial videography. He also works with several drone manufacturers as a marketing and technical consultant. He is the lead brand ambassador of Hello Kitty camera, his favorite piece of equipment. Most people think Oliver is an idiot and they are probably right.

Log in or register to post comments

Hi there. I must say despite the impressive ness of the imagery, the film itself is over - dosed. You are giving up on a lot of tension by giving it all away at once, I feel. If the quote at the beginning should hold true for this sequence, the amount of imagery should be at least split in half. Let individual shots stay longer, maybe even reducing the time - lapse rate on some. Try taking all your best shots and then force yourself to diminish even those. Try it - sometimes it works wonders. Keep up and take care.

I think it was great! Some of those scenes are just crazy to watch. At normal speed (in real life) you don't get to appreciate the patterns and the streams the clouds take. I loved it!

I agree, timelapse is the perfect medium to film these things.

This seems to have gone viral but I must admit I find it quite dull.