Storm chaser’s 4K time-lapse video captures majestic power of a monsoon

Daven Mathies
Storm chaser’s 4K time-lapse video captures majestic power of a monsoon
Thirty-six days in the making, with 13,000 miles driven and more than 85,000 photos taken, the storm-chasing 'Monsoon III' is one of the most stunning time-lapse videos you will see this year.

Mike Olbinski is a die-hard storm chaser. You may remember his name from when we reported on one of his previous time-lapse videos, in which he captured several tornadoes in 4K. Now, the Phoenix-based photographer is back with Monsoon III, an expertly crafted time-lapse video that captures the beauty and power of monsoon season.

Olbinski spent 36 days chasing storms across 13,000 miles to get the footage for this film. That may sound like a lot, but it’s a relatively short time frame for him. Last year, he spent 48 days on the chase. But if this was a slow season, you wouldn’t know it by watching the film.

Related: Awesome time-lapse video of San Francisco took 3 years to create

Olbinski credits this to his improved technique, writing in the video’s description that he spent his early years shooting many scenes that lacked energy. Now, he knows what to look for and where to go. Even if the quantity is less, the quality is much higher. It also helped that this season brought in some new subject matter.

“The one thing I was hoping for in 2016 that the previous years have lacked: haboobs,” Olbinski writes. “Dust storms. Rolling walls of dirt and sand engulfing the deserts and even Phoenix itself. And my wish came true in that regard.”

In making the film, Olbinski used a variety of Canon gear, including an EOS 5DSR and two EOS 5D Mark III DSLRs. Lenses he used span the gamut from ultra-wide angle to telephoto, from the 11-24mm to a 135mm prime.

Time-lapse films may be a dime a dozen these days, yet the really good ones continue to captivate us. Olbinski’s work benefits from inherently interesting subject matter, but his shots are also skillfully composed and edited. Any frame could be made into a print and hung on a gallery wall.

For the best experience, we highly recommend watching the video in full screen at the highest resolution available to you. A set of good speakers or a pair of headphones isn’t a bad idea, either.