Time-lapse photographer and storm chaser Mike Olbinski has just released his latest masterpiece. This one, titled “Pursuit,” was born of dedication, frustration, and 28,000 miles of chasing thunderstorms and tornadoes.
“This past spring was a tough one,” Olbinski writes.” Supercell structure and beautiful tornadoes had been very hard to come by. In fact, the tornado in the opening of this film was the only good one I saw this entire year.”
In one particular chase, Olbinski found himself feeling defeated and overwhelmed with failure. Here’s his story:
On June 12th, I broke down into tears. Minutes earlier, I had been outside my truck, leaning against it, head buried in my arms, frustration and failure washing over me. I wanted to quit. I got back in the car and as I drove, the pain got the better of me and the tears came.
I knew right where I wanted to be that day. But this year I struggled with confidence in trusting my instincts. Maybe it was because the lack of good storms this spring made me question my skills, or maybe it was something else inside of me. Whatever the case, I let myself get twisted and unsure, and found myself 80 miles away from where I had wanted to be when the tornadoes started to drop and the best structure of the year materialized in the sky. The photos from Twitter and Facebook started to roll in and I knew I had missed everything.
It may not be easy to understand why, but when you work as hard as I did this spring, a moment like that can break you. I felt like I let my wife down. But mostly I let myself down. I forgot who I was and that’s not me. Or it shouldn’t have been me. I failed myself. And it seemed like the easy choice to just give up and head for home.
But I didn’t. I’m not sure why, but the pain slowly began to subside. I realized it was only 4pm and the storms were still ongoing. Maybe if I could get in front of them the day could be saved. Ninety minutes later, I got out ahead and saw some of the best structure I’d seen all spring and a lightning show that was so incredible it’s one of the very last clips of this film.
And that’s why this film is called “Pursuit.” Because you can’t give up. Keep chasing, keep pursuing. Whatever it is. That’s the only way to get what you want.
Between March 28th and June 29th, Olbinski drove over 28,000 miles across 10 states, shooting over 90,000 photos. Even though tornadoes were hard to come by, he still saw and captured some of the most beautiful storm clouds passing over breathtaking landscapes.
Here are some still photos that went into Pursuit:
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