Capturing Extreme Weather in Photography
Mike Olbinski is a photographer and filmmaker specializing in the raw power of nature. He chases storms across the United States, capturing incredible supercells, tornadoes, dust storms and lightning. His work has won an Emmy and has been featured in work by Marvel (Thor: The Dark World), Discovery, ESPN, Nat Geo, and dozens of others in the industry.
His work has been viewed by millions of people around the world (over 5 million alone on Vimeo) and he has received several honors/ rewards at internationally-acclaimed film festivals. He has perfected the art of storm timelapse in a way no other storm chaser or photographer has done, and is leading the way in high-speed weather animation and film-making. See link: https://vimeo.com/174312494
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[00:00:00.620]Thanks to Ben for that way too nice introduction,
[00:00:04.700]and to Ben and Jeremy, and to Ken
[00:00:06.250]for having me come speak here.
[00:00:07.410]That's just a real big honor to be able
[00:00:11.290]to come all the way from Phoenix
[00:00:12.300]and talk to you guys about severe weather
[00:00:13.660]and get to talk about what I love
[00:00:15.210]more than probably anything except my wife and kids.
[00:00:18.020]I like to start off my talks, always,
[00:00:19.630]with a little confession that my name is Mike,
[00:00:21.390]and I love big haboobs, and I don't know if,
[00:00:24.150]how many of you know that word.
[00:00:25.010]That joke kills in Arizona.
[00:00:27.470]We get a lot of dust storms, but haboob
[00:00:29.110]is another word for dust storm,
[00:00:30.870]and we get a lot of 'em.
[00:00:32.160]I even have a T-shirt that has it on it.
[00:00:36.645]Got a fantasy football team name
[00:00:37.478]called the Haboob Hunters if anyone plays fantasy football.
[00:00:39.640]I know we love football around here.
[00:00:42.460]But it's a fun word to use.
[00:00:46.510]I even like to do selfies in front of them,
[00:00:49.270]and there'll be more of those.
[00:00:51.720]Oh, my slideshow doesn't have the preview
[00:00:53.390]of the next slide on it for some reason.
[00:00:56.290]But I'm from Phoenix, and live there
[00:00:59.320]with my wife and three kids, and they are,
[00:01:03.430]they're the reason I do this.
[00:01:04.330]I wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for my wife,
[00:01:08.050]really, and I'll talk a little bit more about her.
[00:01:10.670]But I'm a wedding photographer, a professional photographer.
[00:01:12.730]I shoot weddings when I'm not chasing,
[00:01:14.210]so about, I don't know, half the year,
[00:01:16.560]three-quarters of the year, I shoot weddings.
[00:01:18.050]If I could ever get a storm like this
[00:01:21.000]with a couple and a rainbow behind 'em,
[00:01:23.697]I mean that's just, that's the wedding I wanna shoot.
[00:01:27.610]It doesn't happen very often, unfortunately,
[00:01:29.540]although probably fortunately for them.
[00:01:32.390]I'm a storm chaser, and when I first got into,
[00:01:36.950]kinda weather photography,
[00:01:38.670]my passion was lightning.
[00:01:39.760]I started with this weird thing
[00:01:42.820]where I'd look on Wunderground every day
[00:01:44.830]at images and just look at photos of lightning.
[00:01:47.100]I couldn't figure out why that was what,
[00:01:50.420]I don't know, drew me to photography in the first place.
[00:01:53.620]I was talking to John Haxby earlier
[00:01:55.930]about memories when you were a kid,
[00:01:57.070]and this other guy that I had heard,
[00:01:59.720]he and his twin brother had, were living in a trailer park
[00:02:02.820]with their parents, that they owned,
[00:02:06.030]and this tornado came through
[00:02:07.410]and destroyed the trailer park,
[00:02:08.990]sucked their mom out the window
[00:02:10.360]and it came back in, and then she was covering them
[00:02:12.520]and holding them down, and they all survived.
[00:02:15.310]Later, when they were in high school and college,
[00:02:17.730]they were fascinated by tornadoes.
[00:02:19.170]All they want to do is chase tornadoes,
[00:02:20.510]which is kinda crazy when you have
[00:02:21.660]that crazy story to start your life off with.
[00:02:25.930]So it reminded me of one of my only earliest memories
[00:02:30.240]of weather that I could think of is,
[00:02:31.900]my dad loved the weather, and we would sit outside
[00:02:33.860]and watch storms, and probably,
[00:02:37.211]I don't know, I was eight years old,
[00:02:38.044]and a lightning bolt, we were watching a storm,
[00:02:39.510]a lightning bolt hit 100 feet behind our house.
[00:02:43.000]As a little kid, it just felt like I couldn't see anything
[00:02:45.170]for 10 seconds, so it was just so bright, so blinding.
[00:02:48.470]It was weird that this was the first thing
[00:02:50.370]that I wanted to take pictures of.
[00:02:53.507]But when I got into weather and was maybe not too long ago,
[00:02:57.480]like eight years ago or so,
[00:02:59.460]I had found a box of photos from high school,
[00:03:01.190]and I found this photo that I took,
[00:03:03.670]God, who knows when that was.
[00:03:04.570]I was actually probably in junior high,
[00:03:06.010]so the late '80s or something.
[00:03:09.050]This is over, this is in Chandler, Arizona.
[00:03:10.870]This looks like a supercell.
[00:03:12.010]I have no idea what I was shooting at the time,
[00:03:13.263]I had no clue about anything, really,
[00:03:15.440]but I knew that I couldn't help
[00:03:17.070]but go outside and take a picture of this storm.
[00:03:19.900]I didn't know anything about photography,
[00:03:21.760]didn't know anything about weather,
[00:03:24.420]but there was something about this storm
[00:03:25.930]that made me go take a picture of it,
[00:03:27.360]I just couldn't help it.
[00:03:30.377]And 2005, before I, just still before
[00:03:32.640]I got into photography, I just had a little digital camera,
[00:03:35.640]and I was, it was getting close to sunset
[00:03:37.330]and I look out the back patio window
[00:03:38.790]and I see the top fringes of this anvil cloud
[00:03:40.840]starting to turn orange.
[00:03:42.650]I just freakin' was like, I gotta go.
[00:03:46.100]We lived really close to desert,
[00:03:47.220]a half mile from the desert.
[00:03:50.412]So I ran down there, had really crappy camera,
[00:03:53.580]and I had to do, I think this was seven vertical shots
[00:03:56.860]to get this whole thing in.
[00:03:58.840]When I came home, I stitched it together,
[00:04:00.390]and had no idea what I was doing.
[00:04:01.440]You could actually tell it was three different shots,
[00:04:03.480]or seven different shots.
[00:04:04.970]Not until many years later I went back and took these,
[00:04:07.557]and photoshopped, and actually did a really good pano-merge.
[00:04:11.060]So now I love the photo.
[00:04:12.220]It was still kind of a thing back in 2005
[00:04:14.870]that I couldn't help but go out
[00:04:17.300]and take a picture of this.
[00:04:20.010]So photography started off with lightning,
[00:04:23.790]and wanting to take pictures of lightning,
[00:04:24.740]but also started off with my little girl.
[00:04:27.530]She's 10 1/2 years old now.
[00:04:28.990]This was when she was around two or three,
[00:04:33.210]and of course, when you're a new dad,
[00:04:34.630]and your first kid, all you wanna do
[00:04:35.670]is take pictures of your kid.
[00:04:37.360]I had another, a different camera,
[00:04:38.570]a newer camera, some old Sony point and shoot,
[00:04:41.600]and it had a macro mode on it,
[00:04:42.433]so I get really close to her baby face
[00:04:45.280]and take pictures of her all the time.
[00:04:47.950]But I was reading about the camera
[00:04:49.307]and it could do three shots a second.
[00:04:51.950]I was so fast, it was lightning.
[00:04:53.020]I'm like, okay if I go outside,
[00:04:54.500]and hold this camera, pointing at a storm,
[00:04:56.983]just hold the button down, just click, click, click.
[00:04:59.040]Maybe I'll get lucky and get something.
[00:05:01.250]So the first two nights sucked.
[00:05:04.555]The third, fourth night I went out,
[00:05:06.290]and I had a storm in front of me.
[00:05:07.510]This camera, it would take the pictures,
[00:05:09.920]but there's be a four or five second delay
[00:05:11.560]to see what would pop up on the back.
[00:05:12.927]You're like, I hope I get something.
[00:05:14.510]So I see this bolt of lightning
[00:05:16.470]streak across the sky.
[00:05:18.700]I'm just looking down my camera like,
[00:05:20.070]oh please, please, please.
[00:05:20.980]It was click, click, and all of a sudden, boom,
[00:05:22.550]it popped up and disappeared.
[00:05:23.383]I was like oh my god, I got it.
[00:05:25.223]I couldn't believe it.
[00:05:26.240]I mean, if you know anything about lightning photography
[00:05:27.630]at night, you really wanna do long exposures,
[00:05:29.130]not fast exposures,
[00:05:30.760]so the fact I even caught this was a miracle.
[00:05:33.360]I was stinking hooked on this.
[00:05:35.020]I sent it to Sarah Walters, a meteorologist
[00:05:37.890]at Channel 12 down in Phoenix.
[00:05:39.470]She put it on TV that night,
[00:05:40.740]and I'm like, this is what I wanna do.
[00:05:42.433]I wanna take more pictures of lightning,
[00:05:45.190]but I came home and told my wife,
[00:05:47.240]I can't do it with this camera.
[00:05:49.420]I need a better camera.
[00:05:50.350]So my wife, bless her heart, she's like,
[00:05:52.310]all right we'll do whatever we can to get you a DSLR.
[00:05:55.400]We sold our entire DVD collection,
[00:05:58.180]boxed sets of TV shows, Battlestar Galactia,
[00:06:00.600]Gilmore Girls, all the stuff we had.
[00:06:02.130]We made $600, $700 on eBay, and bought my first Canon Rebel.
[00:06:07.519]So everything started there.
[00:06:11.767]The other thing at the time I was doing,
[00:06:13.740]was watching a show that you guys might have heard of
[00:06:15.760]called Storm Chasers on Discovery.
[00:06:19.940]When I was watching this I was blown away.
[00:06:21.210]I mean, I had seen Twister, and so I was,
[00:06:23.060]this is a cool movie, but I had no idea that people
[00:06:25.990]chase storms like this.
[00:06:27.113]I just didn't know there was a whole culture out there.
[00:06:30.010]It was amazing, super educational for me,
[00:06:32.850]and made me realize that I didn't have
[00:06:34.970]to just go to the corner.
[00:06:37.030]That lightning bolt I got that I showed you,
[00:06:38.310]it was 500 feet from my house.
[00:06:40.990]I'm like, oh I can actually go out and chase these things,
[00:06:43.230]and get better and better photos.
[00:06:46.029]So this all started with these three things,
[00:06:48.674]this fascination with lightning, photography,
[00:06:51.280]my daughter, and this show pointing me
[00:06:54.360]in the right direction.
[00:06:56.850]As with my daughter being born,
[00:06:58.220]storm chasing started with her,
[00:07:00.190]and me and a camera, and chasing around Arizona.
[00:07:02.853]I think we started chasing around 2009-ish, 2010,
[00:07:07.417]and she was a year and a half.
[00:07:10.637]Taking her with me was really my way
[00:07:13.580]of having an excuse to get out of the house.
[00:07:17.070]I'd tell my wife, you stay home and take a bath,
[00:07:20.220]watch a movie, and I'll take Lyla with me,
[00:07:22.930]and you'll have a nice night off.
[00:07:25.863]I mean it was great though,
[00:07:26.696]'cause the great side effect was that she was with me
[00:07:29.180]chasing all these storms around Arizona.
[00:07:31.500]Since then we adopted a little boy,
[00:07:32.880]and then we had a surprise third.
[00:07:35.070]So now we're just a whole crew
[00:07:36.340]that chases around Arizona together,
[00:07:39.330]which is a blast.
[00:07:40.330]Unfortunately school seems to start early for them now,
[00:07:43.070]which is early August.
[00:07:44.680]So I have about a month in July that they chase with me,
[00:07:48.520]which is super fun.
[00:07:51.140]This is a little short clip of just us chasing together.
[00:07:55.770]I think Asher wasn't here, but the other two were.
[00:07:57.950]We were time lapsing a dust storm coming in
[00:07:59.120]and this gustnado spun up on the edge.
[00:08:23.129]Wow (laughs) wow!
[00:08:31.889]That was awesome.
[00:08:34.480]So they're a hoot.
[00:08:35.313]They're really fun.
[00:08:37.520]I'd never took them out chasing the plains,
[00:08:40.379]but two years ago in late 2017,
[00:08:41.820]I took my two oldest out through a two day chase
[00:08:44.630]in Colorado, and my buddy Mike Mezeul,
[00:08:47.450]if anyone follows him.
[00:08:48.283]He's an amazing photographer,
[00:08:49.530]and he's like, Mike if you're out there,
[00:08:50.770]you better get a picture of you and your kids
[00:08:52.420]in front of a storm with structure.
[00:08:54.410]I was like, thanks for reminding me to do that.
[00:08:55.867]I'm so occupied with the other stuff I do,
[00:08:58.010]so I'm so happy he said that, 'cause we finally
[00:09:00.410]got some structure, and of course,
[00:09:01.640]we're in the middle of the road.
[00:09:03.760]You'll find out I like to shoot a lot of shots
[00:09:05.471]in the middle of the road.
[00:09:06.304]It's kind of a thing, and I love this memory
[00:09:09.411]of us chasing together.
[00:09:12.890]We've chased together all across Arizona,
[00:09:15.080]starting in Arizona.
[00:09:15.913]We've seen so many cool things.
[00:09:16.980]This was a day in 2013 or 2014,
[00:09:21.100]and we got these transition seasons in October
[00:09:22.890]where we get a low pressure comes through
[00:09:24.870]and basically wipes out the monsoon high,
[00:09:26.870]and we get really interesting, severe weather.
[00:09:29.130]This day we had a tornado watch.
[00:09:30.990]There were chasers from out of Arizona
[00:09:32.800]coming to try to hopefully get a tornado in Arizona,
[00:09:35.030]which was pretty crazy.
[00:09:36.080]That just never happens.
[00:09:37.640]So of course this day, what was I doing,
[00:09:38.990]I was shooting a wedding.
[00:09:40.920]That was really frustrating.
[00:09:42.250]I was helping people in the morning
[00:09:44.280]that didn't know Arizona.
[00:09:45.180]Well you can take this road, you can take this road.
[00:09:47.130]But lucky for me, between where the bride was getting ready,
[00:09:49.850]and the venue that was 25 minutes away,
[00:09:52.910]this shelf cloud was rolling across Phoenix
[00:09:54.640]as I was driving to the venue.
[00:09:56.300]So I was able to pull over on the freeway
[00:09:57.770]and do a quick pano.
[00:09:58.860]I was like, well that made my day,
[00:10:00.350]'cause I don't think I even saw a better photo than that
[00:10:02.120]from anyone else that chased.
[00:10:03.130]There was definitely no tornadoes,
[00:10:04.740]and this was probably the best shelf cloud
[00:10:06.390]I've ever seen in Arizona, so that was awesome.
[00:10:09.990]Obviously dust storms.
[00:10:12.360]Getting one at sunset over downtown Phoenix is great.
[00:10:15.810]The colors, it's kind of hard to get the timing
[00:10:18.460]right on that.
[00:10:19.293]This was 2014.
[00:10:20.126]I've never seen one this good over Phoenix
[00:10:22.160]really since then.
[00:10:24.090]This was another good dust storm at night,
[00:10:26.310]and this thing was gnarly.
[00:10:27.170]I had a couple, I think three workshop people with me.
[00:10:30.650]It was our first night.
[00:10:33.330]This is in the dark, so it's like nine o'clock at night,
[00:10:35.440]and the light here from this is Gila Bend,
[00:10:38.380]southwest of Phoenix, and the light here
[00:10:40.070]is lighting this up,
[00:10:40.903]otherwise it was have been so hard to see
[00:10:42.450]and take a photo of.
[00:10:44.410]Watching this thing come out of the dark.
[00:10:46.340]I mean, it just looked like this ominous wand.
[00:10:48.570]I mean, it's a wide angle lens.
[00:10:49.960]Wide angle lenses usually make things smaller looking,
[00:10:52.860]and so in real life, it was just gigantic.
[00:10:54.670]It was insane, and then it hit us,
[00:10:56.920]and we jumped back in the car to try to get in front of it,
[00:10:58.897]just a minute after it hit us.
[00:11:00.600]It took us 10 or 15 minutes just to get back.
[00:11:03.300]It was intense.
[00:11:04.500]They had a 90 mile per hour wind gust
[00:11:06.070]came through this town, which we hardly ever get winds
[00:11:08.640]that high from a dust storm.
[00:11:09.600]It's usually like 50, 60 miles an hour,
[00:11:11.370]so it was a very intense one.
[00:11:13.130]Obviously lightning, I love to shoot lightning.
[00:11:15.390]lightning in Arizona, is probably,
[00:11:17.360]other than I've seen the Florida coast,
[00:11:19.200]and every now and then a good lightning storm
[00:11:20.460]out in the plains, Arizona is one of the best places
[00:11:22.470]to photograph lightning.
[00:11:24.010]When you get these isolated storms at sunset,
[00:11:27.510]it's just stunning with our landscape.
[00:11:31.659]This is the hour right after the sun goes down,
[00:11:35.010]and it's just blue.
[00:11:37.430]You can start doing long exposures,
[00:11:39.400]but it's still light out enough
[00:11:41.070]that you can see what's going on around it,
[00:11:44.420]especially if you jump on a storm like this,
[00:11:45.910]that's like a brand new storm that starts dropping bolts
[00:11:49.060]before the rain gets there.
[00:11:51.570]This is from a workshop, you can see.
[00:11:53.300]I think I'm in the blue and the workshop guy's in the green.
[00:11:55.750]I set up a camera behind us,
[00:11:58.330]and had a lightning trigger on it.
[00:11:59.303]We were just watching this.
[00:12:00.313]This was a little bit close.
[00:12:01.750]I think it was about a mile and a half,
[00:12:04.590]two miles away from us,
[00:12:05.560]so we probably packed it up pretty soon after that,
[00:12:07.320]but beautiful microburst.
[00:12:09.300]That's the kind of stuff you get out in Arizona.
[00:12:12.920]This is a great, I love lightning at night.
[00:12:15.900]I like seeing where lightning hits,
[00:12:17.140]almost more than anything.
[00:12:18.170]You can kind of see on the bottom left here,
[00:12:19.610]there's this rock formation.
[00:12:22.140]I don't know if it was iconic,
[00:12:23.010]but there's a rock formation from between Phoenix,
[00:12:25.612]and when you drive to L.A.
[00:12:26.445]I always look off an I see it,
[00:12:27.654]and it just looks funny.
[00:12:28.487]It's called I think Courthouse Butte, or something.
[00:12:30.950]On this night I actually got a lightning bolt hitting it,
[00:12:32.760]which was kinda cool.
[00:12:34.100]I just love seeing where lightning hits.
[00:12:36.500]Usually if I get a lightning bolt
[00:12:37.640]that hit behind the mountain and I'm in front of it,
[00:12:39.330]I just delete that photo.
[00:12:40.370]I want to see.
[00:12:41.610]Except for the next one, I believe,
[00:12:43.450]is my favorite lightning photo probably,
[00:12:45.190]that I've ever taken.
[00:12:46.850]I didn't hit in front but it was just so amazing.
[00:12:49.420]This was a tough photo for me to get,
[00:12:50.710]because I waited.
[00:12:51.820]Actually had gone to bed that night.
[00:12:54.640]I think it was 10:30.
[00:12:56.870]Of course as a storm chaser does,
[00:12:58.110]I rolled back over to my phone one more time
[00:12:59.930]to check the radar.
[00:13:01.610]I was like, oh no, I'm not going to sleep.
[00:13:04.100]The storm's coming in.
[00:13:06.080]So I got back out of bed, packed up.
[00:13:08.220]It's funny, 'cause I went out to this spot.
[00:13:09.460]I didn't tell anyone I was going,
[00:13:10.293]and I didn't have my spotter dot on
[00:13:12.010]or anything, but as I pull up and start setting up,
[00:13:13.820]my other buddy Nicholas shows up at the exact same spot,
[00:13:16.620]because we both had the same idea.
[00:13:18.150]This mountain range, this is the Superstition Mountains
[00:13:20.040]on the east side of Phoenix.
[00:13:21.550]It's kind of an iconic range,
[00:13:22.740]and so I wanted to get this shot for a long time.
[00:13:27.600]So I was wanting to get it in the middle of the road,
[00:13:30.060]and so it took 90 minutes.
[00:13:31.820]I'm a chaser.
[00:13:32.653]I wanted to go get closer to the storm,
[00:13:33.720]but I had to just sit here and wait for it to come to us,
[00:13:35.730]which was really hard.
[00:13:37.720]Finally, you know I was dodging traffic.
[00:13:40.995]This was at one in the morning,
[00:13:41.828]so there was really no traffic,
[00:13:42.860]but every now and then a car would come,
[00:13:43.910]and I'd have to move over,
[00:13:45.360]and then set back up and make sure
[00:13:46.230]it was exactly in the middle.
[00:13:47.710]So it was a little bit tedious for 90 minutes,
[00:13:49.870]but finally this bolt happened.
[00:13:51.220]I saw it on the back of the camera.
[00:13:54.430]Immediately, I'm like this is the best photo
[00:13:55.860]I've ever taken.
[00:13:56.693]I can't believe this.
[00:13:57.644]There was only two other people there.
[00:13:59.310]It was pretty wild.
[00:14:01.520]The next photo's probably my most interesting photo
[00:14:03.093]that I've ever taking of lightning.
[00:14:05.930]This was in New Mexico, and a very intense storm.
[00:14:10.330]I think it was supercellular for a little bit,
[00:14:12.010]and was kind of dying out, but the lightning
[00:14:13.640]was just really crazy.
[00:14:16.422]There was some of these lightnings I call widow makers,
[00:14:18.370]where they're so intense and they're so quick,
[00:14:20.180]you just feel like I better be in the car
[00:14:22.000]for all of these.
[00:14:22.833]I'm not gonna be outside.
[00:14:23.666]For this one, I set up the camera in front of the car,
[00:14:26.880]jumped back in and let it take pictures.
[00:14:28.400]Then a bolt would hit and I'd jump back out and panic
[00:14:30.300]while the storm was moving across.
[00:14:32.190]So finally I caught this one.
[00:14:33.743]I know you if can see on the bottom right here,
[00:14:36.090]it looks like there's all these dead trees here,
[00:14:37.600]but a zoomed in shot, all these trees are upwards
[00:14:40.430]streaming leaders of lightning coming out of the ground,
[00:14:43.600]which is pretty terrifying.
[00:14:45.060]I posted this photo on Facebook
[00:14:46.510]and literally had no idea what I had.
[00:14:49.820]Someone said, Mike those aren't trees.
[00:14:51.580]I don't know what you know and thought it was,
[00:14:53.267]but that's lightning coming out of the ground.
[00:14:55.850]Not only that, but you see houses here,
[00:14:57.330]so can kinda see some of these look like
[00:14:59.170]they're two to three stories tall,
[00:15:01.060]which is pretty insane.
[00:15:04.050]I know there' been leaders captured before
[00:15:06.440]in photography, but these lightning experts
[00:15:10.080]that helped develop the lightning tracking system
[00:15:13.320]around the world use this photo
[00:15:14.840]at lightning conferences now,
[00:15:15.820]which makes me really proud of it,
[00:15:16.970]even though I did nothing except point my camera that way.
[00:15:18.830]I was very lucky to get this.
[00:15:20.690]But it's kind of rare to get this many.
[00:15:22.064]I think they said there's about 12 different streamers
[00:15:25.080]coming out of the ground,
[00:15:25.913]because they're just faint ones back here in the back,
[00:15:28.310]that you can hardly see.
[00:15:30.260]The cool thing for them we they know right where I was
[00:15:32.820]on the exact spot of the road.
[00:15:35.090]They knew what lens I was using.
[00:15:36.470]They could see on Google Maps where the houses were,
[00:15:38.720]and then they had their own data
[00:15:39.810]where the lightning struck.
[00:15:41.285]So they were able to measure everything precisely,
[00:15:43.600]so they gave them all this data
[00:15:44.840]that they were able to use that for research and stuff.
[00:15:48.900]That was really cool.
[00:15:50.160]But of course, when I started shooting storms in Arizona,
[00:15:55.030]and I was watching storm chasers,
[00:15:56.730]supercells were drawing me there.
[00:15:59.733]I'm like, I can't stay here forever.
[00:16:00.770]I gotta start going out there.
[00:16:01.750]Although I still, of course, shoot both.
[00:16:05.298]I had started chasing the plains, of course,
[00:16:06.660]and that's just amazing stuff out there.
[00:16:09.350]This was in North Dakota a few years ago.
[00:16:10.730]This wasn't even a supercell.
[00:16:11.840]This was just like a day of 6000 cape up in North Dakota,
[00:16:14.670]and this microburst.
[00:16:16.490]They were just coming by over an over
[00:16:18.260]and the lightning got closer and closer.
[00:16:19.703]I had some tour guests with me and this bolt hit
[00:16:22.480]a quarter of a mile away, and when it hit
[00:16:23.750]we had one guy from Australia still out there
[00:16:25.157]who didn't realize we all started hiding in the car.
[00:16:28.190]The bolt hit the ground, and he looks back at us,
[00:16:30.590]and the thunder was so loud.
[00:16:31.710]He had no idea we were hiding,
[00:16:32.740]so we started laughing at him.
[00:16:33.730]This was one of the most intense bolts.
[00:16:35.283]It's so crazy to have a bolt where you actually
[00:16:37.020]almost see the 3D aspect of it where it's coming
[00:16:39.177]out of this cloud and then it gets bigger
[00:16:41.220]as it's coming towards us.
[00:16:42.220]You can actually kinda see the direction it's going.
[00:16:46.250]Supercells, I mean the stuff, the colors out in the plains
[00:16:48.600]is so different than Arizona.
[00:16:49.590]That's why I like chasing both of 'em.
[00:16:50.860]I get two totally different storms to shoot.
[00:16:55.020]The textures and colors of hail and this stuff.
[00:16:59.050]This was a blast of a storm in Colorado
[00:17:00.900]a couple years ago.
[00:17:01.733]It was me and my two kids on this storm
[00:17:02.980]and not a single other storm chaser,
[00:17:03.827]'cause I think it was one in the morning.
[00:17:05.960]We had actually gotten to a hotel,
[00:17:07.600]my kids and I, in Burlington.
[00:17:10.800]They were all in their PJs ready for bed,
[00:17:12.290]and I see these two storms go up,
[00:17:14.049]and they go tornado warned immediately.
[00:17:15.530]The rest of the day before had been kind of a bust.
[00:17:17.580]I'm like, oh my gosh you guys, I can't believe this.
[00:17:20.191]I'm like, what do you wanna do?
[00:17:21.140]My little boy Eli, who was probably four or five,
[00:17:23.020]he's like, let's get lightning daddy.
[00:17:24.690]Okay, so we jump back in the car.
[00:17:26.780]They're in their PJs, we go.
[00:17:28.806]I mean they're asleep within an hour.
[00:17:32.140]I had to wake them up at one point.
[00:17:33.410]I'm like, guys look at this.
[00:17:34.530]This is insane at night.
[00:17:36.310]We're the only ones out here seeing this flying saucer
[00:17:38.330]in the sky.
[00:17:39.680]I don't think they even remember it
[00:17:40.970]but I was happy that they told me to go.
[00:17:44.190]Another Colorado storm, and this was one of my favorites.
[00:17:48.020]I don't remember if I planned it or not,
[00:17:49.220]but you can see right through the front door
[00:17:50.850]out the back window.
[00:17:52.500]I don't remember if I had moved around to line it up,
[00:17:54.190]or if I just got incredibly lucky,
[00:17:55.610]but I actually screeched to halt on a dirt road,
[00:17:58.200]and turned around to go get the shot.
[00:17:59.400]It was really cool.
[00:18:02.210]This was around Hoisington, Kansas last year.
[00:18:03.930]Just a great storm that went on to produce
[00:18:05.690]the Tescott tornado, and so this was early on.
[00:18:08.610]The structure was cool, and this one lightning bolt
[00:18:10.330]was very, very intense.
[00:18:13.391]In all of that, I don't know if anyone can guess
[00:18:14.390]where this might be,
[00:18:15.223]but this was east of Arthur in the sandhills last year.
[00:18:19.400]Just we had a really good chase.
[00:18:20.740]I don't know if I have other stuff in there,
[00:18:22.530]but really amazing chase.
[00:18:25.840]We raced north of Ogallala.
[00:18:27.143]I got across the dam and as the storm was coming.
[00:18:28.890]Then we chased it east of Arthur and it was just incredible.
[00:18:32.930]I think I might have jumped a barbwire fence
[00:18:34.810]to get onto a hilltop here
[00:18:36.150]so I didn't have to be in the road.
[00:18:37.280]Sandhills are kind hard to find road networks
[00:18:40.720]to chase on so sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
[00:18:44.580]Tornadoes, of course, I haven't seen as many
[00:18:46.370]as a lot, because I started, probably...
[00:18:47.950]I didn't see my first tornado to probably 2014, 2015,
[00:18:52.362]but I'm seeing more and more,
[00:18:54.000]and it's been really exciting to finally see these happen.
[00:18:57.410]This was McLean a couple years ago, Texas.
[00:19:01.050]This was Oklahoma after a wedge had just happened,
[00:19:04.830]and another one.
[00:19:08.494]This was east of Trinidad in Colorado,
[00:19:10.290]southern border of Colorado,
[00:19:11.320]and it was one of my only times I've been on a storm,
[00:19:13.650]where there's only been four other chasers
[00:19:15.530]and seen a tornado.
[00:19:17.000]Everybody else was east of Denver,
[00:19:18.420]so a few of us were pretty excited to watch this happen.
[00:19:21.540]This was kinda where it started roping out,
[00:19:23.280]but it was really great to be out here for this.
[00:19:26.927]This was the Tescott tornado last year.
[00:19:29.650]This was wonderful 'cause I had two tour guests with me.
[00:19:33.320]It was our day one, and one of them
[00:19:35.850]had just flown in form Kuwait the night before,
[00:19:38.400]basically was on lack of sleep and jet lag.
[00:19:41.140]This was the first thing we really saw
[00:19:42.570]the next day after some other structure.
[00:19:44.850]The cool thing about this,
[00:19:45.683]there's a little suction board to see,
[00:19:48.380]something here on the backside of this tornado
[00:19:50.020]which briefly happened.
[00:19:52.110]I think someone else has a shot of it
[00:19:53.390]from a video close behind it
[00:19:55.980]when they were...
[00:19:58.655]Then I tried to incorporate my tour guests
[00:20:00.790]and people in it as you saw,
[00:20:02.029]this was another middle of the road shot,
[00:20:03.800]but this was south of Arthur in Nebraska
[00:20:07.370]last year, that same storm I was talking about
[00:20:09.430]in the sandhills.
[00:20:10.327]I'd never seen anything like this.
[00:20:11.720]It just looked like a hail core microburst
[00:20:14.270]coming out of a supercell.
[00:20:15.173]I have no other way to describe it.
[00:20:17.640]Very unfortunate that I couldn't time-lapse it from here,
[00:20:19.193]because it was so fast,
[00:20:20.650]and the rain was gonna hit me.
[00:20:21.530]Literally had no time,
[00:20:23.030]but I would have loved to have gotten that on time-lapse.
[00:20:25.370]It was very depressing.
[00:20:28.430]Another shot from last year, also Nebraska.
[00:20:30.970]From some linear, some day when all the storms
[00:20:32.900]went up at once and it wasn't as exciting,
[00:20:34.700]but we did get a tornado a little bit after this.
[00:20:39.184]So when I got into storm chasing
[00:20:41.700]it was really just photography at the beginning,
[00:20:43.540]but then 2011, for whatever reason,
[00:20:45.510]I wanted to try something different.
[00:20:47.420]I'm like, I wanna do time-lapse,
[00:20:48.697]and I don't remember why, but I probably saw some stuff
[00:20:51.360]where clouds were billowing,
[00:20:53.050]and I just thought it was amazing
[00:20:54.070]to see stuff sped up.
[00:20:56.532]You know we get the dust storms out there,
[00:20:57.390]so I wanted to see what a dust storm might look like
[00:21:00.700]on time-lapse, because I'd seen news reports,
[00:21:04.220]and helicopters shooting it,
[00:21:05.053]but never a set shot.
[00:21:08.120]Actually right here was my firs time-lapse ever,
[00:21:11.630]and I won't show it to you, because it's horrible.
[00:21:15.200]I'm moving, changing the shutter speed.
[00:21:16.730]It's just really really bad.
[00:21:18.280]I think I've shown it to one or two people.
[00:21:20.570]It's too bad.
[00:21:21.403]I didn't know what I was doing,
[00:21:22.236]because it was a beautiful scene.
[00:21:23.069]There's a little ball of dust here on the bottom,
[00:21:24.760]and the sunset's cool.
[00:21:26.770]But at least gave me one practice shot
[00:21:29.810]for the next day, July 5th.
[00:21:31.500]The next day I wasn't gonna chase.
[00:21:33.260]I was gonna do a practice time-lapse in the back yard
[00:21:35.480]with clouds going by so I was doing that.
[00:21:37.070]So that was my second ever time-lapse, doing a practice.
[00:21:39.650]Then I got a text from a friend
[00:21:41.340]saying, Mike there's quite a nice dust storm
[00:21:44.160]coming in from southeast of Phoenix.
[00:21:45.957]I'm like, okay that means it's gonna roll
[00:21:47.670]right across downtown, and I've always wanted to get a shot
[00:21:50.340]of a dust storm dwarfing the city,
[00:21:53.680]'cause people don't really understand how big they can be,
[00:21:56.160]and what they do.
[00:21:58.150]So I had found a parking garage not too long ago.
[00:22:00.510]We had just moved downtown.
[00:22:01.640]I found a parking garage not too long ago
[00:22:02.783]with this view of downtown Phoenix.
[00:22:05.740]I'm setting up my shot, and literally my jaw dropped
[00:22:09.520]almost this entire time.
[00:22:10.590]So here's a time-lapse that I shot that night.
[00:22:19.130]My third ever time-lapse of course I'm moving it and stuff,
[00:22:20.567]but no one cared about that,
[00:22:21.780]because when I posted this online,
[00:22:23.760]I called it A Massive Haboob Hits Phoenix,
[00:22:27.047]and it went nuts really quick.
[00:22:28.530]I thought at the time, I'm sitting here shooting this thing,
[00:22:31.380]and first off I had one camera and one wide angle.
[00:22:34.230]I'm like, why don't I have more cameras right now.
[00:22:37.160]Who knows what phone I had in 2011, but it was not good,
[00:22:40.201]so I had really crappy video of it,
[00:22:42.641]and that's all I had.
[00:22:44.560]The one thought on my mind was like,
[00:22:45.610]I put this time-lapse together and posted it.
[00:22:47.160]Maybe this will be the one thing
[00:22:48.670]that will get me on the weather channel, finally.
[00:22:50.810]Just one thing.
[00:22:52.796]So I had posted it online, and I think within a hour,
[00:22:56.320]it was all over the place.
[00:22:57.530]I had friends calling me, Mike I just saw your video
[00:22:59.750]on the news in Seattle.
[00:23:01.440]I had a friend who was in downtown Tempe, near Phoenix,
[00:23:03.880]saying Mike, there's people at the restaurant here
[00:23:05.910]watching your video on their phone sitting next to me.
[00:23:08.665]I'm like, this is so weird.
[00:23:10.440]I didn't go to bed until one or two in the morning,
[00:23:11.790]because everything was crazy.
[00:23:12.623]By five I was woken up from calls from CNN,
[00:23:15.100]the Weather Channel.
[00:23:15.933]I did live stuff on the Weather Channel,
[00:23:17.220]Today Show, NBC Nightly News had it,
[00:23:20.000]and then I had a teacher from the Philippines email me
[00:23:24.170]asking if she could show it in her classroom.
[00:23:26.410]I as like, yeah you can show it in your classroom,
[00:23:29.173]I just couldn't believe how far it went
[00:23:30.430]in a span of two days.
[00:23:32.500]So when I posted it I called it,
[00:23:33.560]Massive Haboob Hits Phoenix.
[00:23:35.730]The reason I used that word was that I had seen photos
[00:23:38.670]from the Middle East of just monster dust storms.
[00:23:41.090]If I had ever seen anything like the Middle East
[00:23:44.110]in Arizona, this was it.
[00:23:45.130]So I called it that, and the video went viral,
[00:23:48.205]and then that word got a little bit mainstreamed after that.
[00:23:50.747]There was all kinds of controversy.
[00:23:52.540]People hate that word for whatever reason,
[00:23:54.204]so I like to use it and just kinda rub it in people's faces.
[00:23:59.660]What is storm chasing?
[00:24:00.493]I usually like to take a little break here
[00:24:02.050]and talk about what is storm chasing?
[00:24:04.260]A quote I found,
[00:24:06.367]"Storm chasing is a soul-sucking addiction
[00:24:08.877]"that will leave you in such a euphoric state,
[00:24:10.887]"you can hardly contain yourself or,
[00:24:12.407]"so depressed, you're ready to call it quits
[00:24:14.487]"at any moment."
[00:24:15.320]That's my quote.
[00:24:16.470]That's how I was feeling one day.
[00:24:18.420]Storm chasing is such a high and low thing,
[00:24:20.330]I've been talking about it
[00:24:21.280]with a couple chasers this weekend.
[00:24:23.390]Here we are.
[00:24:24.800]This was one of my first tornadoes I saw,
[00:24:28.027]and I had my friend Andy, who was helping forecast,
[00:24:31.120]and this practice trial run tour gets with me,
[00:24:33.470]Pat, who was a friend.
[00:24:35.210]We had busted on this Canadian day.
[00:24:36.730]The day before we were sitting in the rain forever,
[00:24:38.270]then we drove away together,
[00:24:39.510]and of course a wedge tornado dropped right where
[00:24:41.190]we were so we missed it.
[00:24:42.360]So this day we were driving in Texas,
[00:24:44.580]and we were looking over in New Mexico,
[00:24:45.510]and I see this little thing drop down.
[00:24:47.093]I go oh my gosh you guys there's a tornado right there.
[00:24:49.280]This is crazy.
[00:24:50.113]We pull over, screech to halt.
[00:24:51.200]I mean this is a really zoomed in shot.
[00:24:52.640]This tornado was like 35 miles away,
[00:24:54.860]but we were just so happy.
[00:24:56.230]We finally saw this tornado.
[00:24:57.560]We got photos of it.
[00:24:58.410]My tour guests got good photos of it,
[00:25:00.230]so we were happy.
[00:25:01.240]We get it, we're starting to chase,
[00:25:02.170]to get closer to the storm.
[00:25:03.610]I think within 20, 30 minutes,
[00:25:04.900]we see my buddy Christian's photo of it
[00:25:07.400]from right underneath it.
[00:25:08.680]We're just like, you freakin' kidding me?
[00:25:10.510]I was like if I was to take my camera
[00:25:11.407]and just throw it out the window.
[00:25:12.830]You know, I'm done with this.
[00:25:14.870]This was something like if I was there,
[00:25:16.330]I couldn't even believe the photos
[00:25:17.660]and the time-lapse I could have gotten.
[00:25:19.600]So these are the highs and lows.
[00:25:21.160]You're so excited and then you go.
[00:25:23.640]Of course that's the problem mostly with social media.
[00:25:26.870]Zack, as you really during storm season,
[00:25:28.701]if I could turn off social media,
[00:25:31.610]and not see what other people were doing at the time
[00:25:33.460]I was doing stuff, the I'd probably be a lot less depressed.
[00:25:39.371]When I first started chasing supercells.
[00:25:42.460]I think I started in 2009 or 2010,
[00:25:44.580]and I had three years I went out.
[00:25:46.160]I was just going out for a day or two,
[00:25:48.070]and I never saw anything really,
[00:25:49.770]except I think I saw one wall cloud.
[00:25:52.080]I saw showers and I got caught behind a couple
[00:25:55.260]of tornado warning storms
[00:25:56.253]that I ran out of the way of at night.
[00:25:57.830]It was just nothing great, so in 2013,
[00:26:01.370]June 3rd, my buddy Andy and I flew out,
[00:26:03.560]just kinda through a dart at a calendar.
[00:26:05.260]Oh these three days look good.
[00:26:06.770]We went out and we landed in Denver, drove all the way
[00:26:10.060]to Southeastern Colorado, and started chasing storms.
[00:26:14.512]I was used to how storms moved to the northeast.
[00:26:16.740]So of course this day they were moving southeast,
[00:26:18.700]and I didn't really pick up on that at first,
[00:26:20.820]so I kept taking us east.
[00:26:23.030]So we were stuck in the hail,
[00:26:24.410]and then I was too much in a hurry to stop for gas,
[00:26:26.130]so we almost ran out of gas.
[00:26:27.910]Finally around this area,
[00:26:29.470]we found a gas station, a tiny gas station.
[00:26:31.340]I think we had five miles left in the tank.
[00:26:33.230]A tiny gas station, pouring rain, hail,
[00:26:35.520]filled up and I'm like, we've got to go south.
[00:26:38.010]We've gotta get out of the rain.
[00:26:38.900]We gotta get to the side of the storm
[00:26:40.380]where we're gonna see something.
[00:26:41.480]So we raced out of Kansas, across Oklahoma,
[00:26:44.270]got into Texas.
[00:26:46.170]As we're driving, we finally gather and we look over
[00:26:49.207]and I see the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen
[00:26:51.240]in my life.
[00:26:52.420]I set up my cameras, so this is the supercell
[00:26:54.870]we chase, and this is shot in two or three different spots.
[00:27:52.598]There's a couple of chasers down over here, their cars.
[00:28:01.900]The first shot we had to pull off the road,
[00:28:03.970]and this was kinda hilly,
[00:28:05.340]so we found the top of a little hill to shoot.
[00:28:08.390]I remember getting my stuff.
[00:28:09.270]I was just literally shaking
[00:28:10.620]with adrenalin and excitement,
[00:28:12.020]that I finally saw a supercell.
[00:28:13.750]I'm setting up my camera.
[00:28:14.583]I'm like, please get the focus right.
[00:28:16.210]Please get the angle right.
[00:28:17.050]Make sure everything's locked off,
[00:28:18.442]the tripod's good.
[00:28:19.770]I started it, and I took a picture with my phone.
[00:28:21.650]I posted it on Facebook, and said something like,
[00:28:23.700]we did it, like we just landed on the moon, or something.
[00:28:26.620]It was very exciting for us.
[00:28:27.930]I hugged my buddy Andy.
[00:28:28.810]I think I had tears in my eyes,
[00:28:30.969]and it was the most incredible thing I'd ever seen.
[00:28:34.550]It took four years to finally see a supercell,
[00:28:36.650]and not only did we see a supercell,
[00:28:38.247]but it was probably one of the best of the year.
[00:28:42.800]Still to me, to this day,
[00:28:44.010]I don't know if I've ever seen anything as good.
[00:28:45.057]I've seen a lot of good storms,
[00:28:46.726]but this was, with the cornfield, and the orange,
[00:28:49.580]it was so apocalyptic, it was just incredible.
[00:28:54.270]So from this though, after the dust storm time-lapse,
[00:28:58.450]which I don't think I talked about.
[00:29:00.400]What that led to was licensing opportunities
[00:29:03.530]I didn't even know existed.
[00:29:04.940]When I shot that dust storm, and it went viral,
[00:29:07.610]I had people asking for it.
[00:29:10.600]I had an air conditioning company in Arizona say,
[00:29:12.400]hey we wanna use your time-lapse to make a commercial about,
[00:29:14.540]hey if your air conditioning gets dusty,
[00:29:15.850]call us, we'll fix it.
[00:29:18.810]National Geographic called.
[00:29:20.310]Al Gore and his people called,
[00:29:22.070]and they licensed it for his climate change talks.
[00:29:23.930]He did talks where he had it behind him onstage,
[00:29:25.990]to talk about to talk about drought,
[00:29:27.030]and all that stuff.
[00:29:28.699]So that was something at the time
[00:29:30.380]I had never thought about.
[00:29:32.010]I took photos and I was time-lapsing for fun.
[00:29:34.240]I'm like, wow people are paying me for this,
[00:29:36.390]and I would do this for free.
[00:29:39.180]So it put me on a path to keep time-lapsing,
[00:29:41.950]and I started just shooting time-lapse
[00:29:43.700]of anything I was on.
[00:29:44.610]So this trip here with this supercell,
[00:29:47.000]was to just go out three days
[00:29:48.490]and get whatever footage I could get.
[00:29:50.800]So I put this time-lapse together,
[00:29:53.290]into that film that you just watched
[00:29:55.160]and posted on Vimeo.
[00:29:57.210]I think the first day it did just fine.
[00:29:58.780]I was like, well I kinda like it, but whatever,
[00:30:01.160]if not everyone likes it.
[00:30:03.040]Then that night this blog called Colossal picked it up,
[00:30:05.980]and then it was just all over the place
[00:30:07.530]within the next day or two again.
[00:30:09.100]I never thought I would ever have a video
[00:30:11.410]do well like that,
[00:30:13.230]but it ended up being the number one video on Vimeo
[00:30:16.180]in 2013, with like two million plays
[00:30:18.293]it was just all over the place,
[00:30:20.030]and then more licensing requests came in for this.
[00:30:23.123]I had licensed other stuff since the dust storm too,
[00:30:25.140]so this just confirmed for me
[00:30:27.736]I love doing this so much.
[00:30:29.860]I would just time-lapse for free.
[00:30:31.450]I would go out and do it on my own dime,
[00:30:33.820]but then the fact that some of the stuff
[00:30:35.170]I can sell to people to use.
[00:30:36.930]The coolest thing I got out of this.
[00:30:38.090]It's been licensed for lots of stuff,
[00:30:39.740]but I got an email from Marvel Studios
[00:30:41.820]saying they wanna license it
[00:30:42.940]for the second Thor movie.
[00:30:44.140]I had no idea what they were gonna do.
[00:30:45.500]I'm like, okay it's probably gonna be a little TV
[00:30:47.740]in the window of a store.
[00:30:49.110]There's gonna be a storm on there.
[00:30:50.770]That's great, but I had no idea they were even gonna use it
[00:30:54.230]until some friends that lived in London,
[00:30:56.550]said, Mike, why is your name in the credits of Thor Two?
[00:30:59.285]I'm like, oh my god they used it.
[00:31:02.116]This might be hard to see on the top screen
[00:31:03.140]but if you look on these.
[00:31:04.010]This is the scene in the movie.
[00:31:13.180]The top half of this whole scene in my time-lapse.
[00:31:16.670]We got Thor and Natalie Portman down here
[00:31:18.560]on the bottom.
[00:31:20.010]This was literally the coolest thing
[00:31:21.280]that's probably ever happened to me.
[00:31:28.416]I think I took eight buddies to watch that,
[00:31:29.249]and we had no idea where it was gonna be.
[00:31:31.020]It was opening night.
[00:31:32.685]We started watching it, and we finally like,
[00:31:33.910]oh my gosh, I think that's it.
[00:31:35.210]That's it, that's it, and we were all just looking around.
[00:31:37.030]Then we waited for my name in the credits.
[00:31:38.700]You know for Marvel movies, anyone who goes to see them,
[00:31:40.780]you gotta wait to the end of the credits
[00:31:42.020]for the bonus scene.
[00:31:43.390]So we were waiting, and waiting, and we saw my name,
[00:31:45.040]and we all cheered.
[00:31:45.880]Everybody was like looking at us like,
[00:31:47.090]what did we just miss?
[00:31:47.930]Did we miss some Easter egg?
[00:31:49.550]But we didn't tell anybody anything.
[00:31:50.760]We were just excited.
[00:31:51.960]So time-lapse is just such a fun thing
[00:31:53.513]this is just another.
[00:31:55.300]I show a couple, two video time-lapses I like.
[00:31:57.870]It's such fun way to shoot storms.
[00:32:00.410]This dust storm is coming in the distance you kind of
[00:32:02.970]have no idea, it's right here too,
[00:32:04.100]and it just takes over the whole screen right up front.
[00:32:06.960]I rarely shoot them from the side.
[00:32:08.550]I'm usually shooting them from the front
[00:32:09.790]so I can keep chasing them, but on this day I had no choice.
[00:32:14.200]This night was a cool night.
[00:32:15.120]All three of my kids with me.
[00:32:16.060]I think my littlest one was probably eight, nine month old.
[00:32:20.360]My daughter was feeding him a bottle and we pull over here
[00:32:22.260]to shoot the storm.
[00:32:23.870]I look up, oh my god that's the Milky Way.
[00:32:25.660]I had no idea, so we were shooting this
[00:32:27.440]with the storm moving by, and the Milky Way there.
[00:32:29.740]The storm never obscured the Milky Way.
[00:32:32.860]We were there for an hour shooting this,
[00:32:33.693]and it was wonderful.
[00:32:36.610]The skies of Arizona are so clear,
[00:32:38.470]especially down in the southern parts,
[00:32:40.922]and also around Sedona, and stuff.
[00:32:44.794]I love shooting time-lapse so much.
[00:32:48.832]I have a little, kind of thing of what it takes,
[00:32:50.704]the highs and lows, and what it would take
[00:32:54.890]to get a shot you really want for a time-lapse.
[00:32:57.950]This is in 2016.
[00:33:00.115]I think 2014, 2015, I was getting all my time-lapse clips
[00:33:02.860]that I would shoot in a season
[00:33:04.590]and then put them in a short little film
[00:33:06.720]with music, calling it like Monsoon Two, Monsoon Three,
[00:33:10.985]or The Chase, Pursuit, all these little films.
[00:33:13.780]So in 2016 my goal was I gotta get a tornado
[00:33:17.023]I haven't gotten on before.
[00:33:18.758]I need a tornado.
[00:33:20.150]It's gotta be my end scene.
[00:33:23.040]So for me, I'd never gotten one,
[00:33:24.080]so that was my whole mission.
[00:33:29.258]It was the day before Mother's Day,
[00:33:30.091]I'd shot a wedding, I was shooting a wedding,
[00:33:31.767]but that morning I told my wife,
[00:33:34.030]it looks really good in Oklahoma.
[00:33:35.510]I hate to be gone for Mother's Day,
[00:33:36.343]but you know I'm trying so hard to get this.
[00:33:37.890]She was like, you gotta go.
[00:33:39.010]If it looks good you need to do it.
[00:33:40.610]I literally shot this wedding all day.
[00:33:42.250]Went to the parking lot of the wedding,
[00:33:43.390]changed, and then just drove all the way to Oklahoma,
[00:33:46.090]leaving at like nine, 9:30,
[00:33:47.240]drove all the way to Oklahoma.
[00:33:49.010]So Mother's Day 2016 I saw the best sunset ever
[00:33:52.330]with friends, as the joke goes,
[00:33:54.470]and it was a complete bust.
[00:33:56.290]No real good storms, nothing,
[00:33:57.560]this was the best scene of the day was the sunset.
[00:34:00.530]I just could not believe it.
[00:34:01.510]I had left my wife the day before Mother's Day,
[00:34:03.480]and missed Mother's Day to watch the sunset
[00:34:05.010]with two buddies that I could care less
[00:34:07.340]if I was hanging out with them on this day.
[00:34:09.966]I was so bummed.
[00:34:10.799]I'm like, I'm going home.
[00:34:11.870]Who cares about the next day.
[00:34:12.810]I'm just gonna drive home.
[00:34:14.290]The next day, wherever I was.
[00:34:16.700]I can't remember where we were but I drove two hours west
[00:34:18.870]to Altus on May 9th.
[00:34:22.100]I got to Altus and these airplanes were doing
[00:34:23.940]almost these touch and goes.
[00:34:24.930]It kinda fascinated me for a minute,
[00:34:26.760]but also gave me a distraction to stop driving,
[00:34:29.370]and figure out am I really going home,
[00:34:30.850]or am I gonna chase?
[00:34:32.020]I can't decide.
[00:34:33.840]Eventually I called my wife.
[00:34:35.680]As always she's like,
[00:34:36.730]if it looks good, you gotta do what you gotta do.
[00:34:38.933]I get it.
[00:34:41.105]So I'm like, okay.
[00:34:42.710]I kinda got over myself and being a bum,
[00:34:44.490]and I turned back around and got to the storm,
[00:34:48.690]right where I thought it was gonna be,
[00:34:49.523]and it went up right when I pulled up.
[00:34:51.743]I kinda got in front of this stuck in the rain.
[00:34:53.660]It was looking pretty good,
[00:34:55.250]but I was doing some funky things.
[00:34:56.370]I'm like, I'm in the rain.
[00:34:57.203]I cannot time-lapse in the rain.
[00:34:58.450]I don't want water drops on my lens,
[00:35:00.160]so I decided to reposition.
[00:35:01.480]This is a video of me repositioning.
[00:35:03.530]There's some leafs in here.
[00:35:14.047]Oh my god.
[00:35:18.277](bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep)
[00:35:23.823]I literally was driving.
[00:35:24.690]I was like what are these people looking at?
[00:35:25.991]I look back comb tornado on the ground.
[00:35:26.970]Of course, I did it again, Canadian last year,
[00:35:29.290]drove away, here I do it again.
[00:35:31.290]In hindsight it was a blessing
[00:35:32.430]that I left when I did,
[00:35:33.880]because I can't shoot what I wanna shoot in the rain.
[00:35:36.210]I had already gotten a headstart
[00:35:38.290]repositioning while it was raining so that was good,
[00:35:40.890]while it was coming down.
[00:35:44.228]This is a funny video of me getting to the next exit,
[00:35:46.550]turning down this road,
[00:35:47.700]and seeing probably one of the most incredible things
[00:35:49.390]I've ever seen.
[00:35:59.130]As you know I like middle of the road shots.
[00:36:00.840]I couldn't believe I got at tornado
[00:36:02.300]down the middle of this road.
[00:36:05.210]This is a zoomed in shot,
[00:36:06.310]and then around a minute later
[00:36:07.810]this was a wide angle shot of it.
[00:36:11.520]At the same time, it's like a weird thing
[00:36:12.910]to be totally gleeful and excited for something
[00:36:15.090]that might be damaging people's houses and all that stuff.
[00:36:17.300]That's kind of like storm chasing sometimes.
[00:36:19.120]You get excited to see something so amazing,
[00:36:21.870]but you know it's so devastating too.
[00:36:25.040]But I got these great photos.
[00:36:26.220]I'm sitting here going okay,
[00:36:27.270]I can get my time-lapse of the storm,
[00:36:29.150]but guess what I can't do it here.
[00:36:31.540]There's power lines, there's houses,
[00:36:33.090]this tornado is literally basically coming right at me.
[00:36:36.140]I didn't want to sit there and wait until
[00:36:37.150]to the last minute to leave
[00:36:39.250]when it's coming towards me.
[00:36:40.220]I need to find something
[00:36:41.180]to kinda shoot it going by.
[00:36:43.120]I didn't wanna run in the field off here to the right,
[00:36:45.280]because I would probably have to run a hundred feet
[00:36:47.300]in the field to get a clear view,
[00:36:48.410]and then I'm a hundred feet away from my car
[00:36:49.660]if something happens.
[00:36:51.439]So the hardest thing for me was to leave this tornado
[00:36:54.250]to try to find a better spot.
[00:36:56.330]That's the kinda thing when I do these time-lapses
[00:36:58.670]is that I am super critical about
[00:37:02.310]where I find places to shoot.
[00:37:04.470]It's gotta be a high area.
[00:37:06.080]It's gotta be a good view.
[00:37:07.280]It's gotta look nice,
[00:37:08.113]no cars, no other chasers in my view,
[00:37:09.920]and stuff like that.
[00:37:11.380]The hardest thing I ever had to do,
[00:37:12.560]knowing that I was there to get a tornado time-lapse
[00:37:14.530]and after seeing that big tornado to drive away from this.
[00:37:17.110]I drove back to the freeway, went south,
[00:37:19.070]and after a mile or so,
[00:37:21.120]I saw this little high embankment next to the freeway,
[00:37:23.480]pulled over and ran up to the top with one tripod
[00:37:26.640]and my phone, and had this view of the tornado.
[00:37:30.030]I was like I still hate those trees but this is all I got.
[00:37:33.430]So this was the time-lapse.
[00:37:35.940]Actually this was the time-lapse at the end of the film
[00:37:37.970]I put out that year called Vorticity,
[00:37:39.780]which you can watch on Vimeo or YouTube if you want,
[00:37:41.730]but this was the final scene,
[00:37:42.980]so I got my clip.
[00:37:45.001](dramatic orchestral music)
[00:38:02.610]So that tornado lasted I think 20 minutes,
[00:38:05.200]maybe 20 minutes and I had those first photos about
[00:38:08.500]I think five to 10 minutes into it,
[00:38:10.990]and then I got around the last six minutes of it.
[00:38:15.790]I wanted that time-lapse so bad,
[00:38:16.930]and I literally caught just the tail end of it,
[00:38:18.587]and it was awesome, it was perfect.
[00:38:21.810]I mean anyone's seen a tornado,
[00:38:23.040]they just go up at any time,
[00:38:24.990]I mean, I could have nothing.
[00:38:26.830]It was really stressful.
[00:38:27.970]I texted my wife after I got it.
[00:38:29.608]I'm like, I did it, I got it.
[00:38:30.880]She was like, I'm so proud of you.
[00:38:32.140]Once again tears.
[00:38:33.510]That was while I was live streaming.
[00:38:34.870]I used to live stream back in the day,
[00:38:35.980]so I'm kind of crying,
[00:38:37.630]and people in the room are like, is Mike okay?
[00:38:40.468]I'm like, I'm fine, sorry.
[00:38:43.348]It was a major moment for me to get that,
[00:38:47.556]and have the ending of my film.
[00:38:50.360]That was May 9th, so I think I went on to get
[00:38:52.340]three, or four, or five more tornadoes that year.
[00:38:55.340]It was pretty cool.
[00:38:57.210]The last thing I wanna talk about
[00:38:58.790]was just going over a day in the life.
[00:39:01.640]This was a great day.
[00:39:03.110]On July 9th of last year, chasing in Arizona,
[00:39:06.585]and what it took to get all this footage on this day,
[00:39:08.810]and then put a film together based off it,
[00:39:10.820]'cause it was a pretty great day,
[00:39:11.980]to get enough footage to do a short film
[00:39:13.480]from a single chase.
[00:39:14.553]It's pretty remarkable.
[00:39:20.180]A couple days before the models were all showing storms.
[00:39:25.496]You probably don't know this map very well from here,
[00:39:26.850]but this area is Phoenix,
[00:39:28.919]and this is Interstate 8 coming out here.
[00:39:30.520]So Phoenix, Interstate 8, and all the models
[00:39:33.580]consistently were showing storms
[00:39:35.160]coming off this area up here, which is the Mogollon Rim.
[00:39:37.660]Then out here and blasting west, southwest,
[00:39:40.280]across Phoenix and down I8,
[00:39:42.520]which a few years ago in the past
[00:39:46.130]I had learned of this kind of pattern,
[00:39:48.420]and not only that,
[00:39:49.580]I knew this before, but I was out there finally
[00:39:51.680]on I8 one time, and realized
[00:39:53.980]these things kick up really good dust storms.
[00:39:55.960]That nighttime one I showed us was this pattern
[00:39:58.650]a couple years before this.
[00:40:00.270]I don't think most people even knew that happened,
[00:40:01.970]unless you happen to be on I8,
[00:40:03.100]and it's usually an empty freeway.
[00:40:05.570]All the models are lining up here.
[00:40:06.993]There was another one showing everything
[00:40:08.010]going through Phoenix, and kinda blasting down here.
[00:40:10.000]This one had some really good storms
[00:40:13.440]going through Phoenix.
[00:40:16.350]I had been in the day before,
[00:40:18.640]me and my two eldest kids went to visit my wife
[00:40:21.070]and out littlest in California.
[00:40:23.090]He was doing some feeding therapy
[00:40:24.250]at the Children's Hospital out there,
[00:40:26.280]and so we knew the models looked good.
[00:40:28.150]So we left early-ish, and we went and stayed at Blythe.
[00:40:31.780]We woke up in Blythe on this day on July 9th,
[00:40:34.790]and drove all the way to Phoenix,
[00:40:36.660]and got the camera gear.
[00:40:37.990]We knew that the storms coming off the rim
[00:40:40.320]would probably wait 'til a little later,
[00:40:41.590]but there'd be earlier storms down here by Tucson.
[00:40:43.470]We drove all the way to Phoenix, all the way down to Tucson,
[00:40:46.010]and started down here.
[00:40:47.300]We got on a great little storm over this mountain.
[00:40:49.380]If anyone knows vertically integrated liquid,
[00:40:51.080]that a hail core, especially for Arizona.
[00:40:54.261]This was the shot of it in real life.
[00:40:57.670]I don't know if anyone knows Kitt Peak,
[00:40:58.730]but this was Kitt Peak Observatory here,
[00:41:00.540]so it was just dropping crazy hail at that observatory.
[00:41:07.434]It was cool.
[00:41:08.267]We started down there, my daughter was
[00:41:09.230]on the first day she ever decided
[00:41:11.629]she wanted to pick up the Handycam and document a chase.
[00:41:14.370]I actually just posted this on YouTube a couple days ago.
[00:41:16.530]It was kinda cute.
[00:41:17.363]She was narrating stuff, talking about the radar,
[00:41:19.450]what was on the radar, and making me say stuff.
[00:41:22.590]So it was pretty cool to have her around.
[00:41:26.391]So a little bit after that, the severe storm
[00:41:29.510]we were chasing was over here,
[00:41:30.960]and we were leaving it, because the road
[00:41:32.370]to get back up to I8 kinda loops down
[00:41:35.190]and then goes all the way up here.
[00:41:37.190]So we had a long drive ahead of us.
[00:41:38.370]By this time the storms are coming off the rim,
[00:41:40.630]and coming off these eastern mountains here.
[00:41:42.970]I'm like we've got to get up there soon,
[00:41:44.420]or we're gonna be behind.
[00:41:46.380]So we made our move to get up north,
[00:41:47.680]and as we're getting north these storms
[00:41:49.040]that were south of us were kicking up
[00:41:50.730]an outflow boundary themselves,
[00:41:52.090]so we were getting chased by a weaker dust storm,
[00:41:54.737]but another dust storm chasing us.
[00:42:05.930]Then while we trying to get to I8
[00:42:07.330]the storms really intensified through Phoenix,
[00:42:09.300]which is exactly what we wanted.
[00:42:10.770]We want them to be really intense
[00:42:12.370]to get southwest of town, and then kick up.
[00:42:14.430]There's all this dry farmland
[00:42:16.170]in the desert southwest of Phoenix,
[00:42:17.340]so we knew if this held together,
[00:42:19.640]we were gonna get the dust storm that we wanted
[00:42:21.770]or at least a dust storm.
[00:42:22.900]Who knows what it's gonna do,
[00:42:25.010]but right before we get to I8,
[00:42:26.890]we saw this little isolated storm,
[00:42:28.620]and this is a very textbook example of right here,
[00:42:32.830]you can kinda see a rain shaft on the left
[00:42:34.540]and out over here a rainfall,
[00:42:36.270]but this is a typical microburst with the exploding dust
[00:42:40.430]out flow, and and this is essentially
[00:42:41.990]how dust storms are started.
[00:42:43.250]Big down drafts hit the ground
[00:42:45.030]the dust explodes out and you have multiple down drafts,
[00:42:48.290]and they keep forming they keep creating this
[00:42:50.340]big wall of dust that just keeps pushing.
[00:42:52.310]So this wasn't the one we that wanted,
[00:42:54.450]but it was cool to stop and time-lapse on the way.
[00:42:57.640]We ended up being just a smidge behind.
[00:42:59.320]This was on the freeway.
[00:43:00.230]Were a little bit behind the main wall of dust,
[00:43:02.450]we were hoping to be in front of,
[00:43:03.670]so just a little bit behind.
[00:43:05.840]It's kind of weird to drive in pouring rain
[00:43:08.250]and have a wall of dust in front of you.
[00:43:15.270]We got through it, got to the other side,
[00:43:16.770]and this is the start of one
[00:43:19.180]that was gonna get really good for us a few minutes later.
[00:43:21.130]Here we pull over at another overpass
[00:43:23.210]as it's starting to get better in my daughter's video.
[00:43:25.870]Can you guys see the dust storm?
[00:43:27.563]I think that's directly north of us.
[00:43:31.904]You can't really see it.
[00:43:34.974]She says you can't really see it.
[00:43:35.880]It's there but a few minutes later
[00:43:37.900]this was a post processing shot I got out of it later,
[00:43:40.860]the edited shot of it after it was getting
[00:43:42.610]a little bit closer.
[00:43:43.850]This was great and we had this really great
[00:43:44.683]wall of dust coming, but you can see how intense
[00:43:47.180]it is more on the right side than the left side,
[00:43:49.190]not as intense.
[00:43:50.023]That's because it was actually moving to our southwest,
[00:43:52.670]which is going off to no man's land.
[00:43:56.054]We were kind of around this 8 shooting it,
[00:43:57.770]and so we had to leave of course after it hit us
[00:43:59.760]and we blasted west towards Gila Bend here.
[00:44:02.320]It's really intense here,
[00:44:03.220]so that wall of dust that we were on
[00:44:05.290]basically just went southwest out here,
[00:44:07.660]and kind of disappeared in more rain.
[00:44:09.820]We were waiting in Gila Bend for it,
[00:44:11.020]so we didn't know that at first.
[00:44:12.450]There's not a lot of dust coming.
[00:44:13.460]I guess it must have just gone away.
[00:44:16.200]So now we gotta count on the stuff that came out of Phoenix,
[00:44:20.530]to dive southwest and give us what we wanted.
[00:44:23.475]Up to this point, I mean it's pretty amazing
[00:44:24.617]how the models were consistent for basically two days
[00:44:27.280]this has been happening.
[00:44:28.113]Here we are and executed a plan
[00:44:30.300]where we woke up in California,
[00:44:31.440]went to Phoenix, chased storms
[00:44:32.273]and now here we are exactly where
[00:44:33.710]we thought we were gonna be.
[00:44:35.130]It's so rare for a chase to go out
[00:44:37.950]exactly like you thought.
[00:44:40.310]We got through Gila Bend.
[00:44:41.143]The storms are chasing us really fast,
[00:44:43.290]and we're hoping that we're gonna see dust.
[00:44:44.880]Sure enough a new wall of dust
[00:44:48.020]starts coming from our northeast towards the southwest,
[00:44:50.310]even has some beautiful striated shelf cloud above it.
[00:44:53.850]This was a pano from Interstate 8,
[00:44:56.450]and then it just got better and better.
[00:44:59.210]This was the kids in the car looking at this thing.
[00:45:04.070]It just didn't stop getting better.
[00:45:06.843]Reed Timmer if anyone knows him.
[00:45:07.730]He was out here chasing with a couple of my friends,
[00:45:09.160]and I was helping them a little bit,
[00:45:10.420]like you guys gotta get out of Gila Bend and get west.
[00:45:12.180]So a short video of us.
[00:45:15.760]Reed Timmer's first monster epic Haboob right here,
[00:45:19.730]this thing is unbelievable.
[00:45:22.380]Oh hi Drake.
[00:45:26.971]Oh my god.
[00:45:27.983]How are you?
[00:45:28.816]Hey Mike, oh my god.
[00:45:30.816]If you pull over.
[00:45:35.123]You know, exciting, wow!
[00:45:38.123]Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
[00:45:39.770]Eli, what do you think?
[00:45:46.058]So that's the edited shot of my son
[00:45:47.500]on the roof of the car.
[00:45:49.860]This is one of my favorite shots I've ever taken.
[00:45:51.840]I love it.
[00:45:52.673]He was having fun.
[00:45:53.530]My kids love the weather but they're not like,
[00:45:55.340]yeah, that's so crazy freaking out.
[00:45:56.703]They kinda have to, hey what do you think?
[00:45:58.940]They're just kinda like.
[00:45:59.773]I guess they see stuff all the time,
[00:46:00.870]but they they don't freak out as much as I do.
[00:46:03.660]But this was such a great chase.
[00:46:04.790]I mean from where we started
[00:46:06.650]was probably an hour before,
[00:46:08.010]and we're just going down the freeway.
[00:46:09.340]We're stopping, we're doing time-lapse,
[00:46:12.283]We're letting it basically almost hit or hit us,
[00:46:14.610]and then we're jumping back out front
[00:46:15.930]getting 10 more miles down the road.
[00:46:18.190]What was so amazing about this
[00:46:19.350]is it started like at four o'clock.
[00:46:21.200]We had four hours of light left.
[00:46:23.770]So we were able to chase this thing
[00:46:24.870]for about three and 1/2, four hours.
[00:46:26.420]I've never had a dust storm that I could chase that long.
[00:46:29.458]They usually get really good,
[00:46:30.291]southeast of Phoenix,
[00:46:31.124]and I get a couple spots.
[00:46:31.957]They roll into Phoenix and it's done.
[00:46:34.070]I'd been out here on Interstate 8 with a few of 'em
[00:46:36.020]and they get really good right when it gets dark.
[00:46:37.910]I've chased them in the dark
[00:46:38.743]but you can't see anything out here.
[00:46:40.200]There's just nothing,
[00:46:41.410]so this was just astounding.
[00:46:43.020]Of course, I had to do another selfie
[00:46:44.770]in this dust storm with one of my many, many
[00:46:48.300]superhero shirts I wear.
[00:46:49.670]Someone was here today and he didn't recognize me because,
[00:46:52.755]was it you?
[00:46:53.588]No it was someone else.
[00:46:54.421]Someone else didn't recognize me
[00:46:55.272]because I didn't have a superhero shirt on.
[00:46:58.500]This is another shot of it
[00:46:59.440]as it was just getting really good.
[00:47:04.880]It was just incredible.
[00:47:05.713]To see one get this dense, and it had a shelf cloud over it,
[00:47:09.100]it was just.
[00:47:11.646]This is probably other than the July 5th one I took in 2011,
[00:47:14.630]probably the best dust storm I've ever chased.
[00:47:16.420]Did another selfie at this bridge.
[00:47:18.020]We basically commandeered this bridge.
[00:47:20.060]I also was gonna say before,
[00:47:22.330]I think one of my videos went on the news accidentally,
[00:47:24.410]with Eli on the roof of my car,
[00:47:25.780]and someone, of course, comments somewhere saying,
[00:47:28.330]oh your kid's on the side of the freeway.
[00:47:30.790]Literally the only people driving on the freeway
[00:47:32.990]were chasers because the dust storm was so bad
[00:47:34.980]everybody had stopped behind it
[00:47:36.343]because they couldn't go anywhere.
[00:47:37.830]You couldn't see anything in the dust storm.
[00:47:39.100]So the only people driving on the freeway
[00:47:40.920]were chasers, so that's why we were all cooling off
[00:47:42.530]on the shoulder ad stuff.
[00:47:45.287]This was a quick video just at sunset,
[00:47:47.467]and this is a really flat video from an iPhone,
[00:47:48.830]so not that great,
[00:47:49.663]but the colors were amazing.
[00:47:51.150]Just there's chasers everywhere,
[00:47:52.910]and people stopping to look at it.
[00:47:56.576]It was pretty crazy.
[00:47:59.630]So this is the radar image
[00:48:00.740]when we finally get almost to Yuma.
[00:48:02.750]I think we actually ended up getting to Yuma,
[00:48:04.240]but on the radar you might look at this
[00:48:06.360]and think this is rain or whatever,
[00:48:07.387]but this is literally the wall of dust
[00:48:09.940]showing up on radar, this wave.
[00:48:12.170]The last place we were was around here,
[00:48:15.960]and the dust had kinda started diving this way.
[00:48:17.700]So you can see it's really intense right here.
[00:48:19.390]This is the Mexico border,
[00:48:21.370]and it was going right into Mexico.
[00:48:22.830]It was getting weaker this way.
[00:48:23.863]It's just incredible when you see these dust storms
[00:48:25.690]actually appear on radar because they're so intense.
[00:48:29.046]They go up.
[00:48:30.060]I mean the July 5th one was a mile high,
[00:48:33.350]100 miles wide, and this one I'm sure
[00:48:36.650]was going up near a mile tall.
[00:48:39.310]So we stopped in Yuma.
[00:48:40.440]It got dark.
[00:48:41.273]We finally were done and we pointed our car
[00:48:43.140]at the dust storm and rode it out.
[00:48:43.973]Here's the last little clip of that.
[00:48:48.403]It kind of looks like I'm driving, but I'm not,
[00:48:52.530]as you see this other car drive by.
[00:48:58.432]It was pretty nasty.
[00:49:00.822]I got my windshield replaced last spring.
[00:49:06.500]My windshield just looked like garbage.
[00:49:07.990]The guy came and said, what happened to your windshield?
[00:49:10.520]He's like, I've never seen one like this.
[00:49:11.670]I realized that all that had literally got sand blasted.
[00:49:14.950]There was tiny little, no microscopic,
[00:49:16.910]but just tiny little dings, thousands of them everywhere,
[00:49:19.960]so it was almost cloudy from it.
[00:49:21.510]I didn't realize for a while that's where it all came from.
[00:49:24.540]So that was kind of a chase.
[00:49:28.542]We stopped obviously at a bunch of places.
[00:49:30.000]I usually time-lapse with two cameras,
[00:49:31.450]to I might have a wide one,
[00:49:32.654]and I might have one shooting off to the side.
[00:49:35.590]This is the little short film of that day,
[00:49:38.963]which for me being able to make a short film
[00:49:41.680]from one chase is pretty crazy.
[00:49:43.270]Usually I go a whole season to collect footage
[00:49:45.320]to do something, so this was great.
[00:49:47.680]We of course called it,
[00:49:48.513]The Great Haboob Chase on Interstate 8.
[00:49:51.169](dramatic orchestral music)
[00:52:24.854]So that was just a blast of a day.
[00:52:30.310]I'm almost done.
[00:52:31.143]I think I might show this little teaser,
[00:52:32.340]'cause I have extra time.
[00:52:35.302]But I just love what I do so much.
[00:52:37.550]To go out and do this, time-lapses are pretty.
[00:52:40.750]Someone asked me, a guy named Josh who I just met
[00:52:43.730]was asking me about time-lapse, what this is,
[00:52:47.050]or maybe some other people were talking about
[00:52:48.520]how hard it is to time-lapse this stuff.
[00:52:50.620]It's very tough to sit there,
[00:52:55.643]shoot a storm and have to wait for it to come at you,
[00:52:57.110]or be disciplined with how you do it.
[00:52:59.664]Anyway, I put a lot of work into this,
[00:53:00.790]and I love it more than anything.
[00:53:03.766]This was last year.
[00:53:05.130]I usually do a film after the spring,
[00:53:09.210]and the a film after the monsoons,
[00:53:10.350]but last year's spring chasing
[00:53:12.409]was really not the best for me, and I really,
[00:53:14.230]I put out so many films.
[00:53:15.200]I'm like I wanna do two seasons of chasing tornadoes
[00:53:18.010]before I put out another film,
[00:53:19.210]so I need it to be better than what I've done before.
[00:53:21.100]I need to keep getting better.
[00:53:23.400]So I didn't put out anything last year for the spring,
[00:53:25.380]but monsoon was so good that I did put out another
[00:53:27.870]monsoon film, which is Monsoon Five,
[00:53:30.150]which you can watch on my YouTube channel.
[00:53:32.100]This is like just a short little trailer
[00:53:34.470]of the stuff last year that I shot,
[00:53:37.990]because I'm like, I gotta show some of this stuff I got
[00:53:39.530]in the spring, 'cause it was kinda cool.
[00:53:41.891](calm, soothing music)
[00:55:06.737]You can tell, I really like to put music to my stuff.
[00:55:11.020]I would say quickly about music and time-lapses,
[00:55:13.651]it's all this work to get the footage
[00:55:16.930]and put something together,
[00:55:18.435]but the music is 50% of it,
[00:55:20.690]and I'm always so grateful to people that
[00:55:22.250]I'm able to license music from.
[00:55:23.880]Some of my films I paid a guy
[00:55:25.170]to create a custom track for me,
[00:55:27.792]and we worked hand-in-hand to figure out,
[00:55:29.230]what do we wanna do here?
[00:55:30.063]What do we wanna do here?
[00:55:31.580]So the music is just so vital to the bring
[00:55:34.430]these storms and stuff to life.
[00:55:36.820]Although every now an then I get a comment on YouTube,
[00:55:39.150]they say, I hate the music and I should put
[00:55:41.390]real sounds in there.
[00:55:42.480]I just ignore those people.
[00:55:45.736]So I do workshops out of Arizona, in the summer,
[00:55:48.987]and that's were it's less stressful storm chasing.
[00:55:51.930]So we learn about time-lapse and all that,
[00:55:54.280]and forecasting and photography and shooting lightning
[00:55:57.527]and all that kinda stuff.
[00:55:59.420]It's usually fun.
[00:56:00.253]Sometimes, you know every workshop is hit of miss
[00:56:02.500]if you wanna shoot the Milky Way,
[00:56:03.640]and you get a workshop where it's cloudy
[00:56:05.020]the whole time.
[00:56:05.853]You're really disappointed.
[00:56:07.341]So if you go on a storm chase,
[00:56:08.390]and you don't know if there's going to be any storms,
[00:56:11.054]But usually we get something,
[00:56:11.900]even if we have to go to New Mexico.
[00:56:14.180]So that's kinda it.
[00:56:15.340]I hope you guys enjoyed that.
[00:56:16.270]I think it's Q&A time, if anyone has any questions.
[00:56:22.061](speaking too far from microphone to be heard)
[00:57:13.574]I mean they all vary.
[00:57:15.030]Sometimes they're moving slow, so 40, 45.
[00:57:17.210]That storm was probably like 55, 60 miles an hour
[00:57:20.990]because it was such an intense one,
[00:57:23.530]but occasionally they'll be faster, 65 or 70.
[00:57:27.280]I think generally it's probably like 40, 45 to 50.
[00:57:32.900]The funny thing about dust storms
[00:57:34.653]is early on I had people,
[00:57:37.740]someone from another country, China or wherever,
[00:57:42.210]email me, ask questions about it.
[00:57:45.200]They said, when it hit were people running
[00:57:46.730]and screaming in the streets and all this stuff?
[00:57:48.420]I'm like no, it's Arizona.
[00:57:49.800]We see dust storms a lot and people were probably
[00:57:51.560]still driving in that thing, which they shouldn't have,
[00:57:53.727]and there weren't even any accidents
[00:57:55.230]in that big one in July, in 2011.
[00:57:58.471]They just look so cool but they are dangerous.
[00:58:02.530]The zero visibility is the biggest danger,
[00:58:04.970]and there's a part of Arizona between Tucson
[00:58:08.380]and Casa Grande, where there's a Picacho Peak area,
[00:58:11.000]and there's been multiple fatalities there.
[00:58:13.660]Dust storms that just blow right across the road.
[00:58:15.620]People are doing 80 on the Interstate,
[00:58:17.470]and suddenly they can't see anything.
[00:58:18.580]There's a lot of traffic,
[00:58:20.861]and there's been lots of deaths and big massive car pileups,
[00:58:24.097]and all that kinda stuff.
[00:58:25.341]They actually now have that section of the Freeway,
[00:58:28.540]an alert system, they drop it
[00:58:30.070]to like 35 miles an hour from 75.
[00:58:32.550]If there's a dust storm warning everyone has to slow down,
[00:58:35.180]so they're trying to make it safer.
[00:58:38.080]Yeah, the funny thing you said
[00:58:39.730]about the lightning being colored, is usually
[00:58:41.810]when I shoot lightning, and people are like
[00:58:44.330]is it really purple, is that just you doing it?
[00:58:47.460]I literally looked up and seen lightning,
[00:58:49.070]and it's purple, or it's red or whatever,
[00:58:51.110]so you see those colors.
[00:58:52.190]It actually happens.
[00:58:55.715](speaking too far from microphone to be heard)
[00:59:01.990]I'm pretty much self taught.
[00:59:03.270]I usually say before I do this,
[00:59:05.170]I'm not a meteorologist, I'm just a photographer,
[00:59:06.857]and I've learned enough meteorology to make myself
[00:59:10.480]dangerous, and be able to get on these storms.
[00:59:13.320]I really, I've always been a self learner,
[00:59:16.250]so I probably just do osmosis.
[00:59:20.150]I've also been pretty good at seeing where I am,
[00:59:23.800]and where I need to get to.
[00:59:26.100]I've never had that.
[00:59:28.539]I don't know who I was talking to,
[00:59:29.372]but the American Idol syndrome,
[00:59:30.780]where they go on there and they think they can sing,
[00:59:33.370]'cause no one's told them can't,
[00:59:34.410]or they can't hear themselves but they can't sing.
[00:59:39.430]I've known at the beginning, I'm like, I suck.
[00:59:41.220]These photos are awful.
[00:59:42.220]I'm doing horrible HDR.
[00:59:43.530]I don't know what I'm doing.
[00:59:44.470]I see these people out here,
[00:59:46.310]and I need to get there.
[00:59:47.850]So kinda able to like, okay, so what do they do?
[00:59:50.570]And maybe read their tutorials,
[00:59:52.220]download some stuff from them.
[00:59:54.010]So a lot of it's really just self taught.
[00:59:57.110]But I will say just going out and chasing
[00:59:59.800]and just getting the stuff is just experience.
[01:00:02.770]Even watching Storm Chasers was educational,
[01:00:04.840]but it still took me all these years
[01:00:06.440]of actually chasing to realize,
[01:00:07.920]okay, this is how you do it,
[01:00:08.980]and this is what side I should be on and all that.
[01:00:12.560]So there's a lot of stuff you can learn from books
[01:00:15.410]and all that, but you really just have to practice
[01:00:18.520]and get out there.
[01:00:23.779](speaking too far from microphone to be heard)
[01:00:24.612]Good job Ben.
[01:00:28.450]I don't know this storm being from Nebraska,
[01:00:32.040]except for reading historically,
[01:00:33.890]is there an electrostatic discharge
[01:00:37.130]for those storms?
[01:00:39.644]Do they glow, or any kind of lightning or anything.
[01:00:42.079]I was just curious.
[01:00:42.912]No I've had that question before,
[01:00:43.745]and I've seen anything like that in the dust storm.
[01:00:46.440]But I mean there are times where it looks like it,
[01:00:48.190]because the dust storm is basically an outflow boundary,
[01:00:51.660]and you understand outflow boundaries as they move,
[01:00:53.640]they're creating more storms on top of them.
[01:00:56.060]I've actually had dust storms with a lightning bolt
[01:00:57.760]striking right out in front of the wall of dust,
[01:00:59.730]or flashing just behind it where it looks like
[01:01:02.600]the dust is probably electrically charged,
[01:01:04.410]but it's really the storm behind it.
[01:01:06.620]I don't think I've heard of that at all.
[01:01:13.526]I was wondering.
[01:01:15.887]This is more of a storm chasing question.
[01:01:20.240]I saw some of the over places that you had
[01:01:23.086]that radar that you had some of the analysis
[01:01:27.190]that you left a certain
[01:01:28.585](speaking too far from microphone to be heard)
[01:01:31.289]I was wondering
[01:01:32.122](speaking too far from microphone to be heard)
[01:01:37.231]Does it matter?
[01:01:38.139]I don't know.
[01:01:40.572]I mean it helps you know that there's maybe gonna be one.
[01:01:42.230]There's also the tornado one.
[01:01:45.659]Oh what's it called, tornado.
[01:01:47.220]What is it Ben?
[01:01:48.053]You know what it is.
[01:01:49.138]I can't remember the name of it.
[01:01:51.360](speaking too far from microphone to be heard)
[01:01:52.193]No what's that tornado overlay on Mesoscale Analysis.
[01:01:54.550]It's called Significant Tornado.
[01:01:55.611]Significant tornado, yeah.
[01:01:57.280]So that one kinda helps too.
[01:01:59.960]I mean although I will say in Arizona this year,
[01:02:04.900]out of nowhere this one day,
[01:02:06.036]we had a supercell composite on the border
[01:02:08.530]with Mexico of 20,
[01:02:10.120]which I've never seen more of a supercell composite
[01:02:12.250]in Arizona more than than like two, or three, or something,
[01:02:15.710]So it was 20 on the border,
[01:02:17.040]and there was this weird, upside down,
[01:02:20.620]backwards supercell moving from right to left
[01:02:23.160]with the hook coming up like.
[01:02:25.240]If you're looking at the map at Arizona,
[01:02:28.510]the hook was going this way and it was moving like that,
[01:02:31.370]instead of this way, moving in this direction.
[01:02:34.187]I'm pretty sure, and I saw on radar,
[01:02:35.670]I'm like, I believe there's a tornado right there,
[01:02:37.550]and it was a 20 supercell composite day in Arizona,
[01:02:40.610]which is super rare.
[01:02:42.400]Unfortunately it was at the border in the middle of nowhere,
[01:02:45.067]and I couldn't get to it.
[01:02:46.779]Is there a question over here?
[01:02:49.300]Yeah, right down at the end.
[01:02:51.890]You were talking about a dust storm
[01:02:57.867]Does the rain produce the outflow for the dust storm?
[01:03:03.107]Yeah, she asked if the rain produces the outflow
[01:03:04.780]for the dust storms and that's exactly how they start.
[01:03:07.670]Almost any other storm, even here in Nebraska,
[01:03:09.700]if you don't have a supercell and you get strong
[01:03:11.180]downdrafts you've have those outflow boundaries,
[01:03:13.490]you just don't have the dust to make them visible?
[01:03:16.540]In Arizona the dust basically just makes
[01:03:18.800]an outflow boundary visible so you can see it.
[01:03:21.510]So that rain hits the ground and just explodes outward.
[01:03:24.480]If it's really an out in Arizona,
[01:03:27.190]I don't know if it's a difference or not
[01:03:28.240]but our storms are very high based.
[01:03:30.080]Obviously supercells are very low based.
[01:03:32.380]That's how you get the tornadoes,
[01:03:33.670]because they're very low based and all that.
[01:03:35.420]In Arizona their high, and that's one reason
[01:03:37.810]why our lightning is so cool,
[01:03:38.840]because you can see so much more of the lightning
[01:03:41.110]out in Arizona, because the cloud bases are so high,
[01:03:43.540]but also because they're so high, I believe,
[01:03:45.160]the microburst stuff happen a lot
[01:03:46.690]where the rain has further to fall,
[01:03:51.032]and the outflow is gonna be kinda crazy with it.
[01:03:53.050]Even though we don't get tornadoes,
[01:03:54.620]our microbursts can get 90 to 100 mile an hour winds,
[01:03:58.760]that just destroy roofs, and trees, and all that stuff,
[01:04:01.430]just from a single downdraft.
[01:04:08.318](speaking too far from microphone to be heard)
[01:04:14.450]For which ones?
[01:04:22.790]Well for lightning.
[01:04:25.460]lightning, never really, actually scared of lightning.
[01:04:28.410]I'm not as scared as I used to be
[01:04:29.410]but I'm pretty terrified if it's at night,
[01:04:31.107]and the storm's close I get pretty freaked out,
[01:04:33.270]so I'm able to set my cameras up
[01:04:35.430]where they're shooting automatically
[01:04:38.320]while I'm in the car safe.
[01:04:40.570]Sometimes I go out in it,
[01:04:42.100]and I've had some lightning strike really close,
[01:04:45.840]within like 40, 60 feet,
[01:04:48.550]but nothing closer than that.
[01:04:53.068]That's pretty close, but I'm usually in the car.
[01:04:54.517]I mean one time I literally packed up
[01:04:56.510]and I was turning away, and a bolt just hit 40 feet
[01:04:58.460]out in front.
[01:04:59.293]I saw the poof in the dust and all that.
[01:05:01.889]So if you're shooting lightning
[01:05:02.740]you really wanna be safe.
[01:05:04.350]The hard part about lightning and I tell everybody,
[01:05:06.160]how do you do it safely?
[01:05:07.140]Well you gotta be in your car,
[01:05:08.160]because even if you are.
[01:05:09.140]I don't have it in here but I have a photo
[01:05:11.290]at the Grand Canyon from a couple years ago,
[01:05:14.000]where the storm moved out over the Grand Canyon,
[01:05:18.804]and the lightning was striking in the Canyon,
[01:05:20.310]and the rain shaft was in the Canyon,
[01:05:21.670]so that's were, usually in Arizona,
[01:05:24.390]where the rain is, that's where the lightning's
[01:05:25.780]going to be.
[01:05:26.613]So you're expecting the lightning in the middle,
[01:05:28.468]and then a bolt came out on the top
[01:05:29.301]and struck all the way back on the plateau,
[01:05:31.810]where if you were standing there,
[01:05:32.930]like oh the rain went by the lightnings over there,
[01:05:34.440]so you go stand and watch it, and a bolt comes out
[01:05:36.120]and hits you on the plateau.
[01:05:38.540]Lightning is dangerous within 10 something plus miles,
[01:05:42.190]and then if you watch these supercells on radar,
[01:05:43.690]like a couple days ago in Hollis, Texas,
[01:05:46.510]the supercell main core of it is here,
[01:05:48.747]and 20 to 30 miles away,
[01:05:50.340]there was bolts coming down out of the anvil,
[01:05:54.946]so lightning is dangerous,
[01:05:55.910]so your safe if you're in your car,
[01:05:58.270]but if you're out in it, it's always gonna be dangerous.
[01:06:01.212]You just have to weigh that risk.
[01:06:02.610]Arizona not so bad, 'cause usually the lightning strikes
[01:06:05.430]where the rain is and you kind of know where
[01:06:07.280]it's gonna be.
[01:06:08.113]It's not usually just all over the place.
[01:06:09.710]Out here, I've been on storms where the storm's coming,
[01:06:13.347]the lightnings there, we're on a supercell,
[01:06:14.730]and all of a sudden a bolt strikes behind us
[01:06:16.300]by 100 feet.
[01:06:17.133]We're like, okay, it's time to pack up
[01:06:19.017]and get out of here.
[01:06:20.710]The dust storms aren't as dangerous as they look.
[01:06:24.950]If you do get caught in one, and the visibility's low
[01:06:28.440]that's pretty dangerous.
[01:06:30.260]The rule of thumb in a dust storm is to pull over
[01:06:33.290]as far as you can off the shoulder.
[01:06:34.630]Turn your lights off, put your car in park
[01:06:36.480]so no one can really see you over there,
[01:06:37.870]so no one follows you off the road,
[01:06:39.780]and just wait it out until you can see
[01:06:41.870]clear enough to drive.
[01:06:43.280]Usually when I'm chasing the storms
[01:06:44.357]and time-lapsing them,
[01:06:45.860]I let them hit me,
[01:06:46.693]but I'm usually back in the car in 25 seconds,
[01:06:49.690]and then back out in front so I don't get stuck.
[01:06:53.170]'Cause I had a friend once where I was doing that,
[01:06:55.377]and I got in front, and my buddy, Chris Fraley,
[01:06:58.140]took a little bit longer and police shut down the freeway
[01:07:01.960]because of visibility after I had passed,
[01:07:03.980]and the freeway shut down and he couldn't go any more.
[01:07:07.211]I never heard someone so mad before,
[01:07:08.820]because he couldn't get back out in front.
[01:07:12.812](speaking too far from microphone to be heard)
[01:07:15.121]Camera gear, and do you have an external
[01:07:17.400]intervalometer to use?
[01:07:18.493]Yep, I only use external intervalometers
[01:07:20.640]because I don't like the time it takes
[01:07:22.860]to go into the menu and do something.
[01:07:26.631]I'm usually shooting intervals of a second or two,
[01:07:30.380]like every second every two seconds.
[01:07:31.900]So all I basically do is set my camera up,
[01:07:33.667]and hit play and it goes.
[01:07:34.770]I don't have to hit menu and find everything and all that.
[01:07:37.820]So I use that.
[01:07:39.030]All my time-lapses for the last couple years
[01:07:40.760]I do on Canon 5 DSRs that 50 megapixels,
[01:07:44.917]and so I render them out full res,
[01:07:46.830]so they're over 8.5 K resolution.
[01:07:50.310]So they're really, really high quality.
[01:07:53.895]I never would ever guess.
[01:07:54.740]I mean I was buying $300 lenses in the past,
[01:07:57.090]and I had friend who was like,
[01:07:58.690]if you're gonna use that 50 megapixel camera,
[01:08:00.750]you have to have a good lens to resolve all the pixels,
[01:08:03.860]so I bought the Canon 11-24, which is a $2800 lens.
[01:08:08.540]I mean, it's as much as camera.
[01:08:09.930]I can't believe I'm buying this,
[01:08:12.290]but it is so sharp and with the 50 megapixel.
[01:08:14.910]I mean, I've pointed at storm once
[01:08:16.800]and I had a drone at the time flying out there.
[01:08:19.573]When I look at the picture on my computer,
[01:08:21.120]you see a white spec.
[01:08:22.610]I'm like, is that my drone?
[01:08:23.660]I zoom into it and I literally can make out
[01:08:25.023]that it's a phantom because of the pixel resolution,
[01:08:27.740]of the 50 megapixels in that lens.
[01:08:30.360]So it's really important to have,
[01:08:31.530]because I can take an AK time-lapse and I can
[01:08:34.950]put it on a 4 K film, and even cut the whole thing
[01:08:38.440]in half, and it's still sharp and has all this resolution.
[01:08:41.108]So I use those two cameras to time-lapse.
[01:08:45.750]I used to use a 5D Mark IV as my still camera,
[01:08:49.810]but I shoot wedding and that all the time,
[01:08:51.610]so I use, I kinda keep the IV and the III for weddings.
[01:08:54.650]But I bought a Sony a7R III just to do stills
[01:08:58.800]and lightning photos and put the lightning filter on it,
[01:09:01.420]and whatever else while I'm chasing.
[01:09:04.190]I don't love the Sony's interface and how small it is.
[01:09:09.180]I already had to get it repaired a month into chasing,
[01:09:13.900]but the files are really good,
[01:09:15.177]and the dynamic range is really good,
[01:09:17.000]so it's worth it for that.
[01:09:19.940]So we'll see how it goes again this year.
[01:09:22.377]Which lightning trigger are you using?
[01:09:23.999]The lightning, I use the Lightning Trigger IV
[01:09:27.357]from I think it's the lightningtrigger.com.
[01:09:30.640]There's only one Lightning Trigger, because the guy
[01:09:32.430]who made the Lightning Trigger IV has the
[01:09:35.020]Lightning Trigger trademark, so anything else you buy
[01:09:37.220]is a lightning sensor.
[01:09:38.910]I literally once wrote an article
[01:09:40.240]for a digital photography school,
[01:09:42.630]and I put lightning trigger in there.
[01:09:44.400]He emailed me and said, hey can you change it
[01:09:46.080]to lightning sensor.
[01:09:46.920]So he's a little bit particular about it
[01:09:49.370]but I give it to him, because his lightning trigger's
[01:09:51.300]better than anyone's out there.
[01:09:52.420]It costs $375, so it's a lot if you wanna shoot lightning.
[01:09:56.200]There's cheaper ones that are $100 to $200,
[01:09:58.830]but they're not gonna work as good.
[01:10:05.218](speaking too far from microphone to be heard)
[01:10:14.930]He asked if I adapt my Canon lens
[01:10:16.450]to my Sony glass, and the answer is yes.
[01:10:18.740]I bought I think it's a Sigma MC-11 adapter,
[01:10:24.400]but I don't just have Canon glass.
[01:10:26.665]With the Sony, I'm actually using the Sigma Art 14-24.
[01:10:29.820]I used it last year,
[01:10:31.200]and I tried a Tamron 15-30, and for whatever reason,
[01:10:33.860]the copy I got seemed soft,
[01:10:35.170]or I thought maybe they're all this way,
[01:10:36.557]and so I tried the Sigma, and the Sigma won.
[01:10:38.820]It's super sharp, and with the 14 it's really wide,
[01:10:42.990]which is perfect.
[01:10:44.010]I don't just use Canon glass fits,
[01:10:46.040]but I think I have a couple Sigmas,
[01:10:47.924]Sigma 35 millimeter, but then the rest are all Canon.
[01:10:51.260]Yeah, I haven't bought any Sony glass yet.
[01:10:53.510]They're expensive and I'm like, I already have
[01:10:55.350]all this stuff, and the adapter seems to work,
[01:10:57.010]so I'm just gonna go with this for a while.
[01:11:02.990]All right, no one else.
[01:11:06.080]Okay, thanks, appreciate it.
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