Wednesday, July 24, 2019

vorticity 2 by mike olbinski

I discovered this amazing video in a Tweet from Mike Bettes. Watch the video fullscreen, on as large a monitor as you have, and turn your speakers up for the full effect.

Vorticity 2 (4K) from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.
Become a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/mikeolbinski

BluRay discs (Combo of Vorticity 1 and 2) available here starting Tuesday: http://mikeolbinski.com/shop/

Music: Canyon and Scars of Courage by Luke Atencio (through TheMusicbed.com, sign-up for licensing here: http://share.mscbd.fm/mikeolbinski)

Gear I use: https://www.amazon.com/shop/mikeolbinski
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Two years in the making. I made the tough decision last year to save everything I shot that spring and combine it with whatever storms I captured in 2019 and make the best possible time-lapse film I could. It was incredibly difficult to sit on that collection of footage for over a year, but I'm glad I did. When you've done a few of these, at some point you gotta work even harder to top yourself and I did my best to make that happen. Even though I've lost all perspective at this point having watched this a million times during editing, I do feel it has some of the best footage I've ever compiled into one of these films. I had such a high bar set and many, many clips did not make the cut.

My storm chaser friends will recognize some memorable supercell/tornado events like Tescott, Tahoka, McCook, Hoisington, Cope, Imperial, Quinter, and Denver City (my personal favorite). I was lucky to be on those days, even though I did miss a few that I would really have loved to have been able to capture.

None of these clips would come alive without the right music and I searched and searched and searched for months until landing on the right tracks back in May. Luke Atencio has such a gift and two of his songs were blended to create the track for this film. Proud and thankful to be a Musicbed Ambassador. They have collected some of the best artists and musicians anywhere, and it’s an honor to be able to use their songs.

I want to thank some people here who helped me along the way. My tour guests from the past two years who came from all over the world and spent their hard-earned money to join me for storm chasing adventures…you all are amazing. Marko Korošec, a friend and epic storm chaser from Slovenia, who helped me with some forecasting last year when I was leading tours by myself and starting to get drained. You saved my butt on a few days.

Brett Wright…who has become a close friend of mine and is one of the best chasers/forecasters I know. Thanks for joining me for the grind of essentially four tours over 38 days this spring. I mean…I never could have done that without you buddy…you have my eternal gratitude. I learned so much.

To all of you watching, who follow me on YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Twitter and those who support me on Patreon…thank you SO MUCH for all of it. You guys are amazing and your support and kind words over the years has been an incredible motivator. I am humbled and honored.

Finally, to my amazing wife Jina and the kiddos…it was really hard being away, especially this past spring. I made it back more than I thought I would, but it was still grueling and difficult. Thank you Jina for everything you do to help make this happen. And for supporting me no matter what. Even encouraging me when I sometimes feel like quitting. As I always say, and is the absolute truth, I never would be where I am without you.

There is also a special "post-credit" dedication someone who has always pulled for me and been in my corner since the beginning of this journey :) We are both huge Marvel fans so he will definitely get a kick out of that!

Okay, rambling is over….hope you enjoy!

Technical Details:
Everything shot with two Canon 5DSRs and various Canon lenses. A couple lightning sequences with the Sony A7R3
All clips available in 8K Resolution
Processed in Lightroom, LR Timelapse, After Effects and Premiere Pro.

posted by lee on 07/24/19 at 11:39 AM

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

my favorite annual list

Lake Superior State University’s 43rd Annual List Of Banished Words: List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness is my favorite list. This year, it even made it to NBC Nightly News.

The list:
Unpack – Misused word for analyze, consider, assess. Concepts or positions are not packed, so they don’t need to be unpacked.

Tons – Refers to an exaggerated quantity, as in tons of sunshine or tons of work. ‘Lots’ would surely suffice.

Dish – As in to dish out the latest rumor on someone. Let’s go back to ‘talks about’ and leave dishes in the cupboard.

Pre-owned – What is so disgraceful about owning a used car now and then?

Onboarding / Offboarding – Creature from the HR Lagoon. We used to have hiring, training and orientation. Now we need to have an “onboarding” process. Firings, quitting, and retirements are streamlined into “offboarding.”

Nothingburger – Says nothing that ‘nothing’ doesn’t already. I’ll take a quarter-pound of something in mine.

Let that sink in – One could say shocking, profound, or important. Let that sink in.

Let me ask you this – Wholly unnecessary statement. Just ask the question already.

Impactful – A frivolous word groping for something ‘effective’ or ‘influential.’

Covfefe – An impulsive typo, born into a 140-character universe, somehow missed by the autocorrect feature.

Drill Down – Instead of expanding on a statement, we “drill down on it.”

Fake News – Once upon a time stories could be empirically disproved. Now ‘fake news’ is any story you disagree with.

Hot Water Heater – Hot water does not need to be heated. ‘Water heater’ or ‘hot water maker’ will keep us out of hot water.

Gig Economy – Gigs are for musicians and stand-up comedians. Now expanded to imply a sense of freedom and a lifestyle that rejects tradition in a changing economic culture. Runs a risk of sharecropping.

I submitted a word, finally, that drives me crazy when I hear or read it: circle back. Usually some form of business-speak used instead of tabling a topic. I cannot figure out why it’s okay to go in circles, which is generally considered a negative activity.

posted by lee on 01/02/18 at 03:32 PM

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

if i were traveling & had lots of disposable income

There are a lot of architectural styles I love as far as housing goes. What if I could travel and instead of staying at a hotel chain (upscale or not), I could stay in a house designed by one of the architects I love? Like ... what if I could stay here:

Palmer House, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Palmer House, Ann Arbor, MI. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. (click to see it big!)

instead of crashing on my sister’s couch when visiting Ann Arbor?

There is a site, PlansMatter, with a listing of more than 30 architecturally significant vacation rental homes. It shows photos, lists the details, pricing, and provides a link to where you can book the property. Worldwide, though most of the houses listed are in North America at the moment.

The site also has a list of hotels with amazing architectural designs. Most currently listed are in Patagonia.

The job I would like is scouting, testing, and photographing new additions for the site. Or a job reviewing them.

posted by lee on 10/24/17 at 07:28 PM

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

the naturalist

The Naturalist (The Naturalist Series, #1)The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos—he is a computational biologist. When one of his former students is found apparently mauled to death by a bear, things about the case don’t add up. He sees things the cops missed, or refuse to see. It bothers him enough that he starts investigating similar events and is able to discover the victims’ bodies where no one else could or, if they could, no one ever bothered to look for the victims. He is determined to prove to the cops the deaths were not due to bear attacks, but to a serial killer.

Another novel that just ended. Nothing about what happened following the ending, which was pretty hard to believe as it was. A whole major character just disappears. The statistics, if true, were interesting though sad. The science behind his “discoveries” was interesting as well, if the science is valid. I haven’t had time to do any research to see if any of it is even valid. Patterns are my thing, so it might be that it is.

So much of it was far-fetched. I find it hard to believe that all of the cops in Montana are so stupid or corrupt, even the one Theo Cray decided is smart. Even the FBI guy that suddenly appears is an asshole.

It was really easy to figure out who the killer must be—not exactly an original concept (saw it on “Criminal Minds” not so very long ago). It was a compelling read—and I’m glad I chose it as my September First book. But after I finished it the plot holes and “science as magic” aspects of it keep bugging me. I will say I was glad to see the Frog in the Pot of Water myth shot down. And I’m wondering why Theo didn’t end up brain damaged from all of the times he gets beaten up (even a beatdown by a cop he deliberately provoked).

So, it was promising. If the second Naturalist book doesn’t cost much, I may even give it a shot when it’s published. Maybe one of his magic-centered books would be interesting—but I don’t know since I’m not very interested in magic.

posted by lee on 09/17/17 at 05:20 PM

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

more house - looks so much better than it did

We found out in March what hell winter weather, coupled with a half-ass builder, can do to a vacant house. The first set of photos are here, the horror movies are here, and a slideshow with more sad details is here. (All the links open in a new window.)

Scott was up there last weekend to check things over. He said the house looked like an abandoned house in Detroit as far as the landscaping went.

a prairie for a lawn
The house, with a lawn reverting to prairie. (click to see it big!)

Now I love a wild lawn (a Freedom Lawn) and wouldn’t have much of a problem with this, but I’m weird. Doesn’t add to the curb appeal to most people. The HOA and the Town of Oscoda do have a problem with this, so Scott found a ticket in the mailbox threatening pretty pricy fines if things weren’t dealt with by the 18th of August (this was on August 19). The birch tree in the yard (which you can see in the slideshow, linked above) finally gave up the struggle and needs to be removed—it’s never been very healthy there. Scott sent Scooter up to deal with the front yard.

The inside looks so much better, believe it or not, though the woodstove needs restoration.

Family room post remediation
The family room, post-remediation. (click to see it big!)

woodstore needs some love
Definitely needs some restoration—it will be pretty again. It’s a really good stove. (click to see it big!)

Breakfast area near the main break
This looks like the area below where the pipe broke, in the dining area between the kitchen and the family room. I think that’s a dog butt in the upper right corner! (click to see it big!)

lookng down into crawlspace
Looking down into the crawlspace—not sure where this is. Notice the great work the plumber did, notching into the joist. A very small example of the botched plumbing job the asshole(s) did when they cut into the joist holding up the second floor, where the joist was nearly cut through to accommodate the waste pipe for the upstairs full bathroom. (click to see it big!)

more down into the crawlspace
Another view of what lies below. Not sure where this is. (click to see it big!)

And there you have it. It looks so much better now that it’s been cleaned and demolded (is that a word?) Stay tuned ...

posted by lee on 08/26/17 at 05:27 PM

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

oh, the birds ...

Gambel's Quail by Mick Thompson, Green Valley, AZ
Gambel’s Quail by Mick Thompson, Green Valley, AZ (click to see it big!)

The Audubon website is one of my favorite places to spend time. I love birds, to watch them and to hear them. I even love gulls and pigeons. And I would love to have enough talent, time, and patience to be able to photograph them well.

Since I don’t, I was happy to find “The 2017 Audubon Photography Awards: Top 100” page on Audubon. Visitors can scroll through 100 of the entries into the annual Audubon photography contest, which accepts entries from both professional and amateur photographers. I like that each slide tells the story behind each shot.

And then, when you’re done with that, you can take a look at the 2016 100 top entries.

And then there are the bird cams ...

posted by lee on 07/30/17 at 03:45 PM

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

is it too late for the united states?

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth CenturyOn Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a primer on how to avoid letting the United States (and any other democracy) fall into tyranny. He uses the many lessons of the 20th century to demonstrate how easy it is to let democracy slip away. If you don’t think it can happen here, Professor Snyder points out: “The European history of the twentieth century shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary men can find themselves standing over death pits with guns in their hands.”

His prescription isn’t easy. It involves actual thinking and avoiding knee-jerk reactions to every outrage, real or imagined. It involved paying attention to what’s real and ignoring the distractions thrown up by would-be tyrants to obfuscate the real issues. It involves not tolerating bigotry, discrimination, and bullshit, and calling them out wherever one sees it. It involves supporting the real press, the investigative journalists, and other truth tellers.

Snyder points out that tactics employed by Trump during is rallies are precisely the same tactics Hitler used in his rise to power. He cautions that the rise of a paramilitary echoes the SS. And he stresses that so many people allow tyranny to take root because it’s the easy way.

It’s a deeply disturbing book. And painful to read. But also inspiring—there are things we can do to help avoid our slide into tyranny. I wish more people would read it.

posted by lee on 06/11/17 at 04:24 PM

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

cold end to may, but roses!

The drought is definitely over. And so far, we had only one unbearable day as far as the heat goes—one day, it got up to near 90°. But, for the most part, May has been a chilly month. Today it will not get up to 65°. And it’s dreary. Overcast and damp.

But, the roses are blooming! Stanley brought some in for me, and the fragrance is just lovely.

First roses, May 30, 2017
First roses of the summer. (click to see it big!)

Roses, May 30,2017
Another shot (click to see it big!)

And yet another shot of the first roses, May 30, 2017
And yet another shot of the first roses, May 30, 2017, because why not? (click to see it big!)

Roses and Peruvian Lilies on the mantle, May 30, 2017
I put the roses on the mantle to protect them from Bad Cat Slink. (click to see it big!)

Pepper still surprises us.Earlier this month she decided to explore the ceiling—something she’s never done before, at least not that we’d ever seen!

Pepper checking out the ceiling, May 4, 2017
Perhaps she was looking for spiders? (click to see it big!)

posted by lee on 05/30/17 at 03:45 PM

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

learning stuff in photoshop

Though I’ve been using Photoshop for more than 15 years now, I’ve pretty much used it for journeyman stuff, such as making and processing graphics and photos for use on websites and in digital advertising. Haven’t had time to experiment much with it, or learn new stuff unless I have to in order to achieve an effect I want. So I decided to try to learn something new at least once a week.

Today comes from the MediaLoot blog: Make Colors Pop in Lightroom or Photoshop—I have both, but use Photoshop all the time while I haven’t had time to actually learn Lightroom. It involves using the Camera Raw filter. I used the settings from the tutorial, and here are the before (minimal processing, low-res image taken with my Galaxy phone):

flowers on the mantle, pre-filter
Flowers on the mantle, before processing (click to see it big!)

Flowers on the Mantle, filter applied
Flowers on the mantle, after applying camera raw filtering (click to see it big!)

I think the second image does look a lot better. So much so that I’m willing to use the preset filter I made with the tutorial on other photos. But I also think I need to learn more about what I’m actually doing so I can twitch the filter to make it look even better.

Here are two more experiments. I think the processed photos are much better—these are images taken with my Canon:

Slink in the Window, May 25, 2016, no processing
Slink in the Window, May 25, 2016, no processing (click to see it big!)

Slink in the Window, May 25, 2016,color processed
Slink in the Window, May 25, 2016, after filter application (click to see it big!)

Pepper in the Window October 29 2015 no processing
Pepper in the Window, October 29, 2015, no processing (click to see it big!)

Pepper in the Window October 29 2015 color processed
Pepper in the Window, October 29, 2015, after filter application (click to see it big!)

So, cool. Learned something new.

posted by lee on 05/24/17 at 05:20 PM

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

cat snot & other tribulations

This afternoon, I decided to open the window for a while. It was wicked hot earlier this week, but now it’s just cold.

Slink was here, in the living room:

image
Slink snoozing. (click to see it big!)

Which is at the front of the house and includes getting by the dog to get to the window at the back of the house.

But he managed to do it, probably by teleportation since it was instantaneous.

He then proceeded to rub against my face as I was opening the window. Then sneezed in my face. A full, snot-laden, allergy-induced cat sneeze.

Which caused me to step back fast—stepping right into the dog’s water bowl.

Normally it’s just an “oh shit” moment. But I’ve been sick for a week (allergies or a cold, who knows?) and am exhausted because last night I 1) binge-watched every episode of Marcella on Netflix and 2) got very little sleep once I did get to bed since every time I settled down, I started coughing. And trying not to cough so I wouldn’t wake Stanley. Which made the coughing worse, of course.

(Marcella was very good. But a lot of holes, kind of built-in to the series—she suffers from fugue states, it seems—maybe to explain things where you don’t really know what happened but seem to be resolved so the story continues. Hmm. Maybe these get resolved in season two?)

Anyway, after stepping into the dog’s water bowl, I just started laughing (while sopping up the water), which made me start coughing again. Which made me think about the benefits of Depends.

It’s just too cold for May.

posted by lee on 05/21/17 at 07:00 PM

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