Rare Cloud Formation Over North Dakota: Timelapse Photography

Mike Olbinski is a storm chaser and a landscape photographer. He specializes in collecting footage of supercells, tornadoes, lightning, and everything else that he finds interesting. He chases storms all spring across the United States. But, he usually doesn’t release his work until after the end of the season. However, this particular phenomenon is a rarity exempt from the mandatory waiting period:

What you see in this timelapse is a rare phenomenon known as undulatus asperatus. A phenomenon that is identified with a rare curvy like appearance. This cloud type is the newest to be named in the last 60 years.

storm timelapse of rare clouds

Even with its rare appearance, there was something breathtakingly unique about this image. As the clouds rolled by, the sun appeared from behind the clouds and lit it up like “nothing we’ve ever seen before.”

Olbinski set up two cameras to capture the storm clouds from two different directions. Incidentally, both of them were Canon 5DS Rs. One of them had a Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4 lens mounted on it and the other one had a Canon 11-24mm lens.

north dakota storm cloud timelapse

So far as post-processing is concerned, Olbinski says that the colors are absolutely real. All he did to enhance the images was increase the contrast. He even admits to considering dropping the saturation a bit because the colors looked too over the top, especially with the added contrast.

Undulatus asperatus at sunset

By his own admission, this is the most incredible scene that he has witnessed in his eight years of chasing storms. And we agree!

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One response to “Rare Cloud Formation Over North Dakota: Timelapse Photography”

  1. Jerry says:

    Thoughts of a movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Eerie.

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