#99 – Mike Olbinski – Africa

Mike Olbinski – Africa

Mike Olbinski recently returned from a trip to Africa to document the charity work of an amazing young man named Austin Gutwein.  The trip was both emotional and in some ways magical.

Mike Olbinski

(from Mike’s website – go here for his write-up.

Normally I do a little write up in this section based off the “About Me” section on the photographer’s website.  However, Mike has such a nice video , I am going to let it do the talking.

Mike Olbinski Photography – Promo Reel from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.



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Thor II – Amazing experience with storm chasing in the Central Plains and witnessed an amazing storm out near Texas.  Posted the photo online and the video went viral.  Had the opportunity to license the video on YouTube and Marvell saw the video and the video ended up being in the movie Thor II


Africa Trip

  • How did the trip come about and what was your role?

    • Austin Gutwein – Hoops of Hope – started a charity which has raised over a millions dollars.  The charity wanted a still photographer to come along to capture what they were doing.

  • What preparation is needed for a trip like this

    • Renewed Passport quickly

    • Need malaria pills and shots

    • Costs covered by the charity…didn’t make money but all expenses covered

  • Was there anywhere you didn’t feel safe?

    • Never felt unsafe.  You get there and I had jet lag, then mostly nervous about being there and not being ready for what I was about to see. 

    • Low point was missing kids at home – cost to call / text home is expensive but you have the ability to stay connected.

    • Kids in Africa were always waving whenever we passed

  • Now that you have done it once…would you do it again?

    • Probably not, long time to be away.

  • What gear did you bring?

    • Simplistic packer, shoulder bag and a light stand

      • 35mm

      • 50mm

      • 70-200mm

      • 16-24mm

    • Macbook to download photographs to show the pictures as a slideshow

    • Multiple batteries and memory cards

  • What happened when Austin prayed for the child?
    • The parents started to cry…the parents were still obviously in pain even though the 2 year old child passed away two years earlier.
  • How was the wildlife?
    • Didn’t really get to go around and see the wildlife, except at the hotel which had a wildlife preserve. 



Mike Olbinski –



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About geephotant

geephotant (Geek-Photographer-Accountant) (aka. Mike Howard) is the creator of Nov Studios and the jpeg2RAW podcast. Mike is an accountant by day as the Controller for a large US based corporation. By night, he is a geek and has appeared on the Home Server Show Podcast & the BYOB podcast ( both found at www.homeservershow.com). He has also appeared on the Home Tech Show podcast (www.theaverageguytv.com) and is now a regular guest on that show. Mike's true passion is photography and shoots when ever he can find time. As an amateur photographer, he is always looking to learn more about the craft.

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