Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Photos of operational aircraft from bases, airports and "spotter" outings
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Tim Laurence
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Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Tim Laurence »

I was in California last month and wanted to capture some low level flying so headed to Rainbow Canyon in Death Valley. The Jedi Transition that is part of the R2508 complex can be very hit or miss so I allowed myself plenty of days to try and get a result....and a nice sun tan. Here is some of the action from a very enjoyable visit.

Firstly, I located myself at the end of the dirt track from Father Crowley Vista as the early morning sun gives good light on anything turning into the Canyon.

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Then I relocated East to the canyon exit to try and capture approaching topsides and I liked all of the different coloured rock formations as a backdrop.

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Having already seen a harrier the day before, take the Panamint Valley route just to the south, I was delighted to see this VX-31 example make an appearance on this day.

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This was the fastest and most aggressive pass I have ever seen. Check out those shock waves!
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These were my logs from my days spent there. I would normally arrive at about 0830 from either Ridgecrest or the local Panamint Springs Resort, then leave around 1630 when the sun had pulled round too much. Equipment used was a Canon 5D MkIII and a 500mm F4 IS L.

Wednesday 16th - 5 passes.
Thursday 17th - 7 passes.
Friday 18th - 0 passes (0830-1130) Told LL was closed.
Monday 21st - 0 passes.
Tuesday 22nd - 2 passes.
Wednesday 23rd - 6 passes.
Thursday 24th - 8 passes (0830-1130).

Some very slow and quiet days, with even up to 7 hours of waiting on the 22nd. After 8 passes in 3 days, seeing 8 during just 3 hours on my last day was fantastic. There were a total of about 10 passes that overshot the Canyon and skimmed the top in the 6 days of activity. A different pilot or a different day might have changed that. Rainbow Canyon is about 2 miles long and I recommend changing locations each day to achieve different angles, perspectives and backdrops. Watch out for snakes too. I met a small sidewinder and he did not look very pleased to see me!

All in all, an experience so good that a return visit is already on the cards in Feb/March. Thanks to Alan Kenny for the company. Thanks to Lloyd Horgan and others for tweeting a link to my photos. More can be found on my website.

Cheers
Tim

http://www.timlaurencephotography.com
@timlaurencephotography

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Bartek
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Bartek »

Sir,
This is outstanding photography. Number 19 is probably the best F-16 shot I have ever seen....

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Rule 27
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Rule 27 »

Impressive! :worship:

Are these cropped at all, or is that full-ish frame at 500mm?

Maisie
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Maisie »

Impressive....! :clap:
6D | 7D | 60D
11-16 f/2.8 | 24-105 IS L | 70-300 IS USM | 50 f/1.4 | 100 f/2.8 | 400 f/5.6

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SamP
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by SamP »

What an incredible set of images! :clap:

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HaveQuick2
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by HaveQuick2 »

25 and 28 are not too bad I suppose......
HQ2 out

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JJC
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by JJC »

Wow! Top quality shooting and subjects! :biggrin: :smile:
''Time to dive into the fireworks!''

FarnboroJohn
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by FarnboroJohn »

No 18 for me. I'd say even with all the waiting your time was well spent.

John

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RichPittman
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by RichPittman »

Very nice Tim. :biggrin:
Always remember "If you cannot turn tight...you cannot fight!"

kw.
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by kw. »

Fantastic set of pictures
Nice of you to add a log ! Puts everything in perspective : especially the time spent and patience demonstrated by you :clap:
You must have a very understanding partner if you were not travelling alone :biggrin:

Nr 25 is my favourite : excellent backdrop which shows how effective the paint job is on the agressor, and that does not destract from the F-16. On the contrary, the backdrop makes the plane pop out. Perfect ! :win:

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tankbuster
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by tankbuster »

Absolutely brilliant. Don't you find you're dropping off with the lack of activity and then whoosh "Oh ****. missed it"
Trevor C
recent and not so recent pictures here https://trevorc28a.wixsite.com/trevspics

stranexuk
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by stranexuk »

Absolutely amazing set, had my drooling over my iPhone!!

This place is definately on my wish list and appreciate your informative post in addition to the stunning shots! I would be using exact same equipment as you....are those cropped much from the originals?

I'm hoping (praying) to get out in march before it gets too hot and those snakes start getting too interested!!! If you fancy some company the let me know!

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Agg
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Agg »

Great set, the Viper with the shockwaves is fantastic!

timuss
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by timuss »

Awesome what a stunning set of shots :clap: :clap:
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Craig_85
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Craig_85 »

19 is astounding, one of the best pictures I have ever seen on here, must be POTW. I would advise anyone to click through to the larger version of it on Tim's website to check out the detail in the shockwave properly.

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Tim Laurence
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Tim Laurence »

A huge thanks to everyone who has taken the time to view or leave a compliment. It means a lot to know that the results are appreciated and that people enjoy looking at the images.

stranexuk wrote:Absolutely amazing set, had my drooling over my iPhone!!

This place is definately on my wish list and appreciate your informative post in addition to the stunning shots! I would be using exact same equipment as you....are those cropped much from the originals?

I'm hoping (praying) to get out in march before it gets too hot and those snakes start getting too interested!!! If you fancy some company the let me know!


Thanks stranexuk. As the jets pass by, I found this body and lens to be enough to get a frame filler. The approaching and going away images are cropped and so I am tempted to have a go at some with a 1.4x on next time.

Cheers
Tim
@timlaurencephotography

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AndyXH558
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by AndyXH558 »

Tim, looks a great place. loving the Harrier pics especially, if you have any more, would be great to see them
Those aren't pillows!!!!

sovietjet
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by sovietjet »

Excellent photos Tim! I was just about to ask how many passes you had each day and what equipment you used and you had already answered my questions! This is on my to-do list however I have no idea how to get there. Is there a link or guide anywhere to the spots you used?
Ivan Voukadinov

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Kenny
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Kenny »

Fantastic Tim, absolutely fantastic! The shockwave F-16 is out of this world!!

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Blackbird
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Blackbird »

Fantastic set :clap: :clap:

Andy :smile:

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viper12
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by viper12 »

:yahoo: :yahoo: 28. Nice.

Axalp In USA ! So good

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RichPittman
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by RichPittman »

This isnt a location that has been stumbled on overnight :grin:
There has been a few shots on the net , namely Fencecheck and GAR for quite some time.

Good on Tim for giving it ago for a Week :cool:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGWWpQfOKVE
Always remember "If you cannot turn tight...you cannot fight!"

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Rule 27
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by Rule 27 »

RichPittman wrote:This isnt a location that has been stumbled on overnight :grin:

:clap:

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ciaranchef
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by ciaranchef »

Just seeing these now, wow, stunning. Bit lost for words but those F-16 are some of the best I have ever seen, outstanding post.Doesnt get much better than this, Ciaran
"It is generally inadvisable to eject over the area you just bombed"
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YANKEE 8
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Re: Low Level - Rainbow Canyon

Post by YANKEE 8 »

:drool: very impressive , congratulations and thank you !

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