Wanna See a Fighter Jet Fly Through a Rainbow? Of Course You Do

Rainbows are gorgeous. Jets are cool. Put them together, and you’ve got this incredible photo of a Tornado GR4 soaring through a radiant band of ROYGBIV.

The photographer prefers to remain anonymous because of his day job: smuggling guns, knives, and other contraband through airports in order to expose lax security. It’s exciting work, though not so exciting as what he captured last October above the Cambrian Mountains in Wales. “It was amazing,” he says. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

That’s saying a lot. He grew up near the Cambrian Mountains watching the jets soar by and now regularly hikes the hills to photograph them. It’s home to Mach Loop, part of Low Flying Area 7, one of 20 regions around the UK where the Royal Air Force and NATO allies train pilots. Fighter jets, helicopters, and other aircraft swoop through the valleys at altitudes as low as 250 feet. “If you climb up a side of the hill,”
he says, “the jets are sometimes flying beneath you.”

That’s what the photographer hoped to see one cold, windy morning last October. But after driving three hours from his home in Doncaster and hiking to a lookout point on Bwlch hill, nothing happened. He sat beneath a tent for hours scouring the skies for jets. Finally, around 3 pm, storm clouds rolled in from the east, suddenly producing a magnificent rainbow. He immediately snatched his Canon 5D Mark III and began. “I was just willing something to fly through,” he says. Moments later, he got his wish—and a shot of gold.

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