I went out on Wednesday night thinking I might get a shot of the Bone with the burners and I was really thinking the dunes [a desolate expanse located north of Nellis Air Force Base] since the previous shot were from there - but then because of the gusty winds they changed the runway and it was a south flow. I camped at Cheyenne Avenue that evening and all the heavies went and then the fighters went and no sign of the Bone. I was disappointed. To add to the disappointment, I heard the next day that the Bones are broken and will not fly in the night launch. So I had absolutely no expectations when I went down there Thursday departures were still a south flow because of the winds. One by one the heavies departed and then a bunch of fighters departed lighting the night sky with their burners.
It was almost around 2130-ish and I decided to pack it in as things were getting slower but just decided to hang around for a few more minutes. Then suddenly I saw lights on runway 21R, which is not where the heavies take off, the heavies taking off from 21L, so again I had no clue what the lights were attached to. Then the lights started rolling and I could not make out what it was in the darkness. Then I heard the guy beside me watching through binoculars say 'Oh its the B-1." I was like "Holy shit it's the B-1! I better not screw this up!"
I saw the shape lift skywards, I could clearly see the four flamethrowers working overtime in the back of the Bone. Those were the most beautiful burner cans I have ever seen in my life. I was watching the Bone takeoff with burners at night for the first time ever, and what a sight and sound it was—WICKED!!! You could see the afterburners even quite a distance as the Bone had them on for quite some time. I was ecstatic. I returned back to the hotel and just transferred the image from the camera to the iPhone using SnapBridge and then using PsX went for a quick and dirty edit.
And that is why my mantra is 'be lucky than good." I mean, of course, you need a certain level of proficiency in using the gear and what you do, but the rest is up to luck most of the time!
The image was shot with a Nikon D850 with a 500mm f/4 lens. My settings were Auto ISO with an aperture of f/4.