This and That

Random bits of my life

Yom Atzmaut (Independence Day)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 21, 2010

Happy 62nd birthday, Israel!

Israel's 62 Years of Independence

In the evening we went to the Memorial Day/Independence Day ceremony held in our neighbourhood, Mitzpeh Nevo. According to the Jewish calendar, the day begins and ends at sundown. Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers is the day before Independence Day. A ceremony for both days marks the transition between the two days. It has a haunting rhythm, moving from sadness to joy on the same occasion. It starts with memorial prayers and ends with dancing and (in the main part of the city), fireworks.

Our neighbourhood ceremony is held in a basketball court, which has become much too small a venue! I took this photo before the ceremony began, because I really liked the light. I was facing east, so the sun had set behind me, and was perched on a ledge up high, with two cameras and a folded tripod.

Yom haZikkaron/Yom haAtzmaut Ceremony, Mitzpeh Nevo, 2010

The kindergarten children performed a dance. This photo is actually an export from a video, so its size is only 640×480 pixels. I wish it were possible to operate two cameras at once, but I haven’t yet mastered the knack.

Yom haZikkaron/Yom haAtzmaut Ceremony, Mitzpeh Nevo, 2010

Unfortunately, I left before the flag drill and torch-lighting because I wanted to photograph the fireworks in the central park of the city at 9 p.m. (Last year the 10:30 p.m. display didn’t take place and I didn’t want to miss the fireworks two years in a row). Oh, well, maybe next year I’ll hang around long enough to video the whole thing. I didn’t want to stay out too late because I was photographing a bat mitzvah the following evening. This video was shot with a hand-held Canon PowerShot S5, so it’s a bit bumpy. I spliced together bits and pieces from the first half of the ceremony, ending with the dance above.

I had no trouble getting close to the fireworks display, maybe even a little too close. It was tough to frame the shot at times. Here are a couple experiments with the focus blur technique. Maybe I’ll have better luck next year!

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

I also took some regular photos. For more fireworks and Yom Atzmaut shots, go to my Flickr set.

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

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2 Responses to “Yom Atzmaut (Independence Day)”

  1. Seems as though you had an enjoyable evening… and I love those firework shots..

  2. pam said

    I am glad you decided to take some “regular shots” of the fireworks! Your shots are lovely – and I know from experience – fireworks are not the most cooperative of subjects!

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