This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘fireworks’

Independence Day 2016: Fireworks

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 15, 2016


I was experimenting with the focus-pull technique when I photographed the annual Independence Day fireworks in Maale Adumim. Unfortunately, I’d left my big tripod at work, so I tried to balance a table tripod on a round railing. That’s why some of the results are a bit wonky. Oh, well, I did find a really good place to shoot, so next year I’ll make a note to bring my tripod home and to go to the same spot with a wide-angle lens (these were taken with 18-135 mm lens). Full set of photos is on Flickr. These photos were taken at f/4 with a neutral density filter (x8). Shutter mode was bulb, so the shutter speed tended to be between 1 and 2 seconds.






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Independence Day, 2015

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 23, 2015

Maale Adumim. This is a single exposure, not a composite or multiple.
More fireworks photos are posted on Flickr.

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Video: Happy 64th Birthday, Israel!

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 26, 2012

In Israel, Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers comes right before Independence Day. Firework displays are held all over the country, so we made our annual trek up the hill to watch the fireworks in the center of Maale Adumim. This year I decided to do something a little different — a video instead of photos.

We were very close to the site. I had to clean ashes off my lens in the morning. In some parts the video looks out of focus because there was so much smoke hanging in the air (the strong wind had died down). Some of the fireworks exploded so close to the ground that the guys down in the wadi had to run around extinguishing the little brush fires. The colours were much more intense in real life, of course. If I try this again, I may lower the exposure compensation so that the highlights don’t get blown out quite so badly.

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Yom Atzma’ut/Israel Independence Day 2011

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 11, 2011

Yom Atzmaut 2011 in Maale Adumim

Fireworks display at 10:30 p.m. in Maale Adumim. OK, I have to confess that the fireworks didn’t really look like this! 🙂 It’s a composite. But it would have been nice if they had.

Here are a few real shots:




The rest of the fireworks photos are in my Flickr set.

And of course I have to include a few photos of flags:

Israel Independence Day/Yom Atzmaut 2011

When I was photographing the house in the photo above I noticed a puppy watching me at the gate. He disappeared after I took a couple shots. I tried calling him, hoping he would go to the same place. Instead he jumped through the fence, started licking my hands, and followed me for half a block. At least I got one of the photos with him at the gate.

Puppy and Flag - Israel Independence Day 2011

I was playing with Illustrator and decided to morph the text of HaTikvah as though it was on a flag (I should have used a blend mode like multiply or overlay). The flag is not in the traditional position for flags (staff on the left), but I left it this way because the Hebrew words run from right to left and look odd when the lines start at the loose end of the flag and end at the staff. The flag photo isn’t anything special. I photographed it at the traffic circle in Mitzpeh Nevo.

HaTikvah Flag

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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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Focus Blur Technique

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 5, 2009

The 4th of July has come and gone, along with a flood of cook-out recipes and photos of fireworks on the Web. In Israel, our independence day was months ago, so I have no fireworks photos to show. I’ve done some reasonably competent shots in the past, but they’re not much different from anyone else’s. Use a tripod, manual settings, long exposure, etc.

This year I saw something different, which I want to try next year — Focus Blur. In a nutshell, you give the lens focus ring a twist during the long exposure, which causes a blossoming effect (sorry, my point-and-shoot friends). The first one that caught my eye was taken by Andrew Curtis:

Aliyeska took this wonderful shot below — no photoshopping!

Aliyeska has written a brief tutorial about the technique. It sounds simple in principle. Pity that one has so few opportunities to practise a new fireworks photography technique. On the other hand, it might be interesting to try this with light trails at night, or other scenarios that allow a long exposure of moving objects.

Uploaded by takenzen.

For more examples of this technique, have a look at the Flickr Focus Blur pool.

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