If I’m ever feeling frustrated or less than confident about my work, I tend to just go to my cherry blossom images and then I feel all better. Theres something about them that makes me so happy. They are also easy to shoot. They have all the built in elements of composition right there. Line, shape, form, color, frame. You just have to be creative with it. Plus it’s really hard to take a bad picture when they’re at peak bloom. Anyone can do it.
Since I’ve been shooting the cherry blossoms for 7+ years now (I know, crazy right?), every year I challenge myself to create something different. Even though they are the same trees at the same Tidal Basin, they’re always look different. My favorite from last year was playing with framing and the year before that was incorporating people into the shot. This year was definietly the surprise element of fog and creating some images with the muted tones. I also had a great time playing with puddles since weather was a huge factor during this year’s festival. So I guess the point of this story is to challenge yourself. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I take the same pictures as everyone else. I think it’s fine, but get those out of the way first. Move on from those and try to see something new. Change your perspective or walk in a different direction than everyone else. You’ll be surprised by what you see. Even if you’re used to always shooting on a tripod all the time, leave you tripod in the car this time and see what comes up. You may be happy with your results.
It’s not all shooting though. Once you’re in front of the computer, try a different way of processing or even cropping. This image was actually a horizontal image that I cropped to a vertical. I felt the composition was much strong like this but didn’t see it until I saw it on the big screen.