cherry blossoms

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Last Friday we had our first rain of the Cherry Blossom season. It rained off and on all day but I was really hoping it would be a little more off than on. I just happened to have a photo walk with a camera club scheduled so at least until after sunset would have been the best time with me. Even though mother nature didn’t cooperate and started raining in the middle of the night, I was excited to share the experience with them. Rain during cherry blossom season means two things. 1: There won’t be as many people at the Tidal Basin. 2: The petals start falling on the ground. That’s not to say that I want cherry blossom season to end earlier than it should, but I just love the way they blanket the grass. It’s almost like snow when you watch them falling from the trees. I love it. They’re so small and delicate that it can be hard to capture but I think it’s just as exciting.

One of my favorite things to do is to get really close to foreground subjects and make them look larger than they really are. In order to capture this image, I actually just put my camera on the ground and started clicking away. I would move it in different places to get the composition I liked, but the main goal was to make the petals look big.

Although cherry blossom season may almost be over, I have plenty to share with you all! If we are counting the past 8 days of sunrises, I woke up for 6 of them. So I got tons and tons of pictures to share! Plus I can’t wait for the other flowers around the city to bloom. Ok, it’s been decided. Spring is my favorite season.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/200th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I’m still smiling ear to ear from yesterday’s sunrise.

IGDC held a cherry blossom sunrise walk at the Tidal Basin and it was so fun seeing so many friends at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial to start the brand new day. They partnered with the Trust for the National Mall and The National Trust to help spread the word about the Tidal Basin. Turns out the Tidal Basin is now a national treasure of the National Trust of Historical Preservation. YAY! But now that means that we all need to rally together to help preserve it. The National Mall Tidal Basin draws millions of visitors to the 107-acre site each year, but it is estimated that as much as $500 million in repairs and upgrades is needed.

As you may have seen in some of my previous images, the flooding can get real bad. Like here and here and it’s just getting worse as the days go on. This effects the cherry blossom trees as well as our ability to even walk around the Tidal Basin.

So if you love the National Mall as much as I do, please consider donating to help save the Tidal Basin so we can enjoy these beautiful blossoms for many more years to come. Click here for more information.

This image was taken during yesterday’s photowalk. It wasn’t a particularly colorful sunrise but it was calm. It made the water so still and reflective that it was almost like a mirror. I loved the way the ducks would cutting through the water but only had a quick second to be able to capture this image before they completely swam away.

Did you also notice the other two ducks in the background?

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/640th sec at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I have no doubt in my mind that I will be able to post a new cherry blossom/magnolia/flower image everyday this month. It’s already been that crazy. Crazy but awesome and so much fun! So I think I’m going to do it.

This image was taken on an afternoon walk with my friend, Austin. It had been a while since we caught up, so we met up in the middle of the afternoon, walked around a bit and found ourselves at the Tidal Basin. I’m pretty sure that during this time of year, all morning, afternoon, and evening walks end up at the Tidal Basin. But it was still a great time nonetheless.

If you know me, you know that I usually stick to cherry blossom sunrises. The later on in the day, the more and more people who show up at the Tidal Basin and not that there’s anything wrong with that. The light is just a bit harsher and I personally like the quieter hours but there is something to say about visiting in the afternoon. The was so much more energy at the basin. I found myself just observing other people more and just smiling at all the different interactions with other people, dogs, and even the trees. Who knew there was even live music at the cherry blossom booths in the Paddle Boats parking lot?! LOL I thought that stage was just there for the weekends or something.

My favorite part of this image is the very right hand side where the cherry blossom branch sort of fades and all you can see are little dots of light. I love how the cherry blossoms are so out of focus that it looks kinda like glitter. Not to mention the swan boats forming a heart <3 My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/800th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm

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Other than the Tidal Basin, it’s hard to say where my favorite cherry blossom trees are. There are so many around the city to choose from. These in particular are right in front of the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. The building itself is just so beautiful and I like to use it as a grey backdrop to help create this monochromatic contrast between organic and structural. If I could, I would seriously spend hours just photographing this group of trees alone.

This past weekend I tried to avoid the crowds at the Tidal Basin and photographed the flowers outside the US Capitol and National Gallery of Art. If I was daring enough, I could probably spend the whole cherry blossom season outside of the Tidal Basin and just photograph the ones everywhere else. Actually That’s a really good idea. I may try that next year. It’s already too late this year because I’ve photographed them yesterday morning at the basin but NEXT YEAR! LOL but I’m up for the challenge.

PS If you’re in the area, it’s also the perfect time to check out the blooms by the US Capitol and even across the street at Lower Senate Park. The magnolias and cherry blossoms are looking beautiful. Even the ones at the Washington Monument trees are looking great. I could go on and on, there’s so many great trees all over.

My camera settings for this image is f5.6 at 1/200th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Today is the day! The day that the National Park Service announces their Cherry Blossom predictions for peak bloom. It’s not always accurate but it is a great way to gage if they will bloom early or late this year. With the amount of rain and snow we received this past winter, I’m guessing that it will be a little bit later than earlier. Don’t quote me on this but if I had to guess, I’m going to guess they are going to peak the end of the first week of April until the second week of April. But that’s the thing about cherry blossoms. They don’t last too long. I’d say about 10 days max but typically a week. If during that week we receive rain or a big gust of wind, forget it. Those flowers are gone. In the past, I’ve seen them peak as early as the end of March. We had an unusually warm winter that year and it confused everyone, including the cherry blossom trees. So my prediction is purely based on how cold I’ve been this winter. LOL.

This image was taken last year during cherry blossom season at the National Gallery of Art.
Pro tip– if you want to get away from the crowds, the NGA or even the US Capitol are both great places to check out the beautiful flowers with less people.

And if you find yourself booking a trip to Washington DC to check out the peak bloom, check out the cherry blossom guide I have been updating every year. It should have everything you need to know about the beautiful trees. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 0.6 sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

It may seem a little premature, but I’ve already started thinking about updates I need to do for my Washington DC Cherry Blossom guide. I definietly want to make it a habit to update it every year, especially as the spring season approaches. So the other day while I was going through some of my older images and I came across some from the National Gallery of Art.

Although there aren’t as many cherry blossom trees there and they are significantly skinnier, these are some of my favorites in the city. The reason being that when you go, you’re usually the only one with these blossoms and I just love the backdrop. The National Gallery of Art is such a beautiful building all on it’s own but when you combine that with the cherry blossom trees. Um can you say, magic? LOL. That may be exaggerating a little but I love shooting there. Last year may have been my third year in a row but it honestly never disappoints.

For this image I really wanted to keep this one with a monochrome look. Nothing too dramatic or standout-ish. Just a simple image of beautiful flowers with a simple background. Visiting the National Gallery of Art is probably one of the only ways to accomplish something like that. With all the people around the cherry blossoms, the trees being so close to each other and just the way they are planted, it would be very difficult to do the same at the Tidal Basin. Unless of course, you’re shooting in fog *heart eye emoji*

So if you have any questions about the cherry blossoms around the Washington DC area, please let me know. It will definietly help me update the cherry blossom guide.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.4 sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.