cherry trees

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I’ve already started to scout out cherry blossom trees for next year. I’m committing to the idea of photographing the cherry blossom trees around the city and staying away from the Tidal Basin. I’m sad I came up with the idea too late to do it this year because it was such a great bloom, but at least it has given me time to think about other locations.

For example, Hains Point. It’s just east of the Tidal Basin and you sort of get the same feels as being at the basin since they are close to the water, but I really liked this location because there were a variety of cherry blossom trees. In this image you can see the Yoshino trees that you see at the Tidal Basin, but then you also get the weeping cherry blossoms as well as a peek of the Kwanzan trees. I love the variety of whites and pinks and it’s a great location for some cherry blossom portraits. The flowers are just as abundant if not more but it just doesn’t have as many people around.

When I was there I saw at least 3 photoshoots going on with professional photographers on a Saturday morning but these two girls had the right idea. From the moment I got there, they were having a blast with their own photoshoot. It reminded me of things my girlfriends and I would do when we’re on a trip together. Just having so much fun doing crazy things to get a fun shot. But I think the pulled out perspective really gives you an idea of just how much is blossoming in the area. I loved the rows and rows of trees.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/125th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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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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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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The watch is onnnnnn….

Last week Capital Weather Gang and the National Cherry Blossom festival both announced their predictions for the peak of cherry blossom season this year. It’s not always accurate, but they are usually pretty close. So I think I can confidently say that we should expect the cherry blossoms to start their first blooms the first week of April.

I C-A-N-T W-A-I-T. It’s always my favorite time of year and literally when I will probably be coming out of this winter hibernation I’ve been experience ever since the last snow storm here in Washington DC. Sometimes I do feel a little pressure to come up with new composition ideas but once I actually get to the Tidal Basin, I’m always inspired by the flowers. Honestly, the city doesn’t get any prettier than when the cherry blossoms are here.

So if you’re in the area, definitely mark your calendars for the 1st week of April. It will be a good time and if we run into each other, please say hello. It’s always great meeting people who read the blog.

This image was taken 2 years ago. It was probably one of the most epic cherry blossom days in recent memory. It was so foggy and visibility was so low that everything else around me just disappeared. I imagine if it weren’t so foggy you’d even see a little bit of the Washington Monument in the background. My favorite part is how this tree limb is barely touching the water but the reflection is just so nice. I don’t know why but I just keep staring at the right side of this image and I love it so much.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/80th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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This was definitely one of my favorite days of 2017! Obviously Washington DC is famous for it’s cherry blossoms in the spring time but this past season was sooo unique. We had a crazy warm winter which lead to a weird snow that we got in March. It was so unexpected and out of nowhere. Everybody was so confused by it, including the cherry blossoms! They had already started to bloom and all the weathermen in the area were saying how this year’s cherry blossoms weren’t going to be doing too well.

They were right and they were wrong. A lot of the trees still peaked but some trees were complete duds. The flowers themselves weren’t as vibrant as they usually are. Which was totally fine by me because I think that also mislead a lot of people and they all decided to just skip the blooms this year. It was purrrfect.

So this was taken on a particularly foggy morning where you could barely see 10ft in front of you. It was soooo awesome and so much fun to photograph. I was probably out for 4 hours or something like that just photographing the flowers. The best part was that there was barely anyone there! Usually this place would be packed. I was in a photographer’s dreamland.

My favorite part of this image is seeing the slight reflection in the tidal basin water. It’s crazy to think that just right behind that branch is the Washington Monument which is totally covered by the fog. I usually use it as a point of reference because it’s so tall but you couldn’t even see it with your naked eye. It was bananas. And I love bananas. LOL

The settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/40th of a second and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

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Last but not least, my personal favorite time to see reflections is during cherry blossom season in Washington DC.

I know it’s a little unfair since the Tidal Basin itself can be super reflective, but this was a special day. This was a super, super foggy day out where hardly anything was visible except for these amazing cherry trees. I remember capturing this around 9am. The tide was really high so the water was overflowing onto the sidewalks. Luckily, I was wearing my rain boots and was able to walk around in the puddles. This gave me a perspective that no one else was able to capture or if they did, they were not able to stay in the water for that long. If you look on the bottom right hand corner of the image, you can see a slight color variation on the cherry blossom branch in the reflection. That was the line divide of the sidewalk and the water itself. CRAZY right? Definietly the best day of cherry blossom photography ever in history of all the world.

The camera settings for this image was F6.3 at 1/40th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm. I remember purposely not using my wide angle for this image because I felt like it would have added way too much to the image. Either too many trees on the left or too much white space on the right. This was captured at 28mm and it worked out perfectly.

Let me know what you thought of this week’s reflection images. Did you like the series? Should I do more of them in the future with other themes?
In case you missed the past couple of days, here’s what you missed: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4

Have a great weekend, everyone!