Enid A. Haupt Garden

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Taken right after I captured this image, this bird was basically singing in my ear. I turned around and I could tell he was having a good time in the Smithsonian Gardens hopping from one branch to the next. So when he actually stopped to pose for the picture, I had to take it. He kind of sticks out but also kinda blends in with the background at the same time which I like.

By the way, why are all animals always “he”?

Along with the cherry blossoms, I always look forward to when the Magnolias bloom around the city. I don’t think they get enough credit because they are beautiful too. It seriously feels like you’re walking through a pink wonderland sometimes with how much blooms around the city. I love spring.

Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend. I’ll probably still be out taking pictures throughout. Even though peak bloom has passed for the magnolias and cherry blossoms, I also kind of like it when the flowers are falling off a bit. When the pedals are all over the grass and in the Tidal Basin water. Especially with the rain and hopefully wind, we’re getting today it should make for some interesting petal formations. I’m hoping the Tidal Basin and surrounding areas will look totally different.

That’s the thing about cherry blossom/magnolia/flower season, it’s just so hard to let go. LOL. It comes and go so quickly when all you want to do is just sit and appreciate them for a little while longer.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/80th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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So when I was trying to come up with a blog post idea for today, I actually google previous blog posts I created on this same day but in previous years. The best part about daily blogging is that I had at least 5 other posts I could refer to. The best part was that all of them were flower images too. That just added another check mark to the consistency tracker. LOL.

This blog post is paying an homage to the one I created on March 21st of 2016. Click here to see it. That image and this one were probably taken on the same day behind the Smithsonian Castle at the Enid A Haupt Garden. The best part about it is that in the caption I wrote, “I feel like if I ever had a book about my life, this would be the cover”. Well, the story about my life has yet to be written but little did I know that less than 2 years later, I would actually write a book. CRAZY! That image didn’t end up being the cover but I felt like that was foreshadowing to what really happened.

Fast forward 2 years, swap the magnolia flowers for cherry blossoms and it’s almost been a full year that Snap DC has been published. I still can’t believe it and it’s probably one of the projects I’m most proud of. I still get messages from people about how they’re using my book and feel inspired by it. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. And if you haven’t checked it out already, I definietly talk about my favorite places to capture flowers around the Washington DC area and the Enid A Haupt garden is on that list because of beauties like these.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/400th sec ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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I’m happy to report that the Magnolia trees have been saved! The snow that we had last week didn’t seem to phase them much. I captured this image Friday morning behind the Smithsonian Castle at the Enid A Haupt Garden. I arrived a little bit after sunrise so I could get that beautiful early morning glow happening on the flowers. It was like walking in paradise. The birds were chirping, the wind was soft but nothing beats that early morning light.

In order to capture this image, I had to be patient. For some reason there were not a lot of people walking by or in the gardens. I stood there for a good 10 minutes before I even saw anyone else but I already had this vision in my head so I had to wait. There I was, standing in the trees looking like a flower monkey. LOL. Standing with my camera close to my face. I left my ear phones at home so I was blasting music by Drake from my phone in my pocket. This guy must have liked Drake too because he crept up behind me and scared the living sh*t out of me. I turned around and gave him a half smile and half ‘what are you doing?’ face. He just smiled back and went on his way shooting.

Obviously I had to stare him down for a little bit. LOL. And then I saw him walking to the the spot that I was waiting for someone to walk past. So I took advantage of the opportunity and finally captured the image I was looking for. Thank you fellow photographer so being so still.

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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Flashback Friday to spring time in Washington DC. It is my favorite time to be in the city. The whole place just sparkles.

But to be honest, I’m not sure which one I like better, the Chinese saucer magnolias or the Japanese cherry blossoms. Both are beautiful in their own way and pop up everywhere around the city. The magnolias are just bigger and easier to see. They also fall like leaves when they’re ready and it makes for the most beautiful dusting of pink. But then there are the cherry blossoms… I’m gonna have to say that flowers in general make me so happy.

Now keeping them alive when they’re in my home… that’s a different story.

I captured this scene while exploring the Enid A Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall. I was walking out of the Moongate Garden and felt such an overwhelming amount of flowers and branches surrounding me. I knew I had to capture it with that early morning light. At first I was trying this composition out with no one in it. It was cool, but it needed to be better. Then a bus most have let people off or a metro just arrived because all of the sudden there were quite a few people walking past. Luckily, I had my camera ready and waiting for the perfect person to enter my frame. I really enjoy the way that this turned out. I showed it to my dad once and he said it looks like it was taken in Japan rather than Washington DC. I thought that was pretty cool for him to say that.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1000 of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens shot handheld.

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You wouldn’t have to have followed my blog for long to know that flowers make me so happy. Every time I look at them, I just want to smile. So it made me so sad to hear that we were going to have a cold front and all these saucer magnolias were going to go away. They were barely around for a week. I’m grateful that I was able to enjoy them at least once this year. I love the mood the pedals all over the park bench and grass is providing. Sort of sad but still amazingly beautiful that I had to photograph it.

The cherry blossoms are a different story though. They may not even get the chance to bloom! Thanks to winter storm Stella we’re expecting 5+ inches and the cherry blossoms are not happy about it. I really really look forward to the blooms at the tidal basin each year so I guess it’s not happening this time around. I feel bad for anyone who has made special travel plans just to see them.

I’m trying to look on the bright side though. This whole winter I was asking for at least one good snow storm and we’re finally getting it. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to the city since the metro will be closed but I still plan on going out and shooting tomorrow morning. I’ll probably walk around my neighborhood with my camera and see if i can capture some flowers with snow. I want to go out early so I can capture some of that fresh, untouched snow. And of course, snow is always better when you have Frankenstein around 🙂

And yes, my dog has an instagram account. If you want to follow him it’s instagram.com/frankensteinwoopan. Hes the cutest.

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Did you watch the vlog I uploaded last week of the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit? At the very end of the video, I was behind the Smithsonian Institution Building (otherwise known as the castle) in the Enid A. Haupt garden. This image depitcs what was distracting me from what I was talking about. I had walked over from the Hirshhorn Museum and I don’t know why but I’ve never seen this view before. Maybe it’s because the magnolia trees weren’t bloomed or I have never walked through that particular entrance before but it literally stopped me in my tracks. The mid day sun was hitting the monument so perfectly. The flowers were looking so pink and beautiful. It was the perfect morning to take a little bit of time and appreciate these beautiful flowers. It really feels like spring is in the air and it’s here so early in the year.

This makes me really look forward to the next couple of weeks in the city. Not only because the cherry blossoms are expected to peak soon but that means I’ll be seeing tons of photo friends. Old ones and new ones. Some that are local and some that are from out of town. It’s so great how everyone sort of comes out of hibernation and goes to the Tidal Basin to photograph the beautiful flowers. It’s like a high school reunion every year, except I didn’t actually go to high school with any of them. So, if you’re at the tidal basin and you see me, please come say hi. It’s always so fun meeting new people who have the same interests 🙂

Here’s to hoping we have beautiful sunrises and sunsets, moody mornings, calming afternoons and no wind! Wind is pretty much the death of the cherry blossom flowers.