spring

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I have an ongoing list of places I need to photograph or return back to. So when my friend, Birch invited me to walk around Alexandria with her, I was 100% in! I feel like Alexandria has been on my list of places I need to revisit for a long time. 2 for 1 deal if you ask me. A nice morning walk in Alexandria with great company!

I had no real expectations of what I wanted to shoot. I was just looking forward to exploring the city with my camera. So when we started weaving in and out of the neighborhoods, I loved the way that some of the doors were decorated for Easter. These two houses in particular caught my eye. I love the yellow from the tree to the Easter wreath and then finally back to the left hand side with that piece of gold on the bottom of the door. I also really liked the red door right next to the red brick house. Everything about this image just lined up so nicely.

I totally felt like @DCCityGirl while I was capturing this image! LOL House portraits aren’t something I usually do, but I just couldn’t resist when I saw this one.

Hope you all have a great weekend! I’m off to Chicago today with Andrew for the weekend to scout some places to photograph for the photo workshop in July. I’ve spent the last few days reading articles online and I’m really looking forward to sharing what I find with you all. Although I heard that it snowed earlier this week! I already packed away all my winter clothes for the year. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1600 and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m also a fan of when the cherry blossoms start falling. I think it adds a lot of interest when there is pink the trees but also pink in the grass.

I captured this when the petals first started falling. It was the first day of rain after a week of blue skies and I wasn’t mad about it. It ended up being a peaceful day at the Tidal Basin that allowed me to get a little creative with the petals. Luckily, there weren’t as many people out taking pictures so I had time to try different things without worrying about being in other people’s way. Trust me when I say that the Tidal Basin can get PACKED. Like tripod legs within tripod legs. It’s bananas. So a day without that many people is so freeing.

This image was almost by accident. I wanted to photograph the petals in the water, but I accidentally left my camera settings as the same as I was shooting when I was photographing the trees. Obviously, pointing up towards the sky allowed a lot more light coming in than pointing down into the water. So when I expected this image to turn out crisp and clear, it turned out a little blurry. But in such an interesting way that I tried a couple of different compositions until I came out with this one. The water was particularly choppy because of the rain so each time I clicked, I came out with something completely different. It was fun turning my camera in different angles to try something new. In the end, it’s the circular motion of these petals that really makes the image more interesting to me.

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/8th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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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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Unfortunately, the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin have pretty much lost all their flowers. Whenever that happens it sort of feels like the official end to cherry blossom season but I’m not sad about it. It’s expected for the cherry blossoms to last about a week-ish but there was something very special about this year’s bloom.

They seemed to be puffier and more colorful than ever. We had beautiful weather the entire week with nothing but blue skies. It was so exciting to capture. And it seemed like there were so many more photographers out because of the beautiful weather.

This image was actually captured 2 weeks ago, my first official day of photographing the trees this year.

I got to the Tidal Basin a little bit earlier than my usual time. I say I’d got there around 6:20a and it was ALREADY PACKED! I couldn’t find a parking anywhere spot along Ohio Dr at all. In my head, I thought that since it was Monday and that I was there earlier than I usually am, I should be fine with parking, but I was totally wrong. I ended up parking closer to the Smithsonian museums along the National Mall.

It was all good though because I was able to capture some of the cherry blossom trees by the Washington Monument on my walks to and from the Tidal Basin. This one was taken on my way back to the car. The sun had been out for quite some time but I just loved the cherry blossom trees looked like they were about to engulf the Washington Monument. I think that little bit of cloud adds a nice touch to the framing as well.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/640th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle.

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Ok enough with the puddles in the sidewalk, here’s one in the road. LOL. We won’t make any comments about DC potholes.

I knew the Tidal Basin was going to be a madhouse over the weekend, so to avoid the crowd a bit I spent Saturday morning at Haines Point. It is just west of the Tidal Basin but they have beautiful cherry blossoms all along the way. This image was actually taken while I was walking back to my car.

I found this puddle by accident. I loved the way that the cherry blossoms were lined up along the other side of the road and the reflection was perfect. So I just patiently waited for something to pass by to add a little foreground interest. At first, a person walked by on the sidewalk and they were way too small to even notice. Then a car drove by and it was way too big, covering most of the cherry blossom trees. I knew it had to be a bicycle to complete this image.

So I just stood there and waited. It was a good 5 minutes before I saw one coming. He was on the road closest to me and I snapped a few pictures but thought he was too big. So I knew I had to wait for someone to come on the other side. Turns out that bicycle made a U-turn and went back the other direction.

In my head I screamed “Now that’s a 2-for-1 special” LOL. This one bike gave me so many different angles, it was awesome! Then I went on my way back to my car with a smile on my face.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/200th of a sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Taken just a couple of minutes after this image, I was so grateful for the rain. It wasn’t heavy rain that made you want to run back to your car. It was just enough rain to make the petals fall a little from the trees but also create these amazing puddles.

On a typical sun shiny day, it’s not surprising to see one or two puddles at the Tidal Basin. But on a day like last Friday, there were puddles almost every corner you turned. Although they aren’t great for the cherry blossom trees, they are really cool to create these reflection shots. #savethetidalbasin. The other great thing about the rain is that they scare away a lot of potential visitors. For a moment there, I thought I had the whole Tidal Basin to myself! I was about to start blasting music from my phone before I saw a group of runners run past me. I should have brought my ear phones.

But I’m glad I got a few minutes alone with this puddle. I had never seen one form around this area so I took advantage of the opportunity and shot a couple of shots.

Pro tip: It’s said to say but everytime you visit the Tidal Basin, you should wear waterproof boots. That’s the only way you won’t can really avoid getting wet but still get puddle shots like this.

In case you were wondering, I was at the Basin again yesterday. It looks like a majority of the trees have lost a significant amount of petals over the weekend. They’re still beautiful and worth the visit if you still haven’t been this year. It just won’t be as pink and fluffy.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/125th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.