tidal basin

All photos available for print and licensing >

Sometimes I go through my “Haven’t blogged yet” folder and I can’t believe some of the images that I haven’t blogged yet! Like this one! It was one of the first I captured this season and I love it because of the unique perspective.

I just happened to be walking around the Tidal Basin by myself when I noticed a group of people taking selfies. They looked like they were having fun so I didn’t want to interrupt them by walking past and being in the background of their shot. So I stood there a little while until they were done. But that’s when I noticed that to the right of them was a straight shot of the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial statue. Now that I think of it, I don’t know if they were capturing the memorial or the cherry blossoms in the background but the sun had just come up a little and the light was shining very nicely on the memorial and the trees surrounding it. It was like the beacon in the middle of cherry blossom trees and just screaming for me to capture it.

I probably spent a good 10 minutes just standing there trying to get this shot how I wanted it. It took longer because there were floating heads in some shots from people walking in front of my lens but it was totally worth it. I feel like the lighting and the framing worked so well to bring attention to the distant memorial.

I’m actually surprised because it doesn’t even look like there’s that many people in front of the memorial. Usually there are wayyyy more people during cherry blossom season.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/640th sec and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

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.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Now for something COMPLETELY different from what I usually do, portraits.

This was fun though. My friend from Colorado, Sam came to visit Washington. This was probably my 3rd year in a row trying to get him to come during cherry blossom season and this year we finally made it happen! Although the cherry blossom trees were not as full as they would have been during peak bloom, he still could not stop saying “Wow this is so beautiful”. It was funny to hear him say it so much because I know I kept on saying it during peak but to hear him say it so often when the petals were falling off made me realize how lucky I really am to live so close to the cherry blossoms.

This image was actually inspired by my friend, Larry. He had taken a similar image of his wife and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to recreate it with Sam. He was completely down for it and it made it even more fun.

We started grabbing all the petals we could from the grass and collecting them in our hands. I love the way this turned out. His facial expression is just perfect! LOL. And I can’t stop looking at all the different ways the petals flew out of his hands. We tried this three times before we stopped and this was the second attempt. I don’t think it could have come out any better.

Luckily, Sam had a faster lens that he let me use for this image. Now I am really considering the 24-70mm F2.8. It’s a beautiful lens and the bokeh is just amazing. Don’t be surprised if you see an updated gear list soon 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F2.8 at 1/1000th of a sec and ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and the 24-70mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Another puddle, same day. Just a few steps away from this image and this image, I found this huge puddle. The difference between puddles is that this puddle had some really pretty petals along side of it.

Now try saying “puddle with pretty pink petals in it” 5 times as fast as you can.

Like I briefly mentioned yesterday, there are puddles everywhere. Especially on rainy days but it doesn’t even have to be rainy to find them. High tide will also make the sidewalks flood and it’s getting really bad. It’s to the point where it can be impassable.

I mentioned it last week but the Tidal Basin really does need your help. It will come to a point where no one will be able to enjoy the cherry blossoms because of the damaged flood walls. If you are interested in more information about the problem, click here and tag your images #savethetidalbasin on social media to help spread the word.

It can be deceiving but that puddle is actually deeper than it appears. I stepped into with my rainboots and the water went up to my ankles. I’ll take no more puddle reflection shots over saving the cherry blossom trees for future generations to enjoy.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/320th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

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.

All photos available for print and licensing >

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.