washington-DC

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Every year Washington DC welcomes millions of visitors traveling to the National Mall to take in all the sights and history. Many will start coming in the springtime to catch a glimpse of the beautiful cherry blossom trees at the Tidal Basin. They are alluring, but can sometimes be elusive. Especially when you are dealing with nature, you never know exactly when they are going to bloom or how long they will even last. In general, they will stick around for a week to 10 days. This already leaves a short window of time to see them and that doesn’t include the fact that these flowers are fragile and can fall off their branches with a sudden gust of wind or rain.

So this guide is for all you flower nature lovers who may have missed the cherry blossoms and are here to see what else the city has to offer. Don’t worry because there’s a lot! From Saucer Magnolias to Star Magnolias, Tulips and Forsythia, there is no shortage of beautiful blossoms in the city. You just have to know where to go to see them.

But if you are only interested in the cherry blossoms, I’ve got your back. Click here for the cherry blossom guide!

The National Mall:

Washington DC, especially the mall area, is a very nice area to walk. I highly suggest just taking the day to wander and get lost. There is no doubt that you will run into flowers and beautiful trees while walking around the area. Even the side streets that lead up to the Mall have pretty florets to look at. But if you’re on a time crunch, here are a few specific places to go:

Enid A Haupt Garden

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On particularly sunny days, just after the sunrises be sure to look at the Lincoln Memorial. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but the way that the sun glows on the memorial is probably one of the best things in DC.

And there aren’t too many people who are out at that time of day either. Usually, you will see a few photographers, some Park Police but even more runners. I’ve never actually run on the National Mall but I see a lot of them sprinting up the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial for a final push. This is one of those runners. After running up the stairs, he put his arms behind his head to get a breath of air. I love how his shadow was perfectly aligned with the Lincoln Memorial wall.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/8000th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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Back when the Reach at the Kennedy Center was almost ready for the public, I was honored to be invited to see it for a special social media sneak peek.

But even though our main focus was the Reach, I still took a few minutes out to photograph the Kennedy Center. I don’t get to go often, but when I do, I fall in love with the beautiful lines and architecture all over again. I thought this image was interesting because it’s not every day that you get to see everything that it takes to replace the light bulbs in the ceiling. LOL.

I just love the injection of the orange crane in between the columns and walls at the Kennedy Center. It seems like something so out of ordinary to be there.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/640th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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Spring is my favorite time to be in Washington DC. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and everyone seems to have a smile on their face. What’s not to love? It’s a special time to be in the city where tourists and locals alike flock to the famous cherry blossoms to admire their beauty.

To fully prepared, I reference this website a lot. It’s National Park Services’ Bloom watch. I think they have the most accurate up to date information about the peak bloom. They also break down the stages so that you know what you’re looking at in case you are overly eager and want to check out the trees asap.

2020 Update: National Park Service is predicting an even earlier peak bloom on March 21-24th due to this beautiful, warm weather we’ve been having. <3

So if this is your first Cherry Blossom experience in the Nation’s Capital, let me try to break it down for you…

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It’s as if they’re coming right at you! LOL

But the cherry blossoms are coming! It’s so crazy to say because it’s only the beginning of March, but we had such a warm winter season in the Washington DC area that the flowers are expected to bloom in a couple of weeks. I’m pretty sure the National Park Service will be announcing their estimated peak dates soon, and when they do, I’ll be sure to update my guide to the Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.

As for now, I’m just enjoying images I’ve captured in previous years of the blooms.

My camera setting for this image are F5.6 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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From earlier this year, an image from sunrise at the US Capitol.

I don’t think I’ve shared any other images I’ve captured from this morning. It was one of those mornings where it seemed like nothing was really working quite right. Whenever that happens, I try my best to tell myself that days like this happen and that I’m at least out doing what I love to do. I capture as much as I can and just sit on the images until I’m ready to have a full editing session. Those are the times when I’m excited about editing and feel creative enough to try new things that may have not worked before.

I particularly like this image because I don’t see a lot of images of just the Peace Monument located in front of the US Capitol. I love how the bare branches are framing the monument adding to the mood.

My camera settings for this image are F5 at 1/200th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-20mm zoom lens.