washington monument

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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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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.

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It’s official. I’ve officially caught spring fever and over the cold winter weather. You can now bring on the warmer temps and longer days. I’m ready! But in case you missed it, I’ve updated my cherry blossom guide with everything you need to know about photographing the beautiful flowers. From my favorite trees at the Tidal Basin to other places where you can catch the flowers blooming around the city. It’s all there. And of course, if you have any other questions about the cherry blossoms, please let me know in the comments. I’ll try my best to answer them.

But while I’m actually waiting for my spring dreams to come true, I figured I may as well load up on all the winter snow images I have while they’re still relevant. LOL. Things like this is why people always think I think ahead.

Anyways, this image was taken during our biggest snowfall of the year. It’s not really saying much since we didn’t get THAT much accumulation this season but it was still fun to capture. Like I said in my previous blog, I ended up taking the metro into the city and ended my day at the Smithsonian stop. This image was captured closer to the final destination but there was something that compelled me to turn around and take one last look at the Washington Monument when I saw this scene. I just loved how the trees were flanking and framing the obelisk. But I think my favorite part is looking at the very bottom of he image and seeing all the details. I don’t know why but I think it’s because those American flags and light posts are usually captured to be larger than life but when you see them in reference to the trees, they look so tiny. Definitely a new way of looking at these “everyday” things.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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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.

2019 Update: National Park Service and Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang are both predicting the first week of April as peak bloom so it sounds like a pretty safe bet that April is going to start off really pink <3

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

Click here to read more

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You know me, I love a good colorful sunrise and I think the best ones happen in the winter time. It must be something about the cold air that mixes with the clouds or something but some of my favorite images are usually in cold environments. That, and it’s probably easier to capture a winter sunrise because it’s later in the day (but harder to get out bed).

So I captured this image on the same morning as this image. The early morning color did not fill up the entire sky. It really was just a portion but I’m glad I had my 70-200mm to really zoom in on the most interesting part. Judging by this image, you could never tell. I really like how the streaks in the clouds are intersected by the Washington Monument but is it me or is it giving off a creepy vibe? It sort of feels like the two red lights on top of the Monument sort of look like evil eyes. Right? You see it? LOL It doesn’t help that the light is all behind the Washington Monument and making it look darker than it actually is. Maybe I should have saved this image for Halloween 🙂

Fun fact: Did you know the Washington Monument is the only monument in Washington DC? Everything else is a memorial. Funny right? I never realized until my friend, Birch mentioned it to me a little while ago. Now I can’t get it out of my head.

Anyways, I’m back home from Las Vegas and had an amazing, fun weekend with my family. Looking forward to going through all the images and sharing them with you 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/8th sec at ISO 2500 with my Canon 5D Mark II with my 70-200mm lens.

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On a cold, cloudless morning I found myself walking around the US Capitol. I didn’t really have any ideas of what I wanted to capture, I was sort of letting the light guide me. Well, it took me right to the front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool. It’s not a surprise to see a lot of birds or ducks wading in the pool. It’s also not a surprise to see the water a little choppy. But what really drew me to capturing the scene was the amazing orange glow that was coming from the Washington Monument from the early morning sun and reflecting in the water.

I love it. I love how the early morning colors sort of look like a pastel painting towards the top of the pool. I love how the birds are breaking up the abstractness but also all lined up in a row. But I also love the mystery of that orange line, directly in the middle of the image. Something about it really draws me in.

In other news, tomorrow morning I’ll be hopping on a flight to Las Vegas for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to it since I have so many memories of the city. When I was young, my mom and I would go every year to visit my aunt and her family. I used to love going to Circus Circus and play all the games but the best was escaping the Vegas heat and sliding down water slides with my cousins at Wet n Wild. This weekend will be fun because it’s for a family wedding and it will be such a mini family reunion. Looking forward to seeing my family and hopefully being able to sneak away for a little bit and take some pics 🙂

My camera settings for this image is f4 at 1/1600 sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.