Photographing the Cherry Blossom peak in Washington DC
As some of you may know, my parents have been living in Alexandria, right outside Washington DC, the last 3 and a half years. Every year since they moved, I've wanted to visit during the Cherry Blossom. Every year I've been unable to travel within that timeframe. This year I was finally able to go and experience the beauty of the blossom.
Being a landscape photographer I am used to photographing in quite surroundings, maybe in some cases one or two other photographers are also in the area. I like photographing in these environments, where it's just me, my camera and a beautiful view. Well, photographing Washington DC during the Cherry Blossom is nothing like that, at all!
I have never in my life seen so many cameras, either smartphones and selfiesticks, compact cameras, DSLRs, video cameras and on, in the same place at once. I was aware that it would be many people gathered around Tidal Basin, where nearly 1700 trees blossom every year, but I was not prepared for shooting in complete chaos!
During the peak we decided to aim for mostly sunrises, as it would probably be a little less people at this early hour. Obviously I wasn't the only one who thought that! We arrived about 45 minutes pre-sunrise to find a good spot. Already it was filling up with people all the way around the 2.1 loop at Tidal Basin. When we found a good spot and set up the cameras, I was amazed to see the amount of people still arriving. At one point, after the sun was above the horizon, I decided to step back and get a shot of all the people around.
Even tho thousands of people were gathered around the lake with their cameras and gear, most people behaved rather good. However, there is always some idiots that has to ruin it for everyone else. Yes, I'm talking to you who steps right in front of someones camera, you who places your model in front of peoples frames. You who stand there with your flashlight or blitz ruining other peoples shots. You who go so close to the edge that everyone behind you gets you right in their picture. If you want to take a couple pictures from the edge, take some pictures of your model at the edge, or do your lightpainting, all you got to do is ask the few people right next to you if it is ok. I'm sure all would say yes. But when you just jump into someones frame, thats pretty rude!
Enough rage from me, I guess thats what happens when so many people with a camera are trying to get a unique shot from a place that is not possible!
Here's some of my favorite shots during my virgin trip to DC during the Cherry Blossom. All pictures are taken during sunrise or sunset at the peak or right after.