Photographers, charge your batteries, clear your memory cards, and get out your tripods! The cherry blossoms are nearing peak bloom along the tidal basin in Washington, D.C. and I know you’re just itching to get that perfect shot, just like I am.
The National Park Service has announced the peak bloom date and has projected peak bloom, when 70 percent of Yoshino cherry blossoms are open to be March 19-22, 2017.
This year’s Cherry Blossom Festival will be held March 15 through April 16, 2017. With amazing bursts of pink and white the cherry blossom trees create a dazzling array of color.
Over the next few weeks, more than a million visitors will flock to the nation’s capital to see the city’s famous cherry blossoms and take photos of them. With the tidal basin being so crowded, how does one get that perfect shot without several dozen people in the frame?
Here are some of the lessons I learned from going last year:
- Get to the tidal basin early, at dawn, or late, near sunset, to avoid the crowds and get the best light. This cannot be stressed enough.
- Go on a weekday. Weekdays are your best bet, as the Tidal Basin is swarming with people on the weekends. This also cannot be stressed enough.
- Bring a tripod. Photographing at dawn or sunset makes for beautiful light, but requires slower shutter speeds.To reduce camera shake and allow for longer exposures, be sure to bring a tripod or a monopod.
- Go beyond the basin. If you want to avoid the crowds, there are plenty of cherry blossoms at the National Arboretum and the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. You can even go to the National Cathedral. Additionally, visiting the cherry trees in the Bethesda neighborhood of Kenwood is another alternative to the crowds on the tidal basin.