dc cherry blossoms by Jen Consalvo

dc cherry blossoms at sunrise

yesterday morning i joined hundreds of other photographers for the pre-dawn trek down to the tidal basin to watch the sunrise and capture some of the glorious light that magically lights up thousands of little white and pink cherry blossoms.  i prepared everything the evening before:

  • battery charged? check
  • tripod? check
  • new 50mm len? check
  • old 24-105mm? check
  • comfy shoes & warm fleece? check
  • camera body? check

with travel mug of hot tea in hand (it was pretty chilly!) and lowepro backpack strapped on, i was ready.  of course, there were a few surprises… first, it’s amazing how many people were already there by 6:20am. i was able to find a good spot along the basin but many photographers had clearly staked their prized spots much earlier. second, there was more mud than i expected, making maneuvering a bit tricky. third, no flash. oops. while the tidal basin was filled with glorious colors from the sun, the cherry blossoms around me were shrouded in darkness… i watched jealously as photographers around me fired their speedlights, illuminating the delicate canopy. instead, i opened up my aperture and lengthened my exposures, hoping to find that perfect balance. i would work with natural light and be proud. by 8:00 am the sun was up, the air colder and the crowd thicker than you would imagine. my patience wore thin and hunger ruled (note to self – next time bring snacks) so i ended up leaving by 8:45, before i fully walked around the basin as i had originally intended.

my goals for this project were twofold:

  • i’d never actually done a sunrise shoot in dc (i’m not an early riser) so it was really important for me to actually do it. no snooze button!
  • last year i loved my photos of the blossoms – i had just bought my camera and it was an experimental shoot. this year i wanted to be more conscious about what i was shooting and try to get some different types of shots. while there were some disappointments, overall i’m happy with the shoot and the preparation i put into it. there will always be some disappointments, but when you put in your time, and stay present, there are always at least a few magical surprises that turn up in the end.

here are some pics from sunrise. as the morning progressed i focused more on the blooms – i’ll post more of those later this week.

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

2010 DC cherry blossoms at sunrise

view images in large, flickr slideshow here. are you on my mailing list? if not, please sign up today.

This entry was published on April 5, 2010 at 8:45 am. It’s filed under dc, good times, nature, photo entries and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “dc cherry blossoms at sunrise

  1. I love that the sky in the really early pics almost matches the color of the blossoms. 🙂

    More power to you to get up early and get these beautiful shots. I tend to only see sunrise if I haven’t slept yet…

  2. Thank you! It’s so rare that I force myself to do something like that but it was SO worth it.

  3. Anna Turner on said:

    This is all new to me, I am a 81 yr YOUNG artist and these pictures just made me want to pick up my brushes and start painting, unfortunately I have been very sick and can not hold my brushes steady so I will ENJOY your pictures, thank you for shareing them with everyone. Anna

  4. Nature an Society and ME! Way to go on your follow threw.
    Thks

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