NOWdestination: cherry blossoms d.c.
March 26, 2017
Maybe it’s because I’m always walking around looking at the world through a viewfinder, or maybe it’s because I’m impossibly oblivious, but a few days ago I quite literally stumbled upon the famous cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, and shot them for a solid 30 minutes before I realized I was at THE cherry blossom spot. Oops!
Truth be told, this year was a little rough on the famous flowers, as D.C. saw some exceptionally warm temperatures earlier in the month, causing the flowers to head for an early peak bloom, only to be stunted by a cold spell and an unfortunate late March snowstorm. Needless to say, I’ve never seen the blossoms before, and was far from disappointed.
They are quite the beautiful display, even if they fell a little short this year of their normal grand peak splendor. I found myself there on Thursday in the afternoon with blue skies overhead, and went back that evening for golden hour. The bloom then peaked yesterday, according to the National Park Service, so you better believe I went back this morning at sunrise, and I was certainly rewarded.
To see the cherry blossoms in all their glory, I definitely suggest arriving before sunrise—frankly, it’s the only way to sit and enjoy them in peace, at least if you’re someone like me, who goes crazy when big crowds start to close in on you…but they are stunning in different ways at each time of day, so it’s definitely worth making a couple of trips as well. My personal favorite viewing was watching the sun rise around the basin, passing only by other photographers, tripods set up and ready for magic—but as soon as that sun came up, I will tell you—hundreds (and I make no exaggeration) of tourists were there in the blink of an eye.
Over the next few days, the flowers will change color from white to pink, so there’s plenty of beauty to catch in the coming days—but don’t wait too long to see them! And if you are not like me, and prefer to be part of the action, check out some of the National Cherry Blossom Festival events—but we warned—it WILL be crowded!