Like most local photographers, I am eagerly awaiting the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin and elsewhere in the city. Unable to contain my enthusiasm any longer I drove down this morning to check things out.
Already forewarned by Mitch Zeissler’s blog post yesterday, I did not expect to find any blooms but I did want to see what new parking restrictions the festival authorities had dreamed up. As the image above shows, there was a mystical fog hanging over the Tidal Basin and the trees are still a long way from their peak performance. Here is another view with a composition that might be worth going after in a week or so, no matter what the weather is.
In the right conditions, fog can add a unique dimension to a photograph. The image below was taken on March 22, 2012. The blossoms were very early that year. The fog in this image was not as dense as this morning, but the effect with the Jefferson Memorial is quite different that would have been the case on a sunny morning. A large version of this image is hanging in a conference room of a building on Pennsylvania Avenue (no, not that building). Technical data: Shot at 1/125th sec. @ f/16, ISO 400; 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens set at 24 mm. I was quite close to the tree so this is a Photomerge of six separate images in Photoshop.
The Festival authorities have imposed the usual parking restrictions around the Tidal Basin. Ohio Drive is closed to southbound traffic and parking there is restricted to tour buses and vehicles with handicap permits. The small lot adjacent to the paddle boats concession is closed and is filled with media and commercial partners in tents of varying sizes and shapes. The tents will detract from images you may want to shoot from the Jefferson Memorial side toward the Washington Monument. People in other categories, however, will no doubt appreciate the health benefits of the long walks from the special parking areas set up on Haines Point. Just follow the pink signs if you drive. In truth, driving is a bad idea when the blossoms approach their peak unless you plan to arrive before sunrise. Take the Metro instead.
I’ll be updating the cherry blossom status with new posts in the coming days, but I would also recommend that readers check out the blog post by Mitch mentioned above; he has links to several live webcams that show the current conditions the Tidal Basin and the Mall.