Monday, March 28, 2011

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms at Sunrise

Washington Cherry Blossoms at Sunrise-5

The cherry blossoms in Washington DC are a spectacular sight.  So much so that in addition to the Cherry Blossom Festival, parades, road races and so on, there is an annual migration of photographers to the tidal basin adjacent to the Jefferson memorial.

Washington Cherry Blossoms at Sunrise

So the fact of the matter is that the scenes you see here were simultaneously being shot by 75 other photographers.  Sunrise on the tidal basin is much like the crowd at the taco truck when lunch time approaches.  Fortunately, as a group I find photographers relatively courteous and the elbowing kept to a minimum.

Washington Cherry Blossoms at Sunrise-1

This year I took a little different approach to photographing the cherry blossoms.  In the past I have gone for the wide angle landscape shots using my 17-40mm.  This year I decided to focus on tighter shots using the 70-200mm.  I am pleased with these results and happy that a simple change of lens, resulting in a new perspective, added a new creative component.

Washington Cherry Blossoms at Sunrise-4

Each of the shots featured in this post are three shot bracketed HDR photographs.  Speaking of which here is a little tip if you are doing HDR photography on a somewhat regular bases.  Most DSLR cameras have a programmable selection on the main dial.  For us Canon folks, it is the “C” setting.  I use this for my HDR setup.  In other words, if I am shooting and see something that deserves HDR, I just switch to “C.”  My settings saved in this mode are f/8.0, ISO 100 and a three shot bracket at +2, 0 and –2.

Washington Cherry Blossoms at Sunrise-3

Setting up the saved settings like this helps me focus on the creative process and less on camera settings.  It is a true shame to stand around wasting time fiddling with your camera settings when your focus is more appropriately dedicated to composing a good photograph.

Washington Cherry Blossoms at Sunrise-2

I will be back at the tidal basin again tomorrow at sunrise.  I will be the tall guy smoking a cigar as long as my 70-20mm lens (it helps maintain a little elbow room among the throng).

Have fun and go make some great photography.


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