I’ve loved DC since the moment we moved here, but even if I were still on the fence, this weekend would have sealed the deal for me… Andrei and I headed down to the Tidal Basin yesterday to catch the Cherry Blossom Festival‘s explosion of fluffy floral goodness. These trees are scattered all around where we live, but there was something incredible about seeing them in massive clusters woven throughout some of the nation’s most famous and historic areas. For anyone planning to make an adventure of it in the future, here are a few tips, from a very amateur me:
Cherry Blossom Festival Tips
- Arrive early! This is a mega tourist event, so if you want any chance of avoiding the hordes of oblivious people battering you with their selfie sticks, I recommend getting to the Tidal Basin between dawn and 8:00 AM. We arrived at about 8:45 in the morning, and it was already getting crowded, but it was just about too crowded to move by noon.
- Or late… I haven’t tried it, but sunset is supposed to be gorgeous. I imagine it’s probably pretty busy at that point, but if you’ve missed the morning, you might want to think about heading over for the late afternoon.
- Pack light. I left my purse in the trunk when we parked, and I’m so glad I did. I was able to focus on my camera and getting the picture I wanted instead of worrying about my purse in crowds. Plus, when there’s a squeeze for a great photo spot, it was nice not to have any bulk on me.
- Shoot in manual. As you make your way around the Tidal Basin and the various monuments, you’ll be taking pictures in a whole lot of different lighting and distance situations. Shooting in manual helps you avoid lighting blow-outs, dark greyish blooms, or inconsistent snaps. No clue how to shoot in manual? Darcy of Life With My 3 Boybarians has a great series of tutorials if you have no clue what you’re doing.
- Put the camera down. And the phone. Seems counterintuitive after that last tip, right? It’s not though. Once you get a few pictures in any given spot, put the camera down and be there. Take in the sights, smells, and the beautifully overwhelming cherry blossom clouds outside the frame of your shot!