From the ABC 7 Weather team

Cherry blossom photography tips (Guest blog)

April 9, 2013 - 01:09 PM
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D.C. area photographer Angela Pan shares with us how to take the perfect shot of the cherry blossoms.

You know it’s cherry blossom season when the cold air turns warm and hundreds of tourists start making their way to the nation’s capitol. It can be a little intimidating with the crowds of people all around, but as long as you use these helpful tips, you’re sure to walk away with some great shots!

Camera Settings
In case people walk in front of your shot, or the cherry blossoms are blowing in the wind, you’ll want to set you camera settings so it takes pictures really fast. For this, I’d increase your ISO (depending on the time of day, I’ve set my ISO to 1200 close to dusk) and your shutter speed to a fast setting.

Time of day
My favorite time of the day to shoot is during sunrise and sunset. Not only is the sun low, which light up the blossoms, but you’ll sometimes get these beautiful colors in the sky that you don’t see in the middle of the day. Clouds can also add interest to your image.

Credit: AB Pan Photography

Practice your Compositions
There are a few composition techniques that may help you create a more interesting picture.

Credit: AB Pan Photography

Natural framing - use the cherry blossom branches to frame your point of interest

Rule of thirds - Pretend there is a tic-tac-toe board on top of your images. Place the focal point at one of the intersecting points instead of dead center

Leading lines - When someone views your photo, they are naturally drawn to lines. Think about how you can direct someone’s eye around your photo using lines. 

Keep on moving
It’s easy for photographers to find the perfect spot with the perfect composition and just stand there for hours. I suggest to take your shot and keep walking around or else you’ll go home with a memory card full of the same image.

Look up!
So many of us walk around looking straight ahead or down. Look up! You’ll definitely get some great shots of the blooms in a perspective you may have never thought about before. 

Credit: AB Pan Photography

The tidal basin isn’t the only place to take cherry blossom pics.
Take the opportunity to explore the city. You’ll find that there are a lot of great places to take photos such as the National Arboretum, National Cathedral or even Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA.

But above all else...be patient
Tourists, other photographers, runners, picnickers, bicyclists, etc. all have the potential of getting in your way. The best thing to do is remember why everyone is there: to enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossoms. Don’t get upset at someone for being in the way because when it comes down to it, you’re probably in someone else’s way too.

About the Author

Angela was born and raised in the D.C. area and graduated from Langley High School in Northern Virginia. She is an award-winning travel photographer whose work has been featured on ABC, TravelChannel.com, and the Washington Post. Her blog has been named one of the top 100 travel blogs and has been internationally recognized by the World Journal.

See her prints for sale here

Follow her: Facebook  |  Twitter

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