Cherry blossoms,  Instagram

#DCFocused Pic 5: Welcome to the bloom!

The Cherry Blossom peak bloom is upon us. If you’re brave enough to venture to the tidal basin and National Mall and face the throngs of tourists, you just might escape with some wonderful photos of the trees that make DC one of the country’s top spring  destinations. To up your odds of getting that perfect image, learn from today’s contributors. Also, be sure to check out our Guide to Cherry Blossoms.

Follow today’s contributors on Instagram at @stephanechong, @citytotrail, @jarrett.hendrix, @chicvilleusa and @brenton.davis. To be featured in our Pic 5 selection, tag your photos #DCFocused.

1. Go at night — @stephanechong

Sunrise and sunset are the most popular times to photograph the tidal basin. But there are also some great nighttime images to be had, with the added bonus of fewer people walking into your shot. Also, if you’re going to go to the tidal basin, find this tree and photograph it because it’s our favorite.

2. Get close — Nikki | @citytotrail

Get the sweeping landscape shot but don’t forget to grab a detail. Bring a macro lens or just focus on the flowers.

3. Use your flash — Jarrett Hendrix | @jarrett.hendrix

Good morning.

A photo posted by Jarrett Hendrix (@jarrett.hendrix) on


Jarrett used a flash, or a hand-held light, to expose the cherry blossoms in the foreground, bringing out the kind of detail he could not have gotten with either a long exposure or even HDR. However, to get results like Jarrett, you’ll need to make sure your aperture and shutter speed are set to properly expose the background. Also, before using your flash in close quarters, be considerate of those next to you who might be in the middle of a long exposure.

4. Frame the shot — Chicville USA | @chicvilleusa

DC is in full bloom right now, loving it!!! #Chicvilleusa #cherryblossomfestival #acreativedc

A photo posted by Chicville USA (@chicvilleusa) on

Everyone does it. You should too. Use the cherry blossoms to frame one of the tidal basin monuments, paddle boats or someone walking past.

5. If you can’t beat them … — Brenton Davis | @brenton.davis

You really can’t escape the crowds on the tidal basin, so you might as well incorporate people in your shot. Ask someone to pose or look for that perfect candid.

Multi-media story teller, non-profit do-gooder, international street photographer, serious poker player, intrepid traveler.