As Mark said in the last blog, we took a trip into Washington, D.C., last week, to visit the Cherry Blossom Festival and Arlington National Cemetery. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the return of spring and the 1912 gift of cherry blossom trees, from Japan. It brings in lots of visitors who purchase teeshirts and unnecessary plastic objects to remember the trip. Oh yeah, they all bring cameras to photograph the pretty pink flowers and the monuments of the nation's capital. The tidal basin was packed with cameras and tripods. If we could grab all the photographers' shots from a single five-minute period, we would have been able to make a 360 degree panorama of epic proportions covering the entire tidal basin. We conned a work colleague, Steve, to go out at o'dark thirty to shoot photos with his new Nikon D90. This was his first photowalk with his camera, and we wanted to give him plenty of subjects to shoot. As usual, we inserted a theme to our shoot and a little internal photo contest between ourselves. Steve was given no handicap for being the new guy - military guys don't work that way.
Mark put his macro lens on his camera and started shooting close ups of the blossoms. This brings to mind my easy answer to the question, "which camera is the best one to buy?" Buy the one that your shooting buddies have. You'll get lots of free advice about the camera, and you can borrow accessories, like a lens you don't have. I loaned Steve my macro lens, so he could get in there closer to the petals.
Just to be different, I shot some pear blossoms. You know some people just have to be ornery....
As I mentioned earlier, the Washington and Jefferson monuments can be seen from the tidal basin. We all took shots of them, incorporating a few cherry blossoms, just to be sure to meet the theme requirements. We all approached the subject differently - one of the benefits of shooting with others is the opportunity to see the many different ways a subject can be interpreted.
On our way out, I found this scene and grabbed a few shots. Nothing terribly original, but pleasant nonetheless.
You need to get out there and use your camera in order to get photographs. It doesn't matter where you venture, just go shoot. This was a fun little photo session for all three of us. Off we went, to Arlington National Cemetery, scene of Mark's most recent blog. Steve took this final shot there with the cherry blossom theme still in mind.