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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/15/2008

Photography: Falling Blossoms & Spring Scenes

By Kevin Ambrose
Cherry blossoms fall with help from the wind Sunday in Oakton, Va.

Some people are sad to see the cherry blossoms go, but this 10-year-old boy delights in the blizzard of blossom petals that fell with the strong breezes on Sunday in Oakton, Va. The wind followed a cold front passage on Saturday evening. See the rest of this post for a photo of an interesting cloud feature associated with the frontal passage, and also a sunrise shoot from the Capitol on Friday morning. One last photo included in this post is from my cherry blossom sunrise shoot on April 2, when the blossoms at the Tidal Basin were at peak. I particularly like the photo and had missed posting it earlier, so I thought I'd tack it to the end of this post.

Keep reading to view more photos. See Matt's post for the full forecast and don't miss the PopeCast.

An interesting cloud feature associated with the cold front passage Saturday evening.

Late Saturday afternoon I was enjoying the mild, summer-like weather by playing basketball with the kids. As we played ball, I noticed a rapidly approaching cloud that glowed yellow and red from the fading sun light. I quickly ditched the kids and ran for my camera. Above is one of the photos I shot before the cloud raced overhead. Strong winds later followed.

Dawn at the Capitol Friday morning.

I pulled off a relatively quick sunrise shoot this past Friday at the Capitol. Here's the routine for anyone interested in photographing a Capitol sunrise: I wake up at least 90 minutes before sunrise (that's the hard part) and prepare coffee for the drive to the Vienna Metro Station. Vienna is a little over 5 minutes away from my house, but of course, any Metro Station will work. I usually read the newspaper for 30 minutes or so on the train until it arrives at the Smithsonian Metro Station (note, the Metro runs a bit faster than usual at 5:30 am and there is always an empty seat at that time). I then take the escalator up to the Mall, walk a few paces into the middle of the Mall, then setup the tripod to in preparation to photograph the sunrise behind the Capitol.

I try to arrive early enough to photograph dawn at the Capitol since the it is still lit up when the sky begins to glow with color. I hang out on the Mall for a short time, photograph the sunrise and a few other scenes, then I take the Metro back home.

For Friday's shoot, I was home before my youngest son had breakfast. I helped a bit with breakfast then took him to the school bus stop with a basketball. I usually take a basketball, football, or soccer ball to the bus stop because I love playing ball with the kids while waiting for the bus. I casually mentioned to the other parents that I watched the sunrise at the Capitol that morning. By now, most of the parents know my routine and either act interested or just roll their eyes, but I still think it's kind of cool that one can start a regular day's routine by catching a sunrise at the Capitol.

The view to the west showing the Washington Monument Friday morning.

The sun rises over the horizon between a break in the clouds Friday morning.

I found this photo on my camera (below) while doing this post. It's from the cherry blossoms a couple of weeks ago and I never posted this shot. The sun is rising above the Jefferson Memorial and the blossoms are glowing with the sun light. It's an interesting photo so I thought I'd include it here.

The sunrise over the Jefferson Memorial as cherry blossoms hit peak bloom, April 2.

By Kevin Ambrose  | April 15, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Cherry Blossoms, Photography  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: From Good to Better
Next: CommuteCast: Clear Skies Lead to Cold Night


I think you're way cool, first to spend the start of the day in such simple splendor and then your kids have a great example!!! Keep it up and thanx for sharing

Posted by: Carol S. | April 15, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

As a side note, right after the first photo was taken, quite a few blossom petals had to be spit out. They are not quite the same as snow flakes. It was a funny scene that I should have photographed.

Posted by: Kevin, Capital Weather Gang | April 15, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Great shots! How about a "Mystery Photo Location" contest where people have to guess where in the region a particular photo was taken?

Posted by: Ryan | April 15, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Carol - Thanks!!

Ryan - Good idea, I'll pass it along to our editor. I have already planned another sunrise shoot, perhaps we can just show the photo and have people guess the location?

Posted by: Kevin, Capital Weather Gang | April 15, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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