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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/ 2/2010

A cherry blossom bird's-eye view

By Kevin Ambrose

* Ideal weather: Full Forecast | NatCast | UnitedCast | Blossom Guide *

A wide-angle view of the Tidal Basin with cherry blossoms at peak bloom, April 1, 2010. I took this photo from a jet approaching National Airport. The window of the jet crops the bottom corners of the photo.

I had a unique opportunity to view Washington's world-famous cherry blossoms from above on Thursday afternoon. As I looked down from my flight approaching Reagan National Airport, I saw the beauty of the blossoms on a larger scale than most get to witness. I could also see the lines of cars stuck in blossom traffic, the countless tourists slowly walking around the Tidal Basin and Mall, and the clusters of paddle boats on the water. I've photographed the blossoms for years, but had never seen them from such a vantage point.

Keep reading more photos of the blossoms from high above...

A view of the Jefferson Memorial and cherry blossoms from above, April 1, 2010.

I didn't plan to fly over the Tidal Basin and cherry blossoms at peak bloom on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. It just happened by chance. Many months ago, my family scheduled a spring break trip to the Bahamas, with the return flight back on April 1. I figured with the cold and snowy winter, particularly with February's long-lasting snow pack, that the bloom would be delayed by a week or so and that I'd arrive home several days before peak with time to plan a photo shoot. My forecast was wrong, but at least the flight home gave me a wonderful view and unexpected photo opportunity.

A view of the Tidal Basin and blossoms from above, April 1, 2010.

A close-up view of the Washington Monument and the blossom traffic on Independence Avenue, April 1, 2010.

A view of the Tidal Basin and cherry blossoms from above, April 1, 2010.

A bird's-eye view of the Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument and the Mall, April 1, 2010.

By Kevin Ambrose  | April 2, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Photography  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Gorgeous string of near-perfect days
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Wow, great shots, Kevin! Thanks for sharing them on CWG.

Posted by: Ann-CapitalWeatherGang | April 2, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I was down there at 6 pm, walked over the bridge, and tried to see plane passengers craning their necks for a better view.

Posted by: chunche | April 2, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Great photos. Thanks.

Posted by: erbele | April 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Cool photos. Why I always book port-side window on DCA arrivals and starboard for takeoffs. (landings provide better views, though).

Posted by: ah___ | April 2, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Great shots, Kevin! I went and took just a few shots early this morning- after photographing the blossoms so often, I feel I keep repeating the same shots so I tried to take some different types today. What a great opportunity you had to do a new take on an old (albeit beautiful) subject!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | April 2, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the comments. I always try to get the window view of D.C. when flying in or out of National. It's a very fast fly-by so you have to photograph quickly. I set the focus at infinity and the ISO at 400 or 800 and then rapid fire photos as the Mall and Tidal Basin comes into view. If the lighting is good and the jet window is clear, some of the photos usually turn out OK.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | April 2, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Marvelous! Thank you for posting these shots, they're incredible. ...I don't suppose you might have a link to higher-resolution versions elsewhere?

Posted by: random-adam | April 3, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Thanks random-adam. I don't have links to higher-resolution versions yet. Were you looking for a computer wallpaper image?

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | April 3, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Truth be told, I was looking to find out just how inaccessible-due-to-construction the Jefferson Memorial is -- an overhead shot would make that quite clear.

That said, wallpaper is a much better use. :)

Posted by: random-adam | April 3, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

random-adam, it is hard to see the construction barriers, even in the high-res photos.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | April 3, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

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