It's cherry blossom time here in Washington D.C.!  After some harsh winter weather, the blooms took their time and didn't reach peak until April 11th.  The weather was also uncooperative last week for photography, so when the beautiful days arrived this weekend, the tidal basin was packed with photographers and tourists, and traffic was its typical cherry blossom nightmare.  My strategy was to go during off-peak hours, which meant sunrise this morning because Saturday was the first non-cloudy/rainy sunrise of the cherry blossom season (super crowded at all hours!) and Sunday was the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile race. Off-peak also meant trying to get some nighttime shots, with okay success.  In the sunrise shots below, I played with the two focal perspectives for the scene: monument vs. framing blossom branches.

I took advantage of the soft morning light, and my parking space, to shoot some more around the tidal basin before heading to work - mostly tight shots of the blooms.

My favorite shot from the morning's walk was this branch of flowers just above the water of the tidal basin.  It was hard to get because the wind was not allowing for long exposures, so it took many tries to get the movement of the fallen pedals in the water while keeping the branch still in focus.  Alas, there is nothing in this photo that places it in D.C., so it was more of an artistic indulgence for me than a D.C. landscape shot.

Finally, on the night shoot, I had some challenges with the low light.  Of course, to get my desired shutter speeds I bumped up the ISO,  thereby sacrificing the noisiness of the photo.  So that was a challenge in post.  The second issue was that I forgot my good flashlight at home to light up the blooms in the foreground, so I had to rely on my phone's flashlight.  All problems considered, I like how my two night shots came out.  There is one more - similar to the Washington Monument scene -that I was tempted to post, but I'm too bothered by some of the noise in the photo and the focus being off in areas.  It not only had what you see below, but a couple was sitting on the bench taking in the beautiful view.  I thought it was a very romantic photo, and only wish the quality was better.

OK, fine, I'll post the photo of the couple, but don't judge me on the quality!  Shhh....I used Nik Software Color Efex "Glamour Glow" to soften out the photo and make it look like the focus issues were done on purpose!  Can you see the couple on the bench?