Socially distant spring beauty at the Tidal Basin

March 26, 2020  •  2 Comments

The cherry tree greets the dawnThe cherry tree greets the dawnA lone cherry tree in bloom with the Washington Monument at dawn at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.

The cherry blossoms are in bloom at the Tidal Basin here in Washington, D.C. We've all been self-quarantining at home, like much of the world, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The bloom seemed like a good excuse to get out of the house and, at the time, we were merely being asked to practice social distancing (keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from others) rather than being asked to stay at home. Fortunately, landscape photography is a solitary endeavor.

A quiet morning for reflection at the Tidal BasinA quiet morning for reflection at the Tidal BasinSunrise at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., featuring the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, cherry blossoms, ducks, and a park bench.

In previous years, the cherry blossom bloom in Washington brought large crowds. While the biggest crowds usually formed in the afternoon, parking would start to become scarce at the Tidal Basin as early as 5 a.m. Photographers from all over would flock to the Tidal Basin to shoot the sunrise and the cherry trees, and you had to jockey for position to get your shot. This year was very different. 

Sunrise and cherry blossoms (vertical)Sunrise and cherry blossoms (vertical)Sunrise and cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., featuring the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and a park bench.

There were no crowds this time. While I did see other photographers and sightseers out there, it was easy to keep a distance of at least 6 feet. That was great for safety reasons, considering the pandemic, but it was also more pleasant and it opened up some more photographic opportunities. There is no way that, in any previous year, I would have been able to get these photos of the park benches without people sitting on and standing around them—well, that is, unless the weather were truly terrible, in which case I wouldn't be there either. The weather this year was quite nice, and that made for an overall pleasant experience.

Sunrise and cherry blossoms (horizontal)Sunrise and cherry blossoms (horizontal)Sunrise and cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., featuring the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and a park bench.

Of course, that was my experience this year when I visited the Tidal Basin at a very early hour. I understand that within a couple of days of my visit to the Tidal Basin, the D.C. government shut down all the nearby parking and closed the two nearest Metro stations in order to discourage large crowds. I'm glad I made it when I did and that it was not crowded.

Cherry blossoms at high tideCherry blossoms at high tideCherry trees and minor flooding from high tide at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.

I hope you all enjoyed my photos. Stay safe!


Comments

Diane Nesmeyer(non-registered)
Nice, John! The compositions are spot on. I purposely looked for people. They are there but are well camouflaged I am very happy that were able to take advantage of the moment and shared your moment photographs with us.
Sandra Baggaley(non-registered)
All the photos are beautiful but the last one is pretty and unique!
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