Peak cherry blossom bloom sunrise in D.C., briefly kissed by light (PHOTOS)

April 12

A beautiful scene at the Tidal Basin captured in a moment between dawn and sunrise.  (Ian Livingston)

Not much compares to a sunrise on the Tidal Basin during peak bloom. Just ask the thousands who partake each day.

It may not look too crowded in our photos, but for a sunrise shoot, it was a mad house on the Tidal Basin Friday morning. The day prior, on April 10, peak bloom was announced. Given the mild weather, many took the opportunity to view the blossoms at their finest moment. We were among them.

Since crowds were thick, we ended up staking out separate spots — real estate was limited. We had to pick a tree quickly and start shooting.

Even with the crowds, the beautiful blossoms were a sight to behold.  It’s a classic Washington scene.


The sun begins to rise above the horizon at the same moment a duck swims across the Tidal Basin, April 11, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

Cloud cover moved in soon after sunrise which ended our photo shoot. But, for a brief moment, we witnessed a spectacular sunrise and we managed to capture a few photos of the blossoms kissed by light.


The sun clears the horizon.  (Ian Livingston)

The soft light at sunrise illuminates the cherry blossoms. (Kevin Ambrose)

The sunrise at the Jefferson with cherry blossoms in peak bloom.  (Ian Livingston)

This is a photo sequence from dawn through sunrise, April 11, 2014. The upper left photo was taken at 6:12 am, upper right at 6:42 am, lower left at 6:49 am, lower right at 6:52 am. (Kevin Ambrose)

A cherry blossom sunrise.  (Ian Livingston)

It’s always helpful when a professional model steps in front of the tripod to show you where to aim the camera.   I bet she doesn’t work Derechos.  (Kevin Ambrose)

The sun rises behind the Jefferson Memorial.  (Ian Livingston)

A Jefferson close up at sunrise, April 11, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)
An excellent way to enjoy a cherry blossom sunrise, April 11, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)
An excellent way to enjoy a cherry blossom sunrise, April 11, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

Related content:

New! Strollaround.com – Guided tour of the blossoms

DC blooms: Where to find cherry blossoms in your neighborhood.

2013 and 2014 cherry blossom coverage

Ten days of cherry blossoms (PHOTOS, 2012)
Cherry blossoms bursting out (PHOTOS, 2012)
Cherry blossoms with an overcast sky (PHOTOS, 2011)
Washington’s cherry blossoms in the snow (PHOTOS, 2011)
A cherry blossom bird’s-eye view (PHOTOS, 2010)
Cherry Blossoms Wind Down as D.C. Greens Up (PHOTOS, 2009)
Cherry Blossom Morning (PHOTOS 2009)
Washington D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Bloom Begins (PHOTOS, 2009)
Photography: Falling Blossoms & Spring Scenes, Kevin Ambrose (2008)
Photography: A Blooming Good Time (2008)
Photography: Glorious Cherry Blossom Sunrise (2008)
Photography: Cherry Blossoms by Night (2008)
Photography: Flying High as Spring Blossoms (2008)

Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.
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Ian Livingston · April 12