A sequence of cherry blossom photos taken over a ten day period at the Tidal Basin. The photos show bursting blossoms (left), peaking blossoms (middle), and falling blossoms (right). The individual photos can be viewed below with more description. (Kevin Ambrose)

The goal was simple, to photograph the stages of bloom of the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin using a single branch as a subject. I hoped to shoot blossom close-ups with the Jefferson Memorial in the background as context. The challenge was finding the right branch to shoot.

On March 16, I made my first trip to the Tidal Basin. The first blossoms were just starting to open but most branches contained only buds. It became apparent that very few branches had blooming blossoms and a direct line of sight with the Jefferson.

After considerable walking, I found an isolated branch near the paddle boat pier that was just starting to burst open with blossoms. It was in clear view of the Jefferson Memorial and it had a nice curve to help with framing the photo. I had found my branch!

I returned four days later and again ten days later, to photograph the same branch.

Read below for more cherry blossom photos and a time lapse video.

With each visit, the trees along the Tidal Basin looked remarkably different and my little branch was transforming from buds to leaves. As of Monday, there were few blossoms left and tidal basin had transformed from pink to green. After the windy weather both Monday and today, visitors to the Tidal Basin this weekend are unlikely to see many if any blossoms.

During the bloom period, I took many more photos of other cherry blossom scenes as well as a time lapse sunset video of the Jefferson with blossoms. Some additional photos and the time lapse video can be viewed below.


Day 1: The blossoms are bursting, March 16, 2012. The wind was calm which allowed for a wonderful reflection of the Jefferson Memorial on the surface of the water. (Kevin Ambrose)

A time lapse video of the sunset at the Tidal Basin with cherry blossoms, March 19, 2012. (Kevin Ambrose)


Cherry blossoms with the Washington Monument, March 19, 2012. (Kevin Ambrose)

Larger versions of the photos can be viewed here.