The unique beauty of all four seasons was on full display at Washington’s Tidal Basin this year.
I photographed the same scene at the same location in all four seasons, concluding with last week’s peak fall foliage and then created four-panel images to compare views of winter, spring, summer and fall.
Spring and summer are the most popular seasons for people to visit the Tidal Basin, of course, and there is always plenty of activity to photograph. When the cherry blossoms peak in spring, however, the crowd grows so thick that it is often challenging to take photos of the blossoms without lots of people blocking the view.
During the fall and winter, especially on the cold and snowy days, the Tidal Basin is crowd-free, and only die-hard joggers and hikers seem to brave the weather as they traverse the Tidal Basin Loop Trail. Photography is easy during those seasons, if one dresses warmly.
Below, find summaries of my photo shoots from each of the four seasons …
Winter — photos from Jan. 13
I chose the largest snowstorm of our winter season for my winter photo shoot of 2019. Double-digit snowfalls were common across the area, with Reagan National Airport reporting 9.8 inches.
Moderate-to-heavy snow fell for much of the day, which provided beautiful winter conditions for photography. I did have to shoot under an umbrella, however, to keep my camera dry. Here’s a link to my photo post from that awesome, snowy day.
Spring — photos from March 31
The cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin officially reached peak bloom on April 1. Unfortunately, I was scheduled to fly to California for a week-long business trip that same day and couldn’t take photos. Instead, I made a trip to the Tidal Basin for a late-afternoon-and-sunset photo shoot the previous day, on March 31.
Check out the photos below. The cherry blossoms were pretty much reaching peak bloom during my photo shoot despite the official date of peak bloom being recorded a day later. And, of course, the crowds were thick as usual, and the temperature was pleasantly cool.
Summer — photos from Aug. 31
Summer is Steady Eddie for photography at the Tidal Basin. The foliage is always lush green, and the weather is usually hot and humid. Early morning hours are typically calm, with hazy skies.
I chose an unusually clear summer morning with good visibility for my summer photo shoot. The sunrise was not particularly colorful, but when the sun rose above the horizon, golden light flooded the Tidal Basin, which made for a beautiful setting to photograph the green foliage.
Fall — photos from Nov. 9
The temperature was 26 degrees when I left for my fall Tidal Basin photo shoot, just before sunrise, on Nov. 9. The temperature was almost the same as with my winter snowstorm photo shoot on Jan. 13.
But with bright sunshine during the morning hours, the temperature quickly rose above 40 degrees. And the foliage of the cherry trees at the Tidal Basin glowed red and gold with the light of the rising sun.
More seasonal photos at the Tidal Basin