Tidal Basin & Jefferson Memorial - Mark Venner Photography
The Tidal Basin

The tidal basin is one of the most photogenic spots in all of Washington DC. It is a great spot for sunrise and sunset. There are cherry blossoms in the spring. There is the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, the Roosevelt Memorial and a running / walking path tying it all together. And not to mention there is plenty of free parking on Ohio Drive, a big plus in the DC area.

My favorite time of day at the tidal basin is pre-dawn, and in to sunrise. It is often calm, traffic is often in the (relative) distance, and the only other folks that are out and about are those out getting in an early run or bike.

Enjoy the below photos, if you have any questions please shoot me an email!
Sunrise Tidal Mirror

This January morning was cold, but gorgeous. I remember it well not only for the amazing colors, but also because my car didn't start when I went to head back home so I had to call for a tow. (ugh!)

This photo was taken about 20-30 minutes prior to sunrise. It is a relatively longer exposure with a little bit higher ISO (~300) than I usually utilize.  

I really like the clouds that are being mirrored by the water, the profile of Jefferson, the Capitol, and the smoke stack rising from the office building.
Sunset at Tidal Basin

This photo was taking just prior to sunrise from the tidal basin bridge. I really like the even cloud cover and golden hue the sunset creates as it hits the memorials.

If you look closely you can see the Post office and Smithsonian towers in the middle of the frame (the smithsonian tower being the red one).
Jefferson Memorial

The newly remodeled Jefferson Memorial is very photogenic in the predawn / sunrise hours. One of my favorite photos of all time is the close-up of Jefferson's profile with the sunrise coming up in the background. This only happens a couple of days a year, and sometimes never depending on cloud cover.

The designers of these memorials seemed to really take in to account the astronomical cycle when they designed how they faced and that really left an impression on me.

Cherry Blossoms

The Cherry Blossom's around the tidal basin are truly spectacular. I really enjoyed the spur of energy that comes with the short lived blooms. This is the one time of year that a photographer will have company at the tidal basin during the pre-dawn hours. Parking can be difficult to find, so come early and with your patience.

If I had it to do over again I would play around more with some smaller aperture shots. I became obsessed with the bokeh of the flowers, which was great in itself; but looking back I would like to have some more variety. Next time.

Photos