Sakura 2011 Part 1 – Hanami

This post will be the first in a few of this year’s cherry blossoms (sakura/桜) on UW campus. They have actually been blooming for almost 2 weeks, and I’ve been taking pictures of them steadily, but haven’t had the time to get any of the pictures up. But this last weekend I went to do hanami/花見 (copious amounts of eating, drinking, and generally being jovial with family and friends under the cherry trees) with my program-mates from Japan Studies and friends as well. Promised the pics would be up, so here they are! 😀

On a side note, I decided to forgo my usual combination of 20-35mm f/2.8L and 100mm f/2.8 IS L Macro, and packed in the 50mm f/1.4 instead of the 100L. Boy am I glad I did! I had so much fun shooting the 50mm, I’d forgotten how amazing it is to have such control over DOF and background isolation, and also to have a semi-tele instead of a full on tele. Getting the half body shots, or taking a few steps back to even get a nice small group shot with that beautiful isolation – with the 50mm f/1.4’s insane sharpness – had me smiling all afternoon. There was a bit of sun for an hour, and then it clouded up a bit, but it also provided much more even lighting for the portraiture, which was nice.

Spring is here, and it sure is beautiful when the weather is nice. I know I usually put up landscapes, and they’re coming, believe me! I’ll make sure to alternate between people and landscapes to keep things interesting and original. For now, enjoy these shots from this weekend.


What a beautiful place to have your wedding photos taken!


Smile everyone! Gotta keep a record of good times, fun times 🙂


Chuck playin' us some tunes


A sneaky shot of Brian when he wasn't paying attention


Junko and Chihiro also came out to enjoy the weather and the sakura


First of a few group shots in which Brian rarely smiles...serious by nature? 😀


Lisa came out too...add a member, subtract a member, same tree...


Isaac came to headlock Brian, Lisa's old roommate Deborah graced us with her presence...still the same tree!


Change of pace: All of the Japanese mom's line up for a nice shot under the trees 🙂


Sarah and Ken are having a good time...Brian's photo bombing!


Kid's are having their fun, and eating too!


Kelly striking up a conversation


Sarah's ready to play! Hut! Hut!


Somehow Dillon always seems to see me when I'm trying to take candids


Love Sarah's smile!


Gangsta, ftw


Two cute girls enjoying the afternoon

Lovely ladies


More lovely ladies 😀


What is that you're trying to show me...?




And why were you hiding the football Dillon? 😀


Maria and Keiko san - love the isolation on this shot


All smiles after a great afternoon of hanami!

There are a few more shots on my flickr page, and probably some shots of me by Sarah on facebook. Part 2 will be coming soon – thanks for reading! – Brian


2 thoughts on “Sakura 2011 Part 1 – Hanami

  1. Seeing all these great shots of people having fun under the sakuras fully bloomed is making me jealous… I was just thinking about the fact that I’m almost going to totally miss out on my last sakura season here in Japan since I’m always busy with wedding stuff on weekends (or the weather’s bad when I’m not), and also that the earthquake has caused all the 夜桜 lightup displays to be cancelled to conserve energy so that also rules out shooting after work ToT

    I know I already told you this in gchat, but I definitely have to give my 85 a try with shooting groups of people, I’m loving the perspective you’re getting there with the 7d/50 combo, especially with the shallower DOF and the blanket of blossoms blurred out behind them. Good stuff all around, looking forward to seeing more!

    • Yeah man same here, looking forward to seeing you drag yourself out of bed early 😀

      Oh and the sakura too hahaha. Seriously, just throw on Jake or Emi and let the smooth music tune out the world and enjoy a morning out by yourself!

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