6 Tips for photographing the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Saturday’s Cherry Blossom Kite Festival at the Washington Monument in Washington DC.

1) It’s very hard to make a photo with out a camera!

I’ll be there with three different camera formats as well as my phone, GoPro for video, a DSLR and a Point & Shoot. Point & Shoot you say? Why yes, I have two that I carry around quite a bit and I use them, a lot! I bet I just lost a few readers when I said Point & Shoot so thanks for sticking around! Anyway, bring what ever camera you are comfortable using and don’t let anyone tell you that you should be using xyz. Also, remember to charge your batteries!

2) Keep the sun to your back or side.

This old “rule” of photography is good advice for photographing kites in the sky. There will be hundreds of kites in the sky and you will want to get the colors of each one. Keeping the sun to your back or side will help you do this. It will also help you avoid over or under exposing that great shot of the one super cool kite you have to get a photo of!

3) Pay no attention to Tip #2!

Yeah, I know it, so don’t say it! You can get some super cool shots of kites when they are backlit. Be careful and make sure your camera is set up for making photos when you are pointing the camera towards the sun.

4) Exposure compensation is your friend.

Photographing kites in the sky on a sunny day can be a nightmare for your camera’s meter when there are clouds in the sky. An incorrect exposure can ruin an otherwise great photo. I generally underexpose by -0.7 EV to help saturate the colors in my photos. With a clear sky slight underexposure will make the blue really pop. With clouds in the sky it will help to insure the clouds don’t get completely overexposed. Be sure to check your Histogram the first time you change your camera angle to insure your exposure is where it needs to be. There is no need to check after every shot. Shoot more, chimp less!

5) Zoom, Zoom!

Zoom lenses are great for getting the exact crop you want when kites are moving all over the place. You want to show a multitude of kites, go wide. You want to isolate that one very cool looking kite, zoom in and get it.

6) There are strings attached.

Kites have strings and when hundreds are flying very near each other watch out for the strings. A great photo of a kite can be ruined when another kite’s string runs right through your frame.

Get out there, have fun and enjoy the kite festival!

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