Annual Photografriends Cherry Blossoms at Fairmount Horticultural Center

I'm ready for the end of winter and the beginning of spring when the Cherry Blossoms bloom.  This date is tentative, but this is an event that only happens once a year.  Last year we flash mobbed the park with over 75 photographers and everyone had a great time.

This is one of the very few days of the year that I will move my entire schedule to catch this.  It only takes one rainstorm or windstorm to rip the blossoms from the trees.

When the Cherry Blossoms explode, the color is amazing. If we can time the shoot with the Blossoms and some stunning skies, the results will be amazing...

I'm thinking that with the cold winter, the Cherry Blossoms will be late this year.  Possibly the middle of April, but we should have about a weeks notice.  I will be there at sunrise and have my favorite shots done before the meetup.  Anyone else is welcome to accompany me on my early shoot.

Year before last, we had some fog for this and it was better than I could have imagined.  Feel free to ask me any questions during this meetup to help you get your best shot!!!

This is our own annual Photografriends Cherry Blossom Festival!!!

 Over 500 photos from last year's event

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  • Russell S.

    I put a combination of my photos from The Horticultural Center & Kelly Drive up on YouTube today, if you are interested...
    http://youtu.be/EU1Rch-VYiM

    1 · April 29

  • Jill

    Wow! I'm so sorry to hear. I'm glad no one got hurt.

    1 · April 26

  • Tony F.

    A friend of mine who uses the park for sporting events told me that they have watchers who stay behind in the parking area in rotation. For our next trip out there we may want to consider this. With the numbers we had, even sitting in 15-20min shifts would work, That way we have piece of mind and no one person misses much.

    1 · April 20

    • Chris

      That's a good idea.

      April 20

  • Elizabeth

    I was going to be there at 6 am on Saturday but just could not get myself moving. At 10:30 am I read Tony's message about what happened to lots of you. I decided to go later in the afternoon and stay till sunset. I took everything out of my back seat and went to the park. So sorry for those that had this crime happen to. I got lots of shots and surprisingly I am happy with quite a few. I am post processing. It will take me a little bit because of the volume. I intend to go back later today. I will post pictures when I am done. I love this group and all that I am learning.

    April 20

  • Donna K

    FYI - A few items were recovered from this mornings smash and grab due to the kindness of a man who found a black bag with my business cards in it laying in the street in Overbrook. . I thought it was my handbag but upon retrieving it from this gentleman, it was not. The people who did the smash and grab had used this particular black bag to hold other various items from several people then tossed what they didn't need into the street. I have a black nylon bag with miscellaneous items and a lens. Please message me and identify the bag, lens and miscellaneous items so I can return to the rightful owner(s).

    2 · April 19

    • Capn S.

      The organizers for this event all got there early. This happened before anyone arrived. All of us organizers are replacing broken glass on our vehicles...

      1 · April 20

    • Capn S.

      I want to thank John for taking over and running the event. That was greatly appreciated!!! We have so many great photographers that are always willing to lend a hand...

      3 · April 20

  • Russell S.

    Wow! What a fabulous location...Thanks Capn Scott for organizing this event! I met some very nice people during my travels. A man in a suit, A man in a Race Car jacket, and a young couple who shot the Japanese house together. I am terrible at names. I am so sorry. I'm not the sociable person but if you approach me, I'll warm up very quickly.

    2 · April 19

  • Jason H.

    It was great to meet you all. Looking forward to next time!

    1 · April 19

  • Thomas L.

    It was nice meeting this meetup group's members for 1st time. I hope we can do it on better circumstance. Thanks again.

    1 · April 19

    • Capn S.

      This is normally a great place to shoot. I've been here so many times over the years and have never had any problems in the past...

      1 · April 19

  • Thomas L.

    It was nice place. I hope organizer's get windows fixed and recover their belongings. It was nice meeting this meetup group's members for.

    April 19

  • Heather

    Is this event still on for tomorrow? Is there free parking nearby?

    1 · April 18

    • Capn S.

      Was just shooting there this morning. The trees are spectacular. The shots tomorrow will be outstanding. No falling petals and a few that are just finally filling out with blooms.

      April 18

    • Heather

      Sorry with all the questions. Do you have a direct link to the park? Where is the parking located? What are the hours?

      April 18

  • Russell S.

    The Horticultural Center is closed on Good Friday...Which was this morning.

    April 18

  • Capn S.

    I'm posting some of my pics from today and yesterday on our Facebook and Google+ pages...

    1 · April 18

  • Capn S.

    The blossoms seem to be getting even better. The wind and rain happened when they were young and strong. There are almost no petals dropped. Tomorrow should be outstanding!!!

    1 · April 18

  • Thomas L.

    I hardly wait to be there. This is my 1st time there and this is my first event with your group. Looking for good picturesque day.

    April 16

    • bob s.

      Weather should be good

      April 18

  • Russell S.

    I woke up this morning a little earlier than usual. My wife who normally comes home from her shift on the airport Runway, around 4:30AM, was snuggled in our bed warming up . She asked me if what I was doing, and I replied that I was planning on going to the Fairmount Horticultural Center to take some pictures of Cherry Blossoms. She asked me if I was nuts?! I said nothing and proceeded to put the trash out on the curb... They just don't understand.

    3 · April 17

    • Elizabeth

      Funny. She is on the airport runway at 4:00 AM and you run after cherry blossoms in Fairmount Park at 6:00 AM. Give her a camera and she will understand.

      2 · April 18

    • bob s.

      I agree with you.lol

      April 18

  • bob s.

    I might arrive early since I wake up early in morning

    April 17

  • Russell S.

    Went down to Kelly Drive...All my trees are in bloom now that we froze our fanny perpendiculars off. I think I'm gonna try in the morning. Gonna do Kelly drive in the late afternoon at sunset, when the light is right.

    1 · April 16

  • Art S

    How are the blooms doing? Expected peak bloom?

    April 16

    • Capn S.

      The rain and wind stripped very little out of the tops of the trees. With no rain or wind, these blooms should last for a few days...

      2 · April 16

    • Capn S.

      I posted a few shots from this morning on our Google+ and Facebook pages...

      2 · April 16

  • Russell S.

    Well? I woke up at 5am, let the dog out, was blasted by the ice cold wind, and asked myself these questions:
    1. "Am I going to get paid for this trip? " No.
    2. "Would this trip lead to future income?" Possibly
    3. "Will the wind screw up my long exposures? " Definitely.
    4. "Am I crazy to even attempt this?" No answer

    .....and I went back to bed...

    3 · April 16

    • Elaine W.

      all my cherry blossoms are dead from the overnight freeze ... but there are buds that should open by tomorrow ??

      April 16

    • Capn S.

      The wind was definitely a problem. And, it was cold...

      April 16

  • Frank B.

    What time do they open the gates? 9am seems late for sunrise pics as my app show 6:19 for sunrise.

    April 15

  • Valerie

    Hey Scott, I was thinking of trying to go get some sunset photos tonight. I know the Japanese Tea House would closed at that time, but would I be able to get a shot of it? Or should I not try since all the gates will be closed? Anyone know?

    April 14

    • Capn S.

      I will be trying to do the same. It depends on the weather. I know all of the holes in the fence as well...

      2 · April 14

  • Capn S.

    Went through the park this morning again. It will probably be a few more days until they bloom. The early bloomers just went off a couple of days ago, it could be another week. I will reschedule this...

    2 · April 11

    • Chi L.

      Scott - good to know. Its full bloom down in DC so instead of a Sunday trip, I'm making it a full weekend instead. Hopefully I'll see you next weekend for the Philly cherry blossoms peak time.

      April 11

    • Chris

      New date works out better for me. ...

      April 11

  • Patricia B.

    Oh darn! I'll be away. Hope it turns out great

    April 11

  • Ken F.

    I have to work now thought we were a week early.

    April 10

  • Capn S.

    Went through the park again this morning. All of the early bloomers are starting. The buds on the cherry trees are beginning to separate. The buds on the weeping cherries are beginning to show color. One good overnight soaking rain and some heat and everything should explode. Even the daffodils are blooming right now...

    1 · April 10

    • Tony F.

      So we are on for this Saturday?

      April 10

  • Walt

    I am out ...the next 3 Saturdays I have Hi Voltage splicing refresher course for work. See everyone at Bushkill Falls

    April 10

    • yuko

      oh- o.k. See you Bushkill falls then!

      April 10

  • Elizabeth

    Is there a gate open at sunrise? If so, which one?

    April 9

    • Russell S.

      After studying Google Maps, I could not see any gates to get into the property. The Greenhouse or center itself, I'm sure will be locked up, but it seems to me that you can walk around the grounds anytime.

      April 10

    • Capn S.

      They will be there early. They will start setting up for Sakura for Sunday.

      April 10

  • Valerie

    What time(s) are we meeting? The Meetup time is 9AM but sunrise is earlier...

    April 10

    • Capn S.

      I will be there at sunrise.

      April 10

  • Patricia B.

    I'm not sure if I can make the full event. I'm going to TRY to get there in the early morning hours and get some pictures before the crowds show up. But I honestly have so much going on this month that I can barely find time to get away. I hope everyone has a great time and I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures!

    April 10

  • Jane Selleck B.

    Am so looking forward to this ---- the "kick off" of the season.

    April 9

  • Marlo

    This will be my first event w/ you. Where exactly is the meeting spot, please?

    April 9

    • Capn S.

      We meet at the parking lot.

      April 9

  • Russell S.

    Went down to Kelly Drive to walk Barkley and to inspect the trees along the river. A few have started to bloom but, in general, the others are about to explode! Even the weeds in my garden are showing signs of life.

    April 9

  • Capn S.

    I passed by Fairmount today. The early bloomers are now blooming. Many more of the tulip trees are beginning to bloom in the tops of the trees. There is a possibility that everything will bloom by Saturday. Otherwise, probably during next week. I will check again tomorrow.

    April 9

  • Kyle

    I just checked the website, mentions their is a $10.00 ($7 early bird) charge for admission. I don't remember them ever doing this before?

    April 9

    • Capn S.

      That is only for the Sakura Festival the next day.

      April 9

  • Patricia B.

    Depending on the weekend, I should be able to attend (again).

    April 8

  • Capn S.

    I checked on the blossoms yesterday. There is one of the tulip trees that is starting to bloom in the top of the tree only. The typical early bloomers are not blooming as of yet. We can probably add a week to the date. I will check again this week and make a decision by Friday.

    April 7

  • Valerie H.

    The peak bloom listed below appears to be for the actual Cherry Blossom Fest in DC. I don't think we are anywhere close to that date here

    April 7

  • Terry

    Here is the National Park Service's website about the bloom. They're currently forecasting peak bloom April 8-12. http://www.nps.gov/cherry/cherry-blossom-bloom.htm

    2 · April 3

  • Terry

    How do you get into the Horticultural Center for sunrise?

    April 3

  • Andre R.

    I would love to go but it will depend on the actual date.
    Does anyone know how far in advance is it possible to forecast when the bloom will happen?

    April 3

  • Jill

    Its still cold. Do you think it will still take place next weekend?

    April 2

  • Elaine W.

    It was beautiful last year ... doesn't matter how many times you do this, always something extraordinary to capture.

    March 28, 2014

  • Debbie E.

    If I am in the area I would love to attend for sunrise but I am not completely sure about my moving day was I am still between California and Philly. Would it be okay to let you know last minute (or as soon as I know when I am in the area)?

    March 27, 2014

    • Chris

      Go ahead and RSVP Yes, if you are in the area that will be great. Keep in mind that this date is tentative. Last year we had to push the date several times. The blooming of the Cherry Blossoms will dictate the date. Scott is very good at updating us on the blooms.

      1 · March 27, 2014

    • Debbie E.

      Thank you. I did as you suggested... I really hope I am in the area by then. I look forward to meeting you all!

      March 27, 2014

  • Ciril M.

    How does the parking work, especially at sunrise. I might be interested.

    March 26, 2014

    • Chris

      There's a parking lot across the street from the Horticultural Center.

      1 · March 27, 2014

  • Chris

    He's a link to this year's official site: http://subarucherryblossom.org/

    March 26, 2014

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