Portland Cherry Blossoms

Waterfront Park and Steel Bridge
Akebono flowering cherry (Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’) line the waterfront at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The Steel Bridge is visible to the right. Portland, Oregon, USA, 1 April 2017.

The cherry blossoms at Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park are one of the much-anticipated spring events in the city. The Akebono flowering cherry trees (Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’) lining the waterfront and the Japanese American Historical Plaza were given to the city of Portland by the Japanese Grain Importers Association of Tokyo in 1990. To beat the crowds, a handful of intrepid photographers head out there before dawn.

There’s a great view across the Willamette of the distinctive glass towers of the Oregon Convention Center in East Portland.

Willamette view
Early morning looking across the Willamette to the Oregon Convention Center. Portland, Oregon, USA, 1 April 2017.

Before the sun rises, the park is lit by street lamps.

Flowering cherry and street lamps
Akebono flowering cherry (Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’). Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon, USA, 1 April 2017.
Flowering cherry and street lamps
Akebono flowering cherry (Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’). Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon, USA, 1 April 2017.

No sunrise that day, but still some good views.

Oregon Convention Center and cherry blossoms
Cherry blossoms at Tom McCall Waterfront Park frame the glass towers of the Oregon Convention Center across the river. Portland, Oregon, USA, 1 April 2017.

My strategy for overcast days is often to overexpose and blow out the sky for a high-key look.

Flowering cherry blossoms
Akebono flowering cherry (Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’). Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon, USA, 1 April 2017.
A branch of flowering cherry
Akebono flowering cherry (Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’). Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon, USA, 1 April 2017.

You can walk over the Steel Bridge to get a view of the whole park from the east side of the river.

Waterfront Park
A distant view across the Willamette of Waterfront Park’s cherry blossoms in full bloom. Portland, Oregon, USA, 1 April 2017.
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