Shooting the Cherry Blossom Festival

Where was I at a ridiculous time in the morning on April 1st? I was at the tidal basin in Washington DC with Don Anderson shooting pictures and video for the RubyNation documentary that we're doing for Arlington Independent Media. This is the third in a series of articles about the RubyNation 2010 video production effort.

Videotaping RubyNation 2010

I've lived in this area since 1987, but in all that time, I'd never been to see the cherry blossoms. I have to say that the cherry blossoms were a pretty impressive sight and that I can see why they've become a tourist attraction.

David Keener at the Cherry Blossom Festival

So, why did we do this?

Well, there's a strong connection between Japan and the Ruby programming language. First, Ruby was invented in Japan. Similarly, the cherry blossoms were a gift from Japan to the United States. Second, the RubyNation 2010 Conference was, coincidentally, scheduled for April 9 - 10, where it overlapped with Washington DC's Cherry Blossom Festival. Based on the Japanese connection and the timing of the conference, we had already chosen cherry blossoms to be a major element of the conference graphics.

RubyNation 2010Next, we decided that the documentary needed some footage that explained this Japanese connection and that included real-life cherry blossoms in the background. Therefore, at 7:00 AM on April 1st, Don was shooting video of me at the Tidal Basin. This was followed by a photo shoot as we captured some nice views of the scene.

Here are a few more pictures of the cherry blossoms:

Cherry blossoms and the Washington Monument Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin The Washington Monument seen through branches of cherry blossoms

I also particularly liked this picture of me standing in the shadow of one of the really old cherry blossom trees. There's an extremely interesting, gnarled look to the older trees, as shown below:

David Keener under a old cherry blossom tree

Before we filmed the cherry blossoms in DC, we were across the Potomac River in Arlington before dawn, where we managed to get ourselves in position to film the sun rising over the nation's capital.

David Keener near the Iwa Jima Memorial at dawn

This is a picture of me near the Iwa Jima Memorial in Arlington, with the sun rising behind me. If you look carefully beyond my right shoulder, you can see the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Capitol. Next, if you'll examine the RubyNation badge shown above, you'll see that that juxtaposition of DC landmarks was the inspiration for the RubyNation logo.

Finally, Don snapped a picture of me standing at the base of the Netherlands Carillon, a bell tower with 50 bells that was a gift to the United States from the Netherlands. It's situated next to the Iwa Jima Memorial. This, of course, has nothing to do with RubyNation, but I really liked the cat-like statues at the base of the tower.

David Keener at the base of the Netherlands Carillon


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