Sakura Watch 2009
March 7-22  Van Nuys, CA
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This was my second consecutive year of coming to Lake Balboa in Van Nuys to photograph cosplayers
when the cherry blossoms are blooming.  It was quite different than last year when the majority of people
came out for only one day.  On that day, just about every tree had a good amount of blooming flowers.  
This year, the cherry blossoms were quite stubborn.  There wasn't one weekend where there was
widespread cherry blossoms.  I was out there for three weekends.  Conditions improved each weekend,
but there was never that really impressive weekend where you can find a great amount of good looking
cherry blossoms in every part of the park.  Weather was also a big factor.  There were some days when
it was downright cold.  Still, the photographers and cosplayers who braved these conditions came to this
park and gave it their best.

Honestly, despite the lack of cherry blossoms, I liked this year's Sakura Watch being spread out over
several weekends.  I didn't feel the need to rush to get my photos done since there weren't an
overwhelming amount to cosplayers to photograph.  I didn't get very many sessions done, but each of
them took several hours and required a good deal of walking.  This was my third time to take cosplay
photographs at this park and I've found some of my favorite spots.  I've really learned to love shooting
here.  The word is definitely getting out that this is a spectacular place to photograph cosplay when the
cherry blossoms are out.  Hopefully next year, the park will look better and the cherry blossoms will be a
bit more predictable.

Nergene Arquelada