Cherry Blossoms at Night

Lighting cherry blossoms at night provides a whole new way to experience these beautiful blooms in a different light.

The arrival of the cherry blossoms in Toronto almost always signifies that spring is in the city. Every year an abundance of parks scattered throughout Toronto and surrounding cities show a magnificent display of these sakura trees with residents flocking to see them during the very short peak period of bloom.

As pretty as these blossoms are during the day however, I always thought something was missing.

In Japan, it is common practice for many of the parks to light up the cherry blossoms at night, offering residents a new way to experience these fleeting blooms at peak season.

We’ve never had this experience here in Toronto, so I thought it would be interesting to see how these cherry blossom trees would look lit up at night.

Sakura in High Park in Toronto.

I already had a vision in my mind as to how things would look. I wanted the fragile cherry blossoms to light in a subtle way as to not blow them out with the light. I preferred a more subtle and ethereal look to these trees as they stood out from the rest of the landscape in front of me. As you’ll see in my YouTube video, I believe I succeeded in some places while I did not in other places. But that’s ok. The important part is that I tried!

Now, all I needed was the light to use to light up these trees. It was at this time when I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the Nanlite FC-120B—a compact, lightweight, and powerful light that I can handhold and bring anywhere.

You can read my blog post on the unboxing and first look on the Nanlite FC-120B by clicking here.

The Nanlite FC-120B can be powered by a single standard V-Mount battery, offering full 100% power output. I was using the Smallrig VB99 Pro battery. The total weight of the FC-120B with the battery and battery grip is only 2.05 Kg making it a very lightweight option for externally lighting objects.

You can see in my YouTube video below that I even ran full speed while holding this light in one hand. It’s that light!

In addition to it being lightweight, it’s actually very powerful. For most of the shoots I was shooting at no more than about 5% power output. There were a few times when I increased the output to about 40-50% to capture the higher branches, but for the most part it was below 5%.

Sakura in Toronto during blue hour lit up by external building lights.

I visited several parks in and around Toronto to see what I could capture. I came out with several images that I am very happy with so I hope you enjoy the slideshow of images down below.

Final Thoughts

Overall I’m pretty happy with how some of these photos turned out. They matched the vision that I started with and that’s what counts. There were some final images that didn’t quite match what I wanted to get but that’s ok. This all wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the flexibility of the Nanlite FC-120B light that allowed me to power it up with one single V-Mount battery and hand-hold it with one hand.


You can watch my YouTube video of the making of some of these images, as I share some behind the scene footages of me trying to create these images.


View my gallery of images of the sakura trees lit up at night. Let me know which ones you like in the comments below!

How do you like these images of the cherry blossoms at night? Do they work for you? Would you have done something different? Let me know in the comments below!

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