Sunset on the ferry across the Puget Sound

I travelled this fall to Bremerton, WA which is located west of Seattle. It’s reachable by road from SEATAC or by the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry from the Sinclair Inlet, through the Puget Sound, and then into the Elliott Inlet to the Colman Dock, and vice-versa. After leaving the airport I took the land route; I5 and across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Driving on I5 across the Tacoma-Narrows Bridge in Washington State
Approaching the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on I5. Larry Shapiro photo
Driving on I5 across the Tacoma-Narrows Bridge in Washington State
Driving across the infamous bridge that collapsed in 1940 just four months after it opened. Larry Shapiro photo

When I finished shooting for the day, I inquired about the ferry ride and was told in no uncertain terms that it was a worthwhile trip. At certain times the ferry ride offers an opportunity for whale watching.

I was leaving at dusk so my trip wouldn’t include whales, but I was promised beautiful scenic views and a dramatic nighttime Seattle skyline.

Bremerton WA at sunset
The silhouette of cranes against the setting sun as we left the ferry dock in Bremerton. Larry Shapiro photo
Bremerton WA at sunset
The movement of the ferry and the late, low light conditions required ramping up the ISO to achieve a fast enough shutter speed to prevent a blurred image from camera shake. Larry Shapiro photo

Fortunately the ferry was not crowded and I was able to get around quickly to gain whatever vantage point seemed optimal as the trip progressed. As the sun was dropping quickly, I was limited in the number of shots and views I could get.

Bremerton WA at sunset
Shooting straight off the stern ramp of the ferry as the docks and cranes visually dropped below the tree line. Larry Shapiro photo

The beautiful clear night had a bright moon which added to the dramatic images, though the level of difficulty in capturing the scene grew exponentially. The low light required a steadier, slower shot, while the rolling of the ferry seemed more pronounced.

the moon at dusk over the Puget Sound
As I panned left I could capture the moon while just keeping a breath of the sun’s glow in the same image. Larry Shapiro photo
gorgeous sunset from the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry
Off in the distance to the right side of this image is the west peak of Mt. Olympus. Larry Shapiro photo

I went to one of the upper decks for an unobstructed view of the moon which was off to one side the ferry. My goal now was to capture the moon in the sky and the reflection on the water. I ran back down three flights of stairs to get my tripod from the car, then raced back up again garnering all manner of attention from the other passengers. I set the tripod in what I determined to be the most steady section of the deck, shielded from the forceful wind, attached the cable release to minimize any additional vibration, and went through a series of images knowing that they all were not going to be crisp.

the moon at dusk over the Puget Sound
A vertical image with the widest focal length that I had at my disposal allowed a view matching the moon with it’s reflection on the water. Larry Shapiro photo
gorgeous sunset from the Puget Sound Ferry
One final image from the stern showing our path after making a wide swing in the channel that allowed me to capture the last remnants of the sunset. Larry Shapiro photo
the moon at dusk over the Puget Sound
The moon appeared full as Mother Nature gave me the greatest amount of light available to play with for this image with the faintest glow on the horizon and what I have to assume are airplanes in the sky. Larry Shapiro photo

I’d brought along a sandwich for dinner, and finally had some time to sit and eat before approaching the Seattle skyline. Once that dramatic scene was in view, I grabbed the camera again and shot until the very last minute when I had to be in my car to drive away. Those images are for another post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *