The bright lights of a Seattle night

Crossing Puget Sound on a Washington State ferry is a magical experience at night. When the city is alive with lights and activity, I think of it as ferryland, almost as wonderful as an eastern marsh filled with fireflies. But not quite (given a choice, I always choose nature).

In the past, getting film-based photographs from the ferry at night would have been virtually impossible for me, unless I bought or rented a gyro stabilizer to compensate for the boat’s movement (tripods are useless on a rocking boat). Now, high ISO speeds and lenses with built-in stabilization allow good hand-held photography, even on a dark night. I took these photographs during a ten minute period at the beginning of a crossing from Seattle to Bremerton. With digital, the colors are bright and beautiful and I was able to get a pretty good percentage–maybe 50%–sharp at the relatively low shutter speeds.

Enjoy the pictures and, if you ever get the chance, take one of the Seattle ferries at night. It is unforgettable. If only we had fireflies here …

A China-based Cosco vessel loading/unloading at the Port of Seattle

The Smith Tower, once the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast

The Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest, is sometimes called the Darth Vader tower because it is clad in shiny dark panels of glass and metal

Port facilities hard at work

Trade appears to be picking up; is the end of the recession near?

Container ships have become the standard means of transport over oceans

To see my web site, which includes photographic prints for sale, please go to leerentz.com.  For a large selection of my work, go to Photoshelter.