Maritime Thoroughfare in the City

Please enjoy a very entertaining timelapse video of the Chittenden Locks (whose local moniker is the Ballard Locks), which is an essential part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal serving thousands of vessels throughout the Seattle metropolitan area. Constructed between 1911 and 1917, the Ballard Locks’ principal function enables access for boats and ships to sail between Lake Washington, Lake Union, Union Bay, Salmon Bay, Shilshole Bay, the Puget Sound, and the Pacific Ocean. (See map below for illustration).

This map features the bodies of water that are connected as a result of the construction of the Ballard Locks and Lake Washington Ship Canal back in 1917. Thousands of vessels depend on the Locks to sail to and from Lake Washington, the Puget Sound, and the Pacific Ocean.

This timelapse features the locks in action as the water levels located on the east and west portals are nonequivalent. To get through, boats must be elevated or lowered within the confines of the locks. This video was executed on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The timelapse consists of approximately 1,950 exposures and showcases two hours of activity in a period of 83 seconds.

Timelapse featuring Ballard Locks in Seattle. (May 8, 2021)

Below are some photographs that I captured while executing the timelapse video.

Camera setup for timelapse at Ballard Locks. (May 8, 2021)
Camera setup for timelapse at Ballard Locks. (May 8, 2021)
Ballard Locks, Seattle / May 8, 2021
As a safety measure, when several boats enter the locks consecutively, they must moor themselves to one another by rope so they stay together when the water rises or lowers within the locks’ confines. (Ballard Locks, Seattle / May 8, 2021).
A family observes a boat sailing through the Ballard Locks in Seattle. (May 8, 2021)
A family observes a boat sailing through the Ballard Locks in Seattle. I captured this image because I liked the quiet moment shared between what may be a daughter and her father or grandfather in the center of the image. (May 8, 2021)

Curiously, there was a point during the timelapse when a goose appeared with the boats at the locks. Even though the goose could easily fly above every object featured in the images below, it waited patiently for the gates of the locks to open. A few seconds thereafter, the goose took off from the surface of the water, similar to that of a commercial airplane on the tarmac of an airport. Almost everyone standing alongside me took notice of this clever fellow as it was an unexpected occurrence before the boats unmoored themselves in preparation to set sail through the canal. An illustration of this is featured in the slideshow below.

  • A goose at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. (May 8, 2021)
  • A goose at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. (May 8, 2021)
  • A goose at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. (May 8, 2021)

Thanks for reading this article. If you enjoyed the timelapse video here, please visit my official website @ www.tia-international-photography.com for an indelible, visual experience.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kirk says:

    I’ve heard about how this is done but it was great to see in action. Neat!

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