Please enjoy the following beautiful and very eco-friendly panoramic tours of our planet earth on this Earth Day 2015 courtesy of 360Cities. Be inspired!
- John Muir
- Groucho Marx
“The future of our civilisation is in our own hands and we must take responsibility for the shape of that future. And a wise vision of future must be rooted in memory.”
First of all, we want to thank Bill Edwards for writing this post and for his amazing work!
This panoramic photo series is focused on the work sites of the SR 99 Tunnel Project where a bored tunnel will replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, Washington.
Background on the SR 99 Tunnel Project:
The original viaduct is a two deck elevated section of State Route 99 that runs north-south above the surface street, Alaskan Way, along Seattle’s waterfront by Elliott Bay. The roadway was damaged during the 2001 Nisqually earthquake and had to be temporarily closed for emergency repairs.
In the decade following the quake, state and local agencies studied more than 90 alternatives for replacing the viaduct. Leaders from the state, King County, City of Seattle and Port of Seattle ultimately recommended a bored tunnel, along with a host of other improvements, to replace the waterfront section of the viaduct. It was the only alternative that would allow SR 99 to remain open during construction, maintaining a vital stretch of state highway.
The SR 99 tunnel is a 2 mile tunnel in Seattle that is being bored by the world’s largest tunnel boring machine, named Bertha. Seattle Tunnel Partners, the contracting team hired by WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) to build the tunnel, is working to open the tunnel to traffic in late 2016. WSDOT maintains a website that keeps the public informed of the activity and progress on the project. Here is the address: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/
The story behind the panoramas:
As a former architect, the project intrigued me so I contacted a person in the communications department at WSDOT whose responsibility was the tunnel project. I indicated my interest in the project and suggested that virtual reality panoramic photography would be a great way to showcase the project online and would add dimension to their current online presentation of the project. The WSDOT site already had still photo galleries on Flickr and construction camera pages with time-lapse images so 360 panoramas would be a natural addition. Fortunately my contact immediately visualized the possibilities and benefits and decided to explore how to go forward.
After deciding how to proceed, my contact scheduled a photo shoot of the construction activity at the south portal, the launch site of the tunnel project on August 7, 2014. She and an onsite WSDOT inspector signed me in, outfitted me and escorted me through the job site during photography. The site is a closed site so I had to sign in under their sponsorship, sign a liability waiver, wear boots, an orange safety vest, hard hat, safety googles and gloves. The shoot lasted 2 hours during which I shot 8 panoramas, 5 of which are featured in the virtual tunnel tour. A second shoot at the north portal, where the tunnel emerges, took place with the same conditions on September 12, 2014. That shoot lasted about an hour and a half during which I shot 5 panoramas, 4 of which were selected for the virtual tunnel tour.
Prior to the first shoot I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I’d have more time. What I didn’t know until later is that the narrow window of time that I was allotted was way more than usual. So my experience was that I needed to visualize the shots quickly and work fast to capture enough source images to create a usable panorama. I was in their house and had to adapt to what was going on because everything was in motion and nothing stopped to accommodate my photography. One of my challenges was to assess the movement of cranes, other equipment and construction workers and shoot enough frames during brief pauses in activity so I’d be able to successfully stitch them together into one realistic scene without parallax or other errors. I had to be conscious of picking stable surfaces for the tripod and assess how to shoot to get rid of tripod and extraneous people shadows in the down shots. I also needed to be mindful where my escorts were standing so I could instruct them where to move if they didn’t want to be in the shot. Since this was a once in a lifetime opportunity I tried to take enough extra ‘safety’ shots so every set up would result in a complete usable panorama. In summary, I had to visualize and work fast and try not to make mistakes.
To get to the locations onsite required me to make several trips up and down temporary jobsite metal stair ways and vertically pitched extension ladders. I carried my camera in a Crumpler ‘6 Million Dollar Home’ camera bag and clipped my tripod to it with sling and climbing carabiner so I’d have both hands free on those extension ladders. That worked pretty well because I felt much safer with both hands on those steep exposed ladders. I shot with a Nikon D600 full frame DSLR, a Sigma 15mm f2.8 fisheye lens and Yongnuo RF-603N radio triggers. My tripod is a Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 with a Really Right Stuff BH-40 ballhead. On top of the ball head is a RSS panning bracket and a one-of-a-kind panoramic head that I designed and built for the Nikon D600 with the Sigma 15mm fisheye lens. It is significantly lighter and less expensive than any commercially available product. I designed it specifically for high country wilderness hiking trips where weight carried is a paramount consideration.
The people that I met at WSDOT and on the work site were all very enthused about the project and really great to work with. It was exciting for me to be onsite and creatively satisfying to have the opportunity to make these panoramas which help the public actually see what is going on inside the project since tours inside the work zone are not possible for the general public.
Submitted by: Bill Edwards
It’s wonderful to see how different countries celebrate Easter. Share yours with us and we will update this post until we cover all the different Easter rituals.
Did you know eggs are are a traditional symbol of fertility?
Blessing of meat
This tradition is very important in central and eastern European countries. People go to church with baskets full of meat, eggs and bread. All the food is blessed by the priest before it is eaten later.
This is the biggest festival of the year in Antigua, Guatemala. As the author of the panorama says: “Families and communities work together for hours and hours to make sawdust carpets.” When the procession walks over the carpet it is destroyed.
There are different kinds of processions depending on the holy day and on the purpose. It is a traditional Catholic expression of Jesus Christ’s passion on the streets.
It said that the rabbit is a pre-Christian symbol of fertility and that it symbolizes the beginning of spring.
This German tradition consists of decorating fountains with Easter eggs. It’s a pity, but the decoration only remains for two weeks after Easter.
Typically from Northwestern Europe, this celebration is a lit of a bonfire during Easter. It can be a secular or a religious ritual.
One of the Calder Valley’s (England) most popular folk attractions is the annual Pace Egg Play. Its origins are now lost in the mists of time, but it continues delight generation after generation with a delightfully haphazard mix of performance, audience interaction and comedy. In many towns the tradition has died out, but it’s still performed in the upper valley at Hepstonstall, Midgely and Mytholmroyd…
The spring is over…at least in the northern hemisphere it is.
Spring is a beautiful season, gorgeous light, flowers bloom, birds begin to sing….it’s a special time indeed.
Don’t be shy and share your beautiful spring panoramas (blog at 360cities.net).
Does your soul sing while your are thinking about your spring days? Enjoy The Black Crowes video, their souls sing.
The blooming 360Cities Team
Yesterday was World Oceans Day as declared by the United Nations.
Let’s enjoy some amazing Oceans related panoramas while listening to this beautiful Oceans song by Pearl Jam.
Sunset Moonrise, Moorea, French Polynesia. Panorama made by Gregory Panayotou
Snorkelling at Moon Reef in Fiji, Melanesia. Panorama made by Jan Dunlop
Joaquina beach, Brazil. Panorama made by Mauro Goulart
Lion Fish, Cubba. Panorama made by Marcio Cabral
Dhow, Mafia Island, Tanzania. Panorama made by Martin Broomfield
Kaka’Ako Waterfront Park, Hawaii. Panorama made by Dave Tonnes
An Searrach, Ireland. Panorama made by Gearoid Casey
Sunset over Atlantic Ocean in Puerto de la Cruz Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Panorama made by Florin NAE
Point Perone Safety Bay, Australia. Panorama made by Tomasz Makarewicz
Ocean, Out of this world. Panorama made by Seweryn Kulasa.
June 8th is World Oceans Day as declared by United Nations.
Oceans are not just a place where you can navigate or enjoy water sports. They are our planet’s lungs and a major source of food and medicines. We have to take care of them as they are natural raw material generators.
“There could be no more fitting way to commemorate World Oceans Day than for all countries
that have not yet done so to ratify the Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Let us make 2012 another milestone year for the world’s oceans, so that we can set sail toward the future we want.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for World Oceans Day 2012
Send you ocean related panoramas to blog at 360cities.net. We’ll publish the post on June 8th.
The watery 360Cities Team
There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
Mohandas K. Gandhi
It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.
I’m not an environmentalist. I’m an Earth warrior.
Cagou New Caledonia, Melanesia. Panorama made by Richard Chesher.
Curung Cilember near Jakarta, Indonesia. Panorama made by Tomasz Makarewicz
Paragliding near Granada, Spain. Panorama made by Jaime Brotons.
Heart Of School Interior, Green School Bali, Indonesia. Panorama made by Tina Gauer & Oli Burle – www.360tourist.net
Gyurufu Eco Village Entrance, Hungary. Panorama made by Hans Molenkamp
Organic farm in Kwu Tung, Hong Kong, China. Panorama made by johnchoy ( 蔡旭威 )
Kenozero’s jackstraws 1, Russia. Panorama made by Churbanov Yakov
Huaorani Ecolodge, Ecuador. Panorama made by Jeff Cremer
Shafer Park Green Fest, U.S.A. Panorama made by Magnus Dahlgren
Front Steps To the Bamboo House, Indonesia. Panorama made by Gil Frei
The Green 360Cities Team
Our next theme will be published on April 22nd on International Mother Earth Day.
We ask you to send us your Mother Earth related panoramas. These panoramas should show a beautiful ecosystem picture, collective responsibility happenings connected with the environment, green constructions, green companies…basically, anything that promotes harmony between our human activity and our Mother Earth.
You can send your Green-panoramas to email@example.com
Enjoy this Mother Earth song by Neil Young.
The Green 360Cities team
Winter means cold, darkness, hot soups and teas, staying at home during a chilly evening… But still winter is a wonderful season!
As winter in the northern hemisphere passes into spring (only a rumor in Europe, however), enjoy these beautiful winter panoramas wherever you are!
Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Canada. Panorama made by Martin Broomfield
Tscheppaschlucht Stone Arc, Austria. Panorama made by Markus Ortner
Schloss Sans Souci Potsdam, Germany. Panorama made by André Stiebitz
Rodelbahn am Hörnle, Bavaria, Germany. Panorama made by Matthias Kunze
Up Eryl Farchog, Wales, UK. Panorama made by Bernd Kronmueller
Mont Blanc – Monte Bianco: Panorama from Helbronner Point, Italy. Panorama made by Pietro Madaschi.
Buzzards Over a Snowy Malvern, England, UK. Panorama made by Robert Bilsland
Gladenkaja – Snow, Russia. Panorama made by Andrew Borus
Liberec – Mirror Park Winter Night, Czech Republic. Panorama made by Tomas Kysela
Playground in the snow I, Wichita, USA. Panorama made by Don McClane