This is a guest post by Mark Fink. 360° panoramas in this article were created by the author.

The images in this article are interactive 360° panoramas (VR – virtual reality images). Click to open.

Without sounding too wistful, it really was a warm summer day back on June 17th of 2000. I had traveled into New York City to spend the day shooting virtual reality (VR) images and was particularly pleased since not only was it sunny, but it was also quite clear. VR images are unique in that they allow you to interact with an image by clicking and dragging on it. This way, you get to explore the scene as if you were standing there.

“Rather than dwell on the sadness and the loss that we all experienced 15 months later, I choose to remember a bright, sunny day, a gentle breeze, and a moment to stand on the top of a giant and gaze far into the distance.”

I had never been to the World Trade Center before and decided this would be a perfect day to go up to the top and see the view. On the way up in the elevator, I saw a sign stating no tripods allowed. Uh oh… When shooting VR images, a tripod makes a world of difference, holding the camera and lens in just the right spot so that the images line up to each other.

Now, normally, I’m a very law abiding guy, but this time I figured forgiveness might be easier to get than permission. I understood why they didn’t want tripods; they didn’t want people tripping on them. So, I had to make sure I didn’t let that happen.

“Standing at the base of the twin towers reinforced my feeling of being an ant.”

As I stepped out onto the roof of the south tower, I was amazed at the view, especially looking over to the north tower that rose up to the same level like some twin sibling dwarfing all the other kids on the playground. I felt like an ant standing on the top of the head of a giant.

With the clear skies and gentle breeze, I could see for miles; Brooklyn off to the right, New Jersey to the left, and mid-town straight ahead. It was truly spectacular.

Fortunately, it wasn’t crowded, and I was able to move around without bumping into people. Realizing that at any moment, I could get stopped for wandering around with a tripod, it was time to starting taking pictures as quickly and discreetly as possible. I set the exposure on the camera, placed the tripod, took the pictures, picked up the tripod and moved on to the next spot. In all, I took three sets of images from three spots from the top, then made a quick and graceful exit back inside and down the elevator. Once I was back on ground level, I went to the courtyard area and took two more sets of images, one by a sculpture and another close to the pool that held the globe sculpture. Standing at the base of the twin towers reinforced my feeling of being an ant.

Looking back, I wish I had spent more time enjoying the experience of actually being there, but at least I do have these images that let me re-live that experience. Rather than dwell on the sadness and the loss that we all experienced 15 months later, I choose to remember a bright, sunny day, a gentle breeze, and a moment to stand on the top of a giant and gaze far into the distance.


22 Comments

  1. tom mills says:

    Touching article and great pano’s Mark, thanks for sharing. I am grateful to see these panoramas and share your experience of the towers.

  2. melanie e.tolentino says:

    remembering what happened ten years ago really makes me cry..but seeing these panoramas healed my heart.GOD bless all the souls of the victims of 9/11.

  3. Rafael Santiago says:

    i thinks same a melanie e… amazing

  4. lesleyFW says:

    I didn’t think I would ever see these towers this way. Many thanks for sharing and my prayes go out to everyone today.

  5. Katie says:

    Beautiful images. Nice to be able to see them like this. RIP to all those that died that terrible day.

  6. مهاجر says:

    سلام
    آیا امکان دانود این ها وجود داره/؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟
    با تشکر

  7. irving wilson says:

    one love new york city and my first love god is good

  8. Mark Fink says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I’m glad you are finding some healing and comfort in these images.

  9. Wealth Online at Home says:

    You’ve got great insights about World Trade Center, keep up the good work!

  10. tangogetar says:

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. fed says:

    These are very brilliant images. Almost makes you feel like that terrorist attack never happened. Wow, these are great. Well done taking them.

  12. kelly says:

    this is so sad

  13. kelly says:

    this is so sad god bless amrica and then th most butiful buldings r gone

  14. dwarnt flederding Smakerisland says:

    that is so sad,how that the most beautiful buildings are gone. God bless the people that where in the most terrible acsadent.

  15. kelly greene says:

    That is so very sad

  16. kelly greene says:

    THat is so very sad…….:(

  17. Felipao says:

    Its so great that people find peace wiht this great phanoramic Photos. I would be angry against my goverment for causing Wars, poverty, injustice, famine and 9/11.

  18. LI TIAQNBO says:

    You’ve got great insights about World Trade Center, keep up the good work!
    Thanks!

  19. Fraulena says:

    Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. I always wanted to visit but never took the chance, so it’s great to finally see them from ground level.

  20. p thanapaisan says:

    I never see on the top view oh my god so Beautiful

  21. add says:

    Beautiful american building!