I have kind of a weird job. I’m a reporter/editor/etc. working for my own neighborhood blog. Bradford Bohonus, besides having an amazing name, also has a weird job. He’s a ‘virtual reality’ panoramic photographer. Around 12:30p on Friday, he was setting up for a cold and icy panoramic shot of downtown from the corner of Bellevue and Thomas when three buses entered the frame of his viewfinder:
When the second bus passed me it was as if some horrible stage had been set, a chain of events that appeared hopelessly pre-determined. Two buses sliding down the hill towards a 30+ foot cliff over the I-5 interstate. This is the type of thing that one can certainly play out in their mind. I only hoped that what I thought might happen next wasn’t going to happen.
As the near-tragedy became merely a bizarre entry in Snowpocalypto 2008, Bohonus says he scrambled to set up his VR camera to capture the scene. The result is this odd image of kids scuffling about on an icy street, the bus they just scrambled out of stuck, humbled, and exposed above the roar of I5 — notice the manacing spray of snow on the roadway below.
You can find another panorama from the other side here.
Being the skeptical kind, I asked Bohonus why he didn’t have more pictures of the kids exiting the bus or the emergency response. The photog’s response: “I only had my “VR” camera with me (fisheye lens). So I only took the two panoramas you see. The second shot does show someone climbing out of a window of one of the buses though. Most all of the people on the Buses came out of the windows. Very quickly I might add.”
I didn’t ask how many times Bohonus fell scrambling around the streets. I could have compared notes. I fell once. More than enough.