Would you climb to the tiptops of the tallest skyscrapers and lean dangerously over the edges to snap some photos? If just thinking about it makes you dizzy, don’t worry because you can still enjoy the stunning views from the safety and security of the ground.
“Rooftopping,” a pursuit in which photographers scale the highest heights to capture skylines like you’ve never seen them before, has caught on. Around the world, photographers are showing off their courage and skills in some of the most daring and visually compelling photographs.
Toronto photographer Tom Ryaboi is known for leaning over the edges of Canada’s largest city roofs and scaffolding. He often dresses as an office or construction worker to blend into the buildings he’s about to scale, and we’re happy for the extra effort, as his body of work captures some of Canada’s most visited cities like you’ve never seen them before.
Jonathan Castellino, another Toronto-based rooftopper, calls his hobby “respectful trespassing,” and his photographs show just how much regard this talent has for the city. He loves rooftop views because their four corners offer unique and different vantage points and evoke thoughts on how we use space.
Perhaps one of the most recent and breathtaking examples of rooftopping is by National geographic photographer Joe McNally. Not only did he climb up the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burji Khalifa, to get a good look at Dubai, but he also climbed onto the railing of a support structure that holds airplane warning lights to snap an image of the view straight down. McNally took this heart-stopping photo of his feet on the thin support hovering 828 metres above the ground.
Luckily for those of us who love views but hate heights, these urban explorers are ready and willing to capture a bird’s eye view of the cities we love.