First off – don’t try this kind of photography at home. Or anywhere else.
If you haven’t heard of rooftopping by now you were probably late to the game when Parkour became a thing. Rooftopping is a daring new “sport” for photographers that sneak through security, scale incredible heights of the tallest buildings on the planet, and take photographs of things you only see in your dreams.
“The movement focuses on scaling those buildings that are off-limits to the public”
“The movement focuses on scaling those buildings that are off-limits to the public” says photographer Tom Ryaboi. And he should know. If you can trace the origination of rooftopping back to any single source, its him. While there is no Wiki about rooftopping (yet), Ryaboi’s site is where you land if you visit Rooftopping.com and in todays terms he might as well have coined the phrase.
“The real reason it [the movement] has grown is because it’s captured the minds of young adults who feel like they’ve been cheated out of genuine experiences,” he told HuffPost UK. “Underneath all the crazy looking photos is a group of men and women who are disenchanted with their social networking, video gaming and over regulated societies. They are treating their urban environment as they should, a place full of wonder and adventure.”
And it looks like the movement is here to stay. It already has a rapidly growing Facebook Fan Page an if you want more just try searching for #rooftopping on tumblr.
Here’s the breakdown of what rooftopping involves:
1. Climbing to the top of tall buildings – really tall – some over 1,000 feet tall, to take photos.
2. There are no wires are harnesses involved in the photography. (again don’t try this yourself!)
3. It’s just men and women and their cameras. It looks death-defying because it is.
4. The daredevil photographers have to avoid security and CCTV to get to where they want to be.
5. Tom Ryaboi is one of the most well-known rooftoppers and is the first person to make it a thing.
But Tom Ryaboi isn’t the only man on campus. Famed National Geographic photographer Joe McNally has entered the rooftopping club with a photo that’s going to be hard to top: from the world’s tallest roof on the Burj Khalifa.
Of course there are the inevitable questions about whether or not he was technically rooftopping as per our list above. None the less the photo is still impressive!
While exploring the subject of rooftopping its important to mention one more artist on the leading edge of this trend, Ivan Kuznetsov who may have the most impressive collection of rooftopping photos of all. You can see them here.
To wind up our story on rooftopping I’ll leave you with a video of The Airplane Boys rooftopping in Hong Kong: (the views are beautiful but again, please don’t try this yourself!)[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWEegwTeyEI” width=”600″]
Tom Ryaboi Photography: tomryaboi.com/
Ivan Kuznetsov: 500px.com/beerkus20
Joe McNally’s Instagram: instagram.com/p/W_VQ0SOlGi/
As always, we’re here to serve all Dallas Fort Worth roof replacement needs!