Photographers Take Quest for the Perfect Shot to Terrifying Heights
Thrill-seeking Instagrammers have taken their photography to new heights, capturing dizzying images of cityscapes from the tops of skyscrapers with views typically reserved for pigeons and penthouses.
The trend, known as Rooftopping, first gained prominence with a 2005 book called Access All Areas. A quick search of the #RoofTopping on Instagram hashtag shows the death-teasing hobby now has a devoted following with more than 9,700 photos tagged.
Mashable reached out to several photographers for interviews, but most were reluctant to speak, in part because scaling buildings and construction sites often requires trespassing. Even so, 17-year-old photographer "demidism" offered to speak on his experiences in urban exploring.
He describes RoofTopping as "finding a really high rooftop with a great view," and credits other Instagrammers like night.shift, heavy_minds and humzadeas for inspiring him to start exploring city skyscrapers.
"I rarely go alone; I usually like to have company with me in case I need any help. Besides it's anyways more fun with friends."
Demidism told Mashable that he accesses most of his spots with permission — though, some buildings have reputations for relaxed security.
"One of the most popular buildings was under construction and had a great view of the Flatiron Building, so many people started going there and taking photos of the Flatiron."
After our interview, demidism was "arrested for criminal trespassing and reckless endangerment after he allegedly scaled 432 Park Ave," according to NBC New York.
NBC also reports that the teen was brought in for questioning because photos on his Instagram account appear to have been taken from atop the tower.
n March, a New Jersey teenager slipped by security and climbed to the base of the spire of One World Trade Center in the Financial District of New York City. Demidism calls the same downtown spot his favorite spot in the city to climb because "that area is pretty dead at that time of day."