Have you ever wondered how it feels like be on top of the Earth’s tallest structures? 21-year-old Vitaliy Raskalov and 25-year-old Vadim Makhorov take urban photography to the next level by climbing the tallest buildings and sneaking into tourist attractions illegally to capture these spectacular photos.Skylines, city lights that almost look like reversed stars, and the outlines of the cities they visit can be seen as clear and crisp as almost being there. The incredible photos are taken illegally, or at least without the consent of those guarding the buildings, making the photos, and their stories all the more interesting.
The pair has collected a gallery of images from buildings and bridges in China, Hong Kong, Dubai, Istanbul, Ukraine, all over Europe and the United States. Raskalov and Makhorov take photos of their adventures using cameras, smart-phones as well as recording footage with GoPros and drones.
The two of them also create videos and post it on their website and YouTube channel for their followers and fans to see. Their project is fittingly named “On The Roofs,” making it easy to guess that they have an affinity with heights and the adrenalin that comes with it.
Some of the “extreme roofs” that they have climbed include the Pyramid if Cheops, the Shanghai Tower, Cologne Cathedral, and the Seven Sisters buildings, one of Stalin’s high-rise buildings.
Out of the countless destinations that they have captured on their website, these were the favourites from the travel hacker team.
- Ping An Financial Center, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai Financial Center, China
Over a year ago, they became famous with a YouTube video documenting their climb atop the Shanghai Tower. As a follow-up, they climbed the Ping An financial Center in Shenzen, which is said to be the second-tallest tower in the world following the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The construction passages as seen in the photo go up to 660 meters (2,165 feet) high. To get an even better set of images, they waited for nighttime to snap photos of the neighboring Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai Financial Center wrapped in clouds… You crazy Russians!
Source: Vadim Makhorov / Ontheroofs.com
Source: Vitaliy Raskalov/ Ontheroofs.com
2. Shanghai Sea Port, China
2. Cologne Cathedral, Germany
For years, the brave pair has been climbing famous structures, such as the Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany. After arriving at the site in the evening, the two tried their best to avoid crowds so they could sneak into the cathedral’s scaffolding in order to climb to the top.
3. The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
Perhaps their most popular images are the photographs they illegally took of The Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The two hid from the guards for four hours after the tourist attraction’s closing time just to get the shots that they wanted. Getting caught in this situation would have resulted 1 – 3 years in jail.
4. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, in Osaka, Japan
The Akashi Kaiko Bridge is not only Japan’s longest suspension buildings, but it is also one of the highest at a staggering 978 feet. While the bridge itself is accessible to tourists, the duo took it one step further and climbed to the top at night through stay cables.
5. Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s shimmering skyline proved to be a playground for their brave imagination as they climbed multiple rooftops to shoot images which capture an incredible sense of calm amidst one of the world’s busiest cities.
In a video called “What’s Up Hong Kong?,” Raskalov and Makhorov documented their quest to be on top of a skyscraper with a huge video screen on top. As they move forward with their plan, they took shots of the usual city scenes: street food corners, passing citizens, thrift stores (where they were able to purchase hats and a change of clothes), all with the striking backdrop that makes Hong Kong a bustling dream.
They enter the building as unsuspecting as possible, passing through unknowing guards and visitors. The crew finally reaches the top, climbs to the topmost area through the security entrance and gets a view of the city like no one else had.
Raskalov and Makhorov stand on the edge, capturing high-risk images that anyone with a fear of heights will find gut wrenching. The pair takes their stunt to the next level by hi-jacking the building’s system that shows the text on the screen, replacing what was originally written with the video footages that they took, accompanied by a flashing text of their name “On The Roofs,” and the phrase “What’s Up Hong Kong?” After seeing their footage on the screen on the building, the crew scrambles to change their clothes and hats with the stuff they bought from the thrift store and exits the building untraced.