Skywalking: A Dangerous New Photo Fad Popular Among Russian Teens

If you’re afraid of heights you may want to look away, and you should certainly never make friends with these daredevil photographers from Russia. We here in the U.S. have memes, young Russian photographers, it seems, have “skywalking”: the newest extremely dangerous photography fad to hit the Internet.

Skywalking basically involves a photographer making his way up to a death-defying height, and snapping a photo that’s meant to give you both a perspective you’ve never seen before, and that feeling like your stomach just made its way into your throat. Many of the photographers are in their teens, and unfortunately, with no sign of safety equipment anywhere in these photos, someone is gonna get hurt.

And you thought running with scissors was dangerous.

Here’s the photograph that resulted from the video above, captured by Russian teen photographer Marat Dupri:

Be sure to check out Russian photographer Vadim Mahorov’s photoblog for more of these vertigo-inducing photographs.

(via and The

Image credits: Photographs by Vadim Mahorov and Marat Dupri

  • unlightening

    So crazy! I wish I had the guts to even attempt this.

  • Jon

    Wish I had the courage to do it, but glad I have the sense to not even try it…

  • VPS Photography

    i got the sweaty palms when i saw the video… sheesh!

  • Frederico Malaca

    under the vodka influence 

  • Matthew Everett

    Weren’t the Russians also a pioneering bunch for pictures of men hanging off balconies while wives begged husbands not to kill them? Something like this:

  • Sjoerd

    Russians have another perspective on safety, unlike the American paranoia about (fake) safety..
    Not that I encourage these stunts, but you have to live for something right?

  • Wesolowsky

    You really don’t know how vodka works :P They are high on adrenaline.

  • arttyIV

    Nope. Not for me. I’d probably pass out. Then die. 

  • Philip Han

    Hey, this is called living life and taking the risk!

    Also, it’s in the name of Photography :]


    read Laslo Moholy-Nagy’s book “A New Instrument of Vision”, describing exactly this (in a vitriolic diatribe against dull horizontal photography”, written when he worked at the Bauhuas in the 1930s

  • Joey Duncan

    Article written like a true American lol just kidding. Let em’ do it. I’m willing to be more people die in their teens from alcohol abuse and drug abuse, which is completely worthless than people die of being responsible and dangerous. By responsible and dangerous I mean they are well aware of the risks and are at least smart enough to be careful. I don’t see anything wrong with doing what they are doing, people climb mountains and trees hike along cliffs all the time. I scared the pants off myself in death valley a couple years ago climbing up a mountain and hanging out on top near the edge. and it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve had.

  • Michael

    This is sick, my imagination is hearing ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGggggghhhhhhhh,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Michael

    This is sick, my imagination is hearing ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGggggghhhhhhhh,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Alan Dove

    They’re just photographing the sorts of things that bored, foolish kids everywhere have been doing forever. Why do you think the world’s militaries all put 18-year-olds on the front lines? Risk looks different when you believe you’re immortal.

  • Alan Dove

    They’re just photographing the sorts of things that bored, foolish kids everywhere have been doing forever. Why do you think the world’s militaries all put 18-year-olds on the front lines? Risk looks different when you believe you’re immortal.

  • Knur

    Awesome! More idiots will die ! 

  • Bas ter Beek

    Im glad I dont have the guts to do that!

  • Akazen

    A clear demonstration of how the adolescent brain is not fully developed…

  • Igogosh

    That’s the whole point, Russian youth has dozens of ways to kill themselves. Drugs, alcohol, stupid fights over nothing, risky driving and now this! Cigarets cost $1 pack there. No war is needed, civilians die at a higher rate than soldiers in conflict regions.

  • Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

    That gives me the freakin’ willies !


    I dig it, they’re doing what they love, doesn’t matter what type of opinion on the matter everyone will throw out there, bottom line is they’re doing what they love and sharing that thrill and passion with the rest of the world!

  • GW

    Between this and Krokodil, Russian youth are in a bad place. 

  • Tianlechen

    fall and splatter on the floor and you will realise you do have the guts

  • mythbuster

    Many years ago I used to do dangerous climbings without rope, in the night and even raining and in that time I haven´t been trained in rock climbing! Two years ago, as an experienced climber, I tried to repeat one of those suicide-climbings but I was so scared I couldn´t do it…
    By the way, nice pics!

  • Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

     I shared a cubicle with a guy paralyzed from fall, doing that.

  • Anne

    woah there, professional alky on our hands. TWO wiki cites? must be the truth.

  • Anne

    because not standing on a thin bar dangling hundreds of feet in the air means I have nothing to live for? oh well, must be the old Am-hurrican paranoia about safety speaking.

  • Anne

    at least it’s better pass out, THEN die.

  • Anne

    “Drugs, alcohol, stupid fights over nothing, risky driving”

    applies just about everywhere…

  • Anne

    I know someone who was paralyzed neck-down because he fell off his dorm bunkbed sleeping. both are horrible misfortunes, but at least your guy got to “live a little” I suppose.

  • Guest

    One of the reasons why Russian male life expectancy keeps dropping?

  • Tzctplus -

     Yes, a perspective which says life is so unfulfilled that it is worth doing this kind of stunt that benefits nobody.

  • Tzctplus -

     No, this is called being reckless. You may shorten your life for no purpose and would be quickly forgotten.

    Taking risks should be done with as much control and forethought as possible.

    Frankly I don’t think that teenagers, whose brain is not yet fully adjusted to the reality of mortality, should be doing something so stupid in the name of photography (or almost anything else for that matter).

  • Tzctplus -

     All hose people climbing mountains and cliffs have safety lines or at the very least have extensive training.

    You can have great experiences, full of adrenaline rush, without being irresponsible.

  • Tzctplus -

     No, at the end both are disabled and being a charge for the people around them.

    At least one of them can claim it was just an accident.

  • Tzctplus -

     Exactly. What all the people applauding this stunt are failing to appreciate is that this is a extreme cry for help.

    But hey, if somebody thinks that is a good way to “live your life” when you are 15 or thereabouts, I have nothing else to say.

  • Frog

    It’s even better to drink vodka on ground level, then pass out.

  • Wesolowsky

         You don’t have to be professional alky (whatever that is) to know how human body reacts to elevated alcohol level in blood stream. It causes impaired muscle coordination, blurred vision, delayed reactions, difficulties with balance and other factors that would make this kind of stunts (can’t really find more suitable world for this actions but it works for the sake of this argument) practically impossible.
         About wikipedia. I am well aware of limitations and inconsistencies of this source. I chose to use it just to save time. I simply have other, more interesting and important activities from looking for articles in medical journals or Ivy League Med School studies explaining adrenaline affect on humans. I just factored in opportunity cost and decided it’s not worth it.
         I hope I addressed your reservations towards my opinion.


  • GW

    Yes, the new wave of photography will be shots of those teens plunging to their deaths (if anyone notices there’s a camera attached far above them).

  • o_peter

    Just to point out, this “fad” is mostly practiced by some amazing photographers 

    crazy? absolutely, but no need to degrade it to vodka/in soviet russia jokes, and talk about desperate teenagers. 

    These guys are nuts but I am sure they are well aware of dangers 
    and have done it over and over again—these are not snapshots of of a random climb

    to see more great roof photography:

    and more…

    most of these guys make their living as photographers.
    also, the term is not skywalking, its “roofing” 

  • o_peter

    Also, nice for western media to catch up, this has been going on for at least 4 years. 

  • A.Barlow

     Man, I was just thinking the same thing!

  • Amadeusz Leonardo Juskowiak

    Just one thing too… watch South Park S16E03 – “Faith Hilling” ;)

  • Steven

    Not that I think these people are crazy but your comment about them being careful kind of cracked me up. Look in the first picture and you can clearly see that the bracket that holds the ladder to the structure has come free from its mount and the ladder has pulled considerably away from it’s safe mounting. What do you think the condition of the rest of this ladder is if it was tested for safety?

  • Steven

    Did anyone notice in the first image the ladder is comming off the structure? The mounting bracket is clearly broke off the wall.

  • Yea

    same fuck

  • Aaron Steele

    Rodchenko’d be proud

  • spyroot

    it nothing to do with Russian. when you young sometime :) you do stupid things… :) 

  • Ken

    It’s not the fall that would kill them but the sudden stop at the bottom! In the immortal words of Robbin Williams as the voice of Batty Kota in Fern Gully             ” GRAVITY WORKS”

  • Dee_kay

    Not have…Had