Vertigo-Inducing Portraits by Skywalking Photographers in Russia

Earlier this year, we wrote about a dangerous new Russian photo fad called “skywalking,” in which thrill-seeking climber-photographers seek out the highest man-made structures they can find, climb to the apexes without proper safety equipment, and then shoot photographs of themselves and the view once they’re there.

Two of the photographers who have been generating a lot of buzz in this niche are Vitaly Raskalov and Alexander Remnev.

The two daredevils have scaled many of the highest structures in Russian without the protection of a safety harness. Once they’re at the top, they often hang from precarious locations in order to pose for photos that make viewers’ knees tremble.

As with rooftopping photographers, skywalkers often trespass in order to get to the vantage points they desire, slipping through unlocked doors or climbing up different ladders to get to places that are off-limits to the public.

Remnev tells The Daily Mail that there are currently around 200 photographers in Russia that do this type of risky photography — most of them young students. Remnev himself is only 18 years old.

The two often use GoPros during their climbing adventures as well, offering a point-of-view look at just how dangerous their pastime is:

Here’s a similar video by a guy named Artem Pirniyazov. This one went viral and has amassed over a million views on YouTube:

You can find more of these crazy photos and videos (along with some gorgeous landscape photographs) on Raskalov’s blog and Remnev’s 500px page.

Needless to say, you probably should not try this at home… or anywhere else on Earth, for that matter.

(via My Modern Met)

Image credits: Photographs by Vitaly Raskalov and Alexander Remnev

  • Michael Choi

    This is Sick!!!

  • ProtoWhalePig

    Damn, they make my palms sweat! These guys are really nuts. Some of the shots are pretty cool, but….damn.

  • Richard Horsfield

    ‘ll keep my feet on the ground thanks…!

  • Dan

    These guys really should not be shooting Canon. If there was ever a perfect use for Micro 4/3 or other small mirrorless…

  • Bimma

    F-ing nutters lol

  • Charles Johnstone

    We’ll be reading about how these two fell from some structure soon.

  • 7enderbender

    Why is this being encouraged here? There is really nothing remarkable about this. It’s just plain old stupid and a matter of time before one of these fools falls down.

  • Gabriel Constantin

    Freacking lunatics!

  • Fred Nerks

    The video was shot with a very wide angle lens which exaggerates the height to which they climb. But it doesn’t matter if it’s 100 feet or 1000 feet… it’s all the same if they fall.

  • Mansgame

    Sooner or later they’re going to slip up. Kids think they will live for ever but it’s so easy to end it by doing stupid things. Cool pics though. I’ll give them that.

  • brandon

    climbing up a little antenna pole, using the antenna “u” bolts as steps…. nuts! I used to instal antennas and dishes and i’m not good with heights. i’m looking at these photos in amazement. there were a couple times i’d get to some high location and be about ready to call the fire department to come get me down. So russian’s are into drinking, playing russian roulette, and climbing insanely high structures with no proper training, equipment, and authorization. nuts. love the photos though, but good lord, be careful!

  • Duke Shin

    So much cooler than planking.
    Everything seems so much more awesome if it’s in Russia.

  • Mark


  • gtsomething

    I’m pretty its actually quite discouraged, even in Russia.But that won’t stop people from doing it who really want to do it.

  • shashinka

    Ah… to be young….

  • JosephRT

    Wow, made me sick at my stomach just watching the video. They either have no nerves or no sense, maybe a combination of the two.

  • Truly Vintage Photo

    In. Sane. No Frickin’ Way, No. Ever!

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    I’ll admit that I used to do stuff like this, and still sometimes get the urge. I at least would lock my elbow into the bars/rungs instead of relying on my fingers. Stupid, but exhilarating for sure.

  • James Billeaudeau

    these videos make my hands sweat!

  • derekdj

    Idiots, didn’t some kid die last week falling into a chimney trying to get a shot?
    Darwinism in action.

  • MBRichardson

    Stupidity… stupidity..they obviously do not value their lives or care about their loved ones.

  • michaelp42

    I spy a future Darwin award winner here.

  • Daniel Thomassin

    courageux et beau !

  • El_Fez

    Because AWESOME!

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    OMG, I got vertigo by just looking at the photos (^_^). Younger folks can do stupid things; I can tell you from personal experience!

  • elispector

    Damn. If they weren’t consumed with taking selfies, they could actually get some amazing views from up there!

  • Michael Zhang

    They do. Check out the source links we shared in the post for plenty of amazing views :)

  • Steven

    The article is very interested, but extremely dangerous. My breathing was stocked!!!

  • Michael Comeau

    It would be nice if they did a better job of securing their cameras to their bodies. A camera falling from that height could do a lot of damage to someone.

  • Syuaip

    it’s all fun until somebody got hurt..

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Ah, to be young, reckless, and without commitments…

  • Duke Shin

    Add vodka…

  • Em Pando

    A dude in Chicago just died a few days trying to get that unique photograph.

  • Eric

    A body falling from that height could do a lot of damage to someone.


    what these guys have, i dont think balls if a strong enough word to describe it.

  • Wheeeeeee

    Some of these places have very significant height. I have been working as a wind turbine technician and use protective equipment consistently. One slip is all it takes, especially on a very windy day or if ice/sleet has accumulated atop a nacelle. (Yes, I do have pictures to prove my claims!) The nacelle top is required to access if going to the hub where the 3 large blades are attached. I’m only 250′ (80m) off the ground, but it’s still a long ways down. I will definitely use my protective harness and lanyards, thank you!

  • Jeff

    That’s just insane.. While I do appreciate the photographs to be honest, but without any form of proper safety equipment it is very suicidal.. Worst still is if they fall, not only will they make themselves into rasberry jam, they could also take out some innocent person with them. Totally stupid.

  • ThoughtProcess

    Darwin awards engraved and waiting… There’s 7 billion people on earth and here’s a great way to eliminate a couple of the dumbest before they reproduce. I see nothing wrong with this. And if it brings a few more idiots out of the woodwork before they reproduce as well? More power to the cause, IMO.

  • esa434343

    i call them idi*ts

  • Franklin Weise

    I would say: everything seems so much more EXTREME in Russia (regardless if good or bad).

  • Max

    Seems like they have both been busted.. their websites are down..

  • Chen Lavonia

    Cool pics though. I’ll give them that.

  • Jake

    You really think they’re fools? You really don’t think they’ve taken the danger into consideration and understand that they might easily fall and die doing this, but have decided that it’s what they want to do anyway because it looks badass and they’re having fun and taking cool pictures?

  • Russ Catalano

    Maybe it’s just me but I remember a headline story on CNN about someone who fell off of a restricted building trying to take a picture the other day.

  • arbyn atticus

    Check out @kirbase on instagram he takes the same kind of photos.

  • Richard

    He didn’t fall off, he fell into a smoke vent and had to be rescued.

  • MSL

    Enjoy your boring life. Maybe you want a world where everybody is like you and never leaves the safety of their couch and spends all day watching TV.
    These Russian kids on the other hand are pushing the bounds of what’s possible and are essentially driving human evolution forward for the better.

  • Rob

    one thing for sure, when one of them does slip, on the way down they will be alternately screaming OMG and OMG how stupid was that move.

  • chemicaes

    I snowboard 4 or 5 times a week. I go 40-50+ mph, sometimes a few feet from trees and other barriers. 12 people died in my county so far this year, even people wearing helmets, but we still get hundreds of thousands of vistors wanting to do the same! if you’re not taking any risks in life, youre not having fun. If I had the balls to do what these guys were doing, I’d do it!

    Like I always tell people, if I die on the mountains, just know that I died happy.

  • BruceH

    There’s an adage we have about water. There are only two depths that count – 1. draft and 2. over your head. So it doesn’t matter if you are in 10 feet of water or 1,000 feet, if you can’t swim, 10 feet will kill you just as easily.

    There is a similar principle involved here. A 40 foot fall to concrete can kill you just as easily as 1,000 feet. Look at how many college kids die during springbreak climbing the outside of hotels.

    Atleast these guys are getting some serious views.