BTS: Photographing From Urban Heights with Russian Daredevil Rooftoppers

Rooftopping photography is a dangerous new fad in which daredevils climb to extremely high (and often off-limits) urban locations in order to shoot vertigo-inducing photographs. Two of the most famous practitioners in the world right now are Vadim Mahorov and Vitaliy Yakhnenko, two young Russian daredevils who have attracted a great deal of attention for their images (they’re the same guys who recently snuck to the top of Egypt’s Great Pyramid).

If you want to see how the duo works, check out the short 6-minute documentary film above (warning: there’s a bit of strong language). It’s titled “Roofer’s Point of View,” and was created by HUB Footwear.

The description of the video reads,

A new generation of young Russian photographers have a different and unexpected way of looking at a city. In ‘Roofer’s Point of View’ we follow Vadim Mahorov and Vitaliy Yakhnenko on their exciting journey to terrifying heights, capturing the city from places people would normally avoid.

In the video, we learn that Mahorov first started rooftopping a few years ago when he climbed a tall crane with a buddy. After seeing the world from such a great height, he became hooked.

Now, Mahorov and Yakhnenko both regularly sneak to extremely high urban locations (sometimes the tallest locations in various areas) in order to take pictures that are “different.” Their goal is to shoot photographs from places that ordinary people will never have a chance (or desire) to visit in their lives.


Part of the thrill is the exclusivity of the practice. “The amount of people who go to the edge and make photos can be counted on one hand,” they say.

Here are some of the amazing photographs the daredevil duo have captured so far in their careers:






It’s pretty interesting seeing how Mahorov and Yakhnenko work together to create the images that have gone viral across the web — sometimes they need to stand on each others shoulders to sneak to certain locations — but be warned: don’t try this at home (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Image credits: Photographs by Vadim Mahorov and Vitaliy Yakhnenko

  • Faraz Ali Khan

    Whats the point ? They arnt even good pictures .

  • Sarah Bugeja Kissaun

    I spent the entire video feeling as though I was going to fall… I definitely don’t have the guts to do that.

    They seem to enjoy the adrenaline rush and the risk more than I ever will :P

  • Randall Hawkins

    Troll elsewhere, you’re just being a douche.

  • Mansgame

    Sooner or later they’re going to mess up and it won’t seem as cool to their friends when they have to bring the spatula to peel them off the sidewalk. I just hope they don’t hurt an innocent by-stander.

  • 4323423423

    you m*r*ns at petapixel canĀ“t get enough of that illegal and dangerous stuff eh?
    this website should be sued if something happens to kids who see this here.

  • 4323423423

    oh yeah and petapixel will post the death video and the gore pictures of the smashed bodys.. the blood and brain… and shattered bones…. all for a few more hits.

  • Richard


  • Burnin Biomass

    This should not be encouraged, but Petapixel cant get enough of these asshats.

  • Kim Ford Mathis-Mauck

    I couldn’t watch the entire video….my stomach was rolling! These guys are gutsy for sure!

  • agour

    there’s standing on the edge for a photo, then there’s walking along a slippery edge for no reason…

    They’ll surely end up like that other russian rooftoper 6 months or so back. Dead.

  • kasenyee

    I dont understand what’s so bad with posting and sharing this kind of stuff… plenty of things can be very dangerous if not done carefully ;others have an inherent risk. If sites and blogs had to be censored from posting anything that could be somehow deemed “dangerous”, we’d live in a pretty sh*** world where there would be no new discoveries; no experimentation and nothign new creative would exist.
    Sure what they’re doing is illegal, but realistically, they’re not harming anyone or putting anyone at risk but themselves.

  • Burnin Biomass

    There are photographers that do this in a safe manner, and get permission (Joe McNally for example). People who don’t bother with either are just lazy and stupid.

    There is doing something that has some danger (Joe McNally), and there is being dumb. These guys are the latter.

    Just because you break the law and and take a less safe path to getting an image, it doesn’t mean you are breaking new ground. To say that without danger there would not be ANY new creations or discoveries is just silly.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    Oh, the same idiots who climbed the Pyramid.

  • johnnygf

    Shame about having their feet in all the photos, but I suppose that’s the price of corporate sponsorship.

  • newly_dangerous

    “dangerous new fad”

    i must be a time traveller, seeing as i start doing this in 1997.

    oh and heres to all the comments of ‘stupidity’ by all those too stupid to face their own fears or admit that there may just be people out there with more skills than themselves. darwin? pfffft, id rather die having fun than subject myself to a life like yours!

  • blah blah

    lazy? yeah ok. hahahaha. lazy is sitting on a petapixel comment board instead of going and doing something worthwhile.

    cheers petapixel for posting this, im out to go rooftopping just cause i saw it on your blog. i would NEVER have thought to do this without your help :D (or so some burnin biomass wanker thinks)

  • Matt Collins

    hmmm! good fun, but I sadly predict organic-pavement-murals!
    live for the moment tho eh?

  • Jake

    That’s how I feel about old people every time I see one driving on the highway

  • Mansgame

    It’s liike that Southpark episode.

  • Mansgame

    There is nothing noble about what they’re doing. Sorry. And what do you think will happen if one of them falls down or drops a camera down? Best case, it will not hit anybody but over a freeway that can fall on someone’s windshield and easily cause several accidents.

  • Burnin Biomass

    I’m just as lazy as you apparently, as you are posting on Petapixel too.

    Yes, because a ton of asshats didn’t see the “fire in the hole” pranks on the internet then go out and copy them. No one would have ever thought to have done that.

  • Sarah Bugeja Kissaun

    I watched it all.. While clutching onto my chair :P Indeed!