Rooftopping photography enthusiasts enjoy climbing to locations that would make most people’s legs turn to jelly, pointing a camera straight down, and snapping a photo that commonly shows feet, a ledge, and a huge drop. While in Dubai for Gulf Photo Plus 2013, famed National Geographic photographer Joe McNally managed to snap the mother of all rooftopping photos, seen above. The Instagram snap was captured from the tip of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest manmade structure in the world.
The photo was shared on Instagram yesterday with a caption that reads:
My old battered shoes climbed the worlds tallest building today. What an amazing structure! Tweeting from 820 meters straight up!
In case you’ve never seen it before, here’s what the building looks like from the ground:
It’s quite a prize for rooftopping photography, as it towers over every other skyscraper in the world:
Unfortunately, the climb to the top isn’t something any ordinary person has the opportunity to do. You’ll have to have some friends in high places (har har) in order to enjoy the view up there. For the rest of us, there’s an observation deck you can pay to visit.
To see more examples of jaw-dropping and vertigo-inducing rooftopping photos, check out the work of Tom Ryaboi and Russian daredevils Vitaly Raskalov and Alexander Remnev.
Update: We asked McNally how he gained access to the roof. He tells us that it was a process: 35 years in the photography business, 26 years shooting for National Geographic, “accumulating a certain measure of archive respectability and reputation,” climbing other famous antennas (the WTC and the Empire State Building), and three years of communicating with the administrator of the Burj Khalifa.