ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Rooftop Photography; Views from Above

Updated on June 8, 2016

Rooftop photography is what its name suggests; taking pictures from the roof of a tall building or other structure of subjects found below the structure.

The view from up there is unusual but can yield quite nice images if the photographer has a keen eye and a clear understanding of what it is that is to be accomplished.

This can be done two ways; one is to tale pictures with a wide angle lens that focuses the attention on subjects that are directly below and offers a wide angle type of view of the surrounding area.

The other is to focus on subjects as seen from above but to use a zoom lens that makes the subjects appear larger than if seen with the naked eye.

The two perspectives are very similar but do offer two distinct perspectives. You can also do this type of photography from the rooftop of a not so tall building and the perspective, although being a high one, does present a view which is much simpler to identify without the need for zoom or telephoto lenses.

You can also focus on nearby buildings and give the viewers a scene that seems parallel to where you are standing.

Esplanade Roof Garden,Singapore

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

Is this an easy task to accomplish? Yes it is but the problem is not usually taking the photos. The main problem that a photographer may encounter when practicing this technique is gaining access to good vantage points.

There are not that many buildings with good views that will freely allow just anyone to go up onto their roofs, even if it is for taking some pictures. There are many insurance restrictions as well as many safety concerns.

Most of the time you are going to have to contact the building's management and ask or you could possibly face some trespassing fines for doing so without permission.

The best sources for good vantage points have always proven to be roof top parking garages but in many cases the views that they offer are not the best ones and many of these garages are not so tall to begin with.

Hotels and skyscrapers can offer thrilling scenes down below but many also have a lot of equipment on their roofs and are unlikely to grant you uninhibited access.

Some however, are gracious enough to let you do your photography but most always have someone escort you in and out of the roof which is fine but can be a little too restrictive since they often limit your stay.

Kallang River Singapore

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Found this interesting and something you would consider doing?

See results

The project does not have to solely be focused on taking photos that look down upon the scenery.

You can also capture images of the near by rooftops but pay attention to record photos that are pleasant and can offer the viewer something interesting to look at.

Old style ceramic or clay rooftops, interesting views of adjacent buildings, night lights, traffic patterns, views of mountains, hilltops or other natural scenery all make for good subject matter that can be photographed best from a high vantage point.

Sky bar precipice on the 64th floor rooftop.Bangkok

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

The best advice that I can offer is to scout locations that will be suitable for whatever you have in mind, plan your shots with the gear in mind and make up your mind of what it is that you want to capture.

It is a good idea to stand on the spot that you want to photograph and look up at the building so that you have an idea of the things that you would like to incorporate in the images.

The best shots are usually taken at night so safety should be your main concern. It is never a good idea to try to sneak onto a rooftop and even worst , if the location is an abandoned one ( you never know how stables some of the rooftops can be).

Ask for permission and be safe. Offer to share copies of the images and they may be more accommodating knowing that if your images turn out to be as good as you know you can make them, they can always use them in their marketing.


(CC BY 2.0
(CC BY 2.0 | Source

© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)