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Thrill Seeking Photography

Updated on February 23, 2014
CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

Thrill-seeking photography has always been for those with strong constitutions and an ability to keep food down. Rooftopping is one such style, and is one of the main subdivision of thrill-seeking photography and one which has been rapidly growing into a craze status.

Rooftopping involves capturing images from the top of tall buildings or structures, mostly while dangling from the edge. The views are aimed downwards and are mostly made with wide angle lenses.

No these photographers are not insane people bent on suicidal thoughts, they do take some precautions such as using clamping ropes, at least some of them do. The images that they produce can only be described as breathtaking and are very popular with photosharing Internet sites, local media, photography publications as well as with the travel industry.

Rooftopping is not the only subdivision within this photographic genre; kayaking, mountain climbing, skydiving, parachuting, snowboarding, skying, bike riding, you get the idea. Any activity which involves some degree of risk, and is done at high speeds can be the basis for this photo style. The appeal of this style is as much the rush of getting to these locations as it is the capturing of images.

Also growing in popularity as a sports as well as a thrill seeking photo style is cave jumping and para gliding. One riskier than the other but both able to capture amazing photographs which would probably not be available to be seen by the rest of us were not for the efforts of these brave, and probably misguided, thrill seeking photographers.

Photographers practicing this style always emphasize the rush of adrenaline as much as the joy of capturing good shots. This is one of the few photo genres that is still open for competition as it is for obvious reasons not too well covered. Geographical studies, and geological studies are also two disciplines which use require these types of images.

Photographing while riding a helicopter or small airplanes although not as risky allows one to compose a variety of shots which are similar in scope and design as the true thrill seeking method. Hot air balloons also provide the opportunity of taking similar shots, and to an extend is categorized as thrill seeking photography.

CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

Other types of thrill seeking photos involve a degree of risk not to the photographer but to the equipment.

Aerial kite photography is when a photographer attaches a camera, often being in a small digital format, to a sturdy and large kite which is then launched into the air with the purpose of capturing images while it is high above the ground.

This requires a camera set up that utilizes a remote control shutter release mechanism. The photographer or whomever is handling the kite has to be well trained in its use as often cameras are damaged on the return phase once the set up hits the ground.

A similar technique involves using large tethered helium balloons instead of kites, but the methods are similar to that of the aerial kite, although landing a helium balloon is often easier than landing a kite and the risks to equipment are much less.

As it is with many photographic endeavors, one has to take certain precautions to protect the camera and its lens.

Enveloping the gear in clear plastic bags to protect it from dust and moisture as well as attaching flexible foam or rubber materials to protect the gear from bumps are always a good idea to safeguard what is usually very expensive equipment, not to mention making sure that lenses are securely attached to the camera lest they detached from it at a thousand feet off the ground.

With almost any activity that involves walking, hiking, climbing or high altitudes, one should seek the advice of a medical doctor before undertaking such acts. Vertigo is sometimes discovered by a photographer once he or she reaches the summit of a large building, and by this time is probably too late. Working with a buddy is also very helpful too.

CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

Would you do this?

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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • neakin profile image

      neakin 6 years ago

      Great Hub as usual! Voted up!

    • kafsoa profile image

      kafsoa 6 years ago

      Some people like to do crazy things, and we think they're crazy, but we really enjoy what they do and deep inside we wish if we're as crazy as them:)Luis; this hub is awesome, and should be voted up too. Have a nice day:)


    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Lynn;, but you're not alone I wouldn't do this either.

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 6 years ago

      HI Luis, I'll be admiring those who did this but will NOT be putting any of these on my to-do list. LOL!! As adventerous as I get is maybe a ski-lift or one of those lifts in a zoo. Under protest. snort. As always a well informed, interesting hub!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      @credence2: No Photoshop here, people who practice this technique do it not only for the love of photography for the thrill in it.

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hi, Luis, the first picture is scary, someone sitting on the edge of a high building in tennis shoes. This has to be some photoshop thing right? Most interesting, thanks Cred2