Shooting from the skies with On the Roofs

A view from the crew

Meet urban climbers, On the Roofs. Vadim and Vitaliy are two Russian friends who devote their lives to climbing the world’s tallest buildings and photographing the results. Their breathtaking images have made headlines all over the world and they continue to seek out new places to explore.

We invited Vitaliy and Vadim to Dubai to take part in our series of short ‘Come and See’ films. The duo climbed the world’s tallest hotel, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. After the shoot, we asked them about their art and their motivation.

Why did you start climbing?

“We climb because we want to show a different perspective on the world. We wanted to do something more interesting than just taking photos of people from the ground - and that’s how we started climbing on to rooftops.

The first time we climbed, we did it for our own sense of feeling. But now it’s more about art - we are climbing to capture amazing photos and great videos.”

What makes you want to capture these images?

“It’s exciting to reveal places where only ten people have ever been. We want people to feel what we felt and see what we saw.

Usually people are scared of heights and we are trying to show them how beautiful they can be. If we didn’t want to share our images with people, then we wouldn’t be here.”

Selecting shots

"When it comes to editing the shots we've taken, we pick unusual perspectives which we think people like. Firstly, we look for images with one of us standing on the edge with a very scary view! Then we look for beautiful views. And thirdly we try to seek out a great photo with good light - like day turning into night.”