Toronto native Tom Ryaboi—better known by his Instagram handle @roof_topper—has “been on more roofs than Santa Claus,” shooting gorgeous, vertigo-inducing skyline images. He and other rooftoppers worldwide have gained notoriety and sizable followings for Instagramming from buildings, bridges, and other urban sites that are sometimes off limits.
They’re part of a bigger trend of Instagrammers who seek out extreme vantage points, whether sharing a selfie taken on the head of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue or shooting from the ocean itself as lava enters the water and a wave crests. The artists hail from all ends of the creative spectrum: hipsters who dare to sneak into subway tunnels or abandoned theaters as well as established pros who got their start at magazines. (It’s even been reported that a few pilots have Instagrammed from the cockpit.)
“Instagram is the new portfolio,” says National Geographic photographer Chad Copeland
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