NYU Shanghai: Higher than the Empire State
Like stars that illuminate the night sky, the buildings that line the streets of Shanghai glisten and glitter in the darkness. Shanghai, similar to NYC, is acclaimed as having one of the most scenic and striking skylines in the world. For most, seeing this breathtaking view from the ground up is more than enough. Get to know Melanie Epstein, Tyler Wilson and Timur Kurbanov, NYU Shanghai students who take sightseeing to a whole new level.
Rooftopping is a growing trend amongst both professional and amateur photographers alike. The concept revolves around finding buildings with the most scenic views and climbing them to the highest and safest peak to snap the perfect picture. Rooftopping, however, is a laborious process and not for the faint of heart. It starts with scouting the city streets for a building with great views and relatively easy access. The experience is perfect for people seeking adventure, adrenaline and great Instagram pictures.
Each photo represents a journey in its own right, taking hours to find a good location and the right environment to capture the best photos. Seasoned NYU Shanghai students have great advice in terms of what to wear and how to make the most out the experience as possible. Melanie Epstein and her friends feel that comfort should be first and foremost. They often opt for all-black outfits accented with bright colors that are easily visible in the dark as most rooftopping photos are taken in dimly-lit settings. Melanie highlights her features using very minimal makeup and sticks with a muted nude palette. Melanie further states, “Sometime’s it’s not about looking pretty, I’m in it for the thrill and to document and preserve some of the most beautiful things in life that people often overlook. Also, wear comfortable shoes with good traction! It really helps you keep going and makes it easier to find some of the more obscure locations.”
Tyler Wilson and Timur Kurbanov fully support the idea of keeping your outfit plain and effortless. Tyler believes that the focal point of the photo is the background and not so much what the person is wearing. He also suggests bringing a small backpack for camera equipment and gear, water and a sweatshirt or pullover in case the weather shifts. You can never be too prepared! Tyler says, “I’ve gone rooftopping in New York City as well; it's a lifestyle. I've been passionate about making better images each time and am staying true to wearing all black for the cohesiveness of my images.”
These rooftopping photos are as breathtaking as they were exhilarating to take. This trend isn’t isolated to Shanghai; New York is notorious for having great views and a wild population in search of adventure. This crowd includes several NYU students who are taking the risk to go rooftopping. The journey isn’t for everyone, but the photos and adventure is well worth the time and risk that is put into rooftopping.
Written by: Benjamin Tablada II