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Finding a 'Piece of Ourselves' Atop Vertigo-Inducing Towers

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Not content with confining his "Rooftopping" series to jaw-dropping shots of urban skylines, photographer Tom Ryaboi has taken to documenting the compatriots that join him on his rooftop escapades. Ryaboi and friends have been sneaking up skyscrapers to capture these daring architectural tableaus since 2007, both in his native Toronto and around the world, and the recent turn in his photographs is meant to document the "genuine experiences" in the thrill-seeking culture they have created. "It was important to include people in my photos," he explains, "because they are the real story here. The cities are beautiful, but how we use them is much more relevant."

So what does this particular group of urban climbers get out of these expeditions, aside from backdrops for vertigo-inducing portraits? "What we have found up/on/in these spaces is a piece of ourselves that—many of us—didn't know we had," says Ryaboi. "A free spirit that seeks out real adventure, curious to know what's behind the flimsy curtain." To be sure, there are safer venues for self-discovery out there, but risking life and limb for a perfect shot is one way of getting a new perspective on things.

· Mind-Bending Photographs of Daredevils Against City Skylines [Atlantic Cities]