FACING FEAR. URBAN XTREME SHOT.
Do you feel the need to crawl on all fours, kneel, or descend immediately when you are high off the ground? The shaking, Sweating, feeling terrified and the heart palpitations? or worst, crying or yelling?
Well, you may have an Acrophobia or fear of heights, an anxiety disorder affecting some 5% of the population. Its definition is simply put, a phobia of heights. And individuals who are afraid of heights may avoid attending a meeting on a high floor of the office building, driving over bridges, reluctant to stand on high hills or find it stressful to be on a glass elevator.
So how do you overcome your fears? Experts say, Face it! Don’t avoid it! You may be avoiding it often but study says, in order to overcome any fears is to face it and understand why you do feel such a thing. Any avoidance can interfere with our quality of life. And this is not great news for women because Acrophobia is twice as common as it is for men. You might be delay performing your tasks just because you can’t handle such fears. You might even avoid once in a lifetime “yolo” moments (You only live once) like skywalking and or roof topping. Fear is the mind killer. If you feel like you can’t face your fears, then don’t! It’s not worth risking your life. So, safety comes first always!
We set the place and during the shooting, I learned the following
- Focus and be calm – the fear of falling from heights is completely unfounded. Try and calm yourself and look at the situation more clearly. Look at the reason why you will not fall. The handrails, the stairs, or the tough glass in the window and focus on what’s stopping you from falling.
- Relax – Remind yourself just how unlikely it is that anything bad will happen and breath deeply. Try and push the negative thoughts from your mind and replace them with a positive affirmation that you will not fall and you are safe.
- Prepare yourself – prepare yourself in advance for the experience. Think through how you are going to deal with it before you get there. Many people find that, with preparation, they can handle the fear of heights far more easily.
- Expose yourself slowly to heights – Face your fear, but do it slowly. Take your time to look down a stairwell or look out of a first-floor window, just a peek to start with, and you will get more used to the sensation of being higher off the ground.
- Trust yourself and the people around you – Tell a close friend about your fear of heights and ask them to help you overcome it. If you begin to face your fear with a friend who understands you, they can give you the comfort and the support that you might need to beat your fear.
And push yourself slowly but surely. If you really want to beat any of your fears, push yourself to go, just a little bit higher. It may sometimes be not easy, but with perseverance, you can do it.
Rooftopping / Skywalking
There’s this trend going on around social media called Rooftopping or sometimes called roofing, wherein finding tall residential or commercial buildings in a city with scenic views and doing extreme things like dangling off the legs, climbing to tall and off-limits roofs for taking cool photos. Not only do they have stunning views but the thrill of being up high above it all and the sense of calm up whether its mere 5th floor or terrifying 85th floor.
Skywalking in the other hand is an extreme sport that involves standing or walking atop very tall structures at dangerous heights, such as the rooftop of the skyscraper building or a bridge. There are things though that you need to mind about:
Tips for #instagrammers:
- Offer to promote the building on your social media channels in exchange for nothing but access. This works best when contacting commercial property such as hotels or commercial buildings that have marketing conscious management team.
- The key here is to contact the right person in charge. Get in touch with the hotel management, social media team or marketing department.
- Free Rooftops are everywhere but finding one that is accessible is rare. If you more daring into a hotel, pretend to be a guest and follow someone up to their floor and sneak up to the fire escape.
- If your target venue is as easy as you imagine, then there’s no problem with that, you could simply walk into the building and act as you live there! Simple.
- Be careful when going into active construction sites. Buildings with construction on the tops are always open but buttons won’t go up! So it’s your choice.
- You may need to get a pass or permission from the security guard or doorman or from the management to get inside the building and go up, avoid trespassing.
Things I learned from David
- Don’t Touch. If you’re going to try it, just be careful of the residents and the building, leave things the way you found it. There’s no specific law against rooftopping, although someone could be charged with criminal damage, theft or other offenses, depending on the circumstances.
- No Roof is the same. Buildings are different so don’t expect what you see in a building to work in another. It has different layouts and different security as well as different complexities so always go in with a blank space and keep track of where you have been.
- Exit Signs. Always follow big Exit Sign to the Emergency fire escape stairwell. Many of these locked behind. If it does, use a rock or piece of small metal to keep it open so you aren’t forced to walk down 40 flights to level one just to get out.
- Use Google Earth. It will be difficult to find rooftopping online. Why? Because it will compromise the location online, which no one would like to see. So use Google Earth to look up for rooftops that you would like.
- Don’t trip! Watch your step! don’t look down, take only photos and leave only footprints. No other agendas.
- Don’t wear high heels but bring shoes that keep you safe from slippery surfaces.
- And learn through experience, you will know when you get there!
- Make connections and ask. If you see a particular on social media you like and you want to experience the same view, simply ask the author of the photo. Some rooftop photographers and explorers like to hold their information to the chest but more often than not, they will tell you where it is and how to get there! The secret for most unique rooftops are good connections and founded on giving and taking.
Tips to find an Urban Xtreme Photographer online:
- Don’t just ask them out of the blue.
- Compliment their photos.
- Get to know them and build a rapport
- Buy them a drink if you have to but make sure it is genuine.
- You either need connections or a whole lot of research beforehand.
Rooftopping and Skywalking are being told to be an extremely dangerous act and should not be tolerated. And if you happen to sneak in and get caught, just show them your photos and show all the proves you have to prove your innocence. Do not resist as they may call cops which makes it more complicated. In case, the only thing you can do is cooperate.
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