For architectural photographer Carlos Ayesta, dangling from skyscrapers hundreds of feet above urban cityscapes is all in a day’s work. Ayesta shoots highly unique architectural photographs using a climbing technique called abseiling, or rappelling, which is a controlled descent down a rock wall—or, in this case, the side of a skyscraper. From this angle, Ayesta is able to capture what most photographers miss. “I can take pictures of hidden things,” he said. “No one on the ground or on top of the buildings can see what I see.” Watch his process here and then you can see some more shots from his portfolio here:
Despite the inherent risks of rappelling, the stunning beauty of Ayesta’s work outweighs the drawbacks of such high exposure, since rappelling allows him to portray cities and their buildings and inhabitants “in another dimension,” from never-before-seen perspectives.
While most architectural photography is just steel and glass, rappelling enables Ayesta to weave a profound human element into his work.
“I take pictures of towers, offices and homes, and I am able to capture the people working and living within those spaces,” he said. “The window reflections are magical—you can see life and the landscapes within the same frame.”
Throughout his career, Ayesta has abseiled from Parisian skyscrapers like La Tour Eiffel, La Grande Arche de la Défense, the Center of New Industries and Technologies, Tour EQHO, and Tour Sequoia, and he plans to dangle from buildings in Tokyo on his next project.
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