Photographer Snaps Photo Atop the Burj Khalifa (Yes, the Very Top!)

photo of shoes taken on top of burj khalifa in dubai
Joe Mcnally’s caption reads: My old battered shoes climbed the worlds tallest building today.
What an amazing structure! Tweeting from 820 meters straight up!

Rooftopper photographers are continuously pushing themselves and raising the bar, literally, to get that vertigo-inducing shot. These insane, daredevil photographers will go to extreme heights just to get that hair-raising photograph. Certainly not for the faint of heart, rooftopping is not for everyone. This is not to say however, that it does not have its share of diehard exponents. One such advocate is Joe McNally. McNally is an American photographer who has been shooting for the National Geographic Society since 1987. He has been described by American Photo magazine as maybe the most versatile (and gutsy) photojournalist working today. He was likewise named among the hundred most important people in photography. Place this guy in Dubai atop the World’s Tallest Man-Made Structure, the Burj Khalifa and what do you get? Rooftopping extreme Instagrammed for the world to see!

Burj Khalifa under sunrise
Photo Credit: Nicolas Lannuzel

The Burj Khalifa is the reigning, tallest man-made structure on the planet, bar none. Also known as the Burj Dubai, it stands at a dizzying 829.8 meters or 2,722 feet! It also lays claim once more to the Middle East having the tallest structure, hearkening to the glorious ancient, era of the Great Pyramid of Giza which had this distinction unchallenged for almost four millennia. The prestigious Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, drew up the tower’s needle like architecture which elegantly pierces the Dubai sky.

From the 124th floor. Burj Khalifa
Photo Credit: Carlos Greene
Photo taken from the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa

Other famous edifices made by the same company are the Willis Tower found in Chicago and the new One World Trade Center in New York. The Burj Khalifa was conceptualized to be a large-scale, multi-purpose/functional structure that would include 30,000 homes, nine hotels, 7.4 acres of parkland, 19 residential towers, a Mall, and 30-acres of man-made lake.

Burj Khalifa
Photo Credit: David Jones

It was perhaps most famously showcased in the action movie, Mission Impossible, during its fourth reprise, Ghost Protocol. Tom Cruise running across, rappelling down, or scaling the sides of this man-made marvel certainly pulled out all the stops for any marketing plan to shove this mega-structure into the world’s consciousness.

diagram comparing the tallest man-made structures
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

So what happens when Rooftopper extraordinaire, Joe McNally, finds himself perched on the very top of the incredible Burj Khalifa? They say a picture is worth a thousand words (and in this case a few gasps).

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.