Daredevil Photographer Dangles Off the Edge

Think you can stomach this set? A daredevil from Detroit named Dennis Maitland recently started a scary series where he takes photos of himself with his feet dangling off the edge. Photographed in and around Detroit, these rooftopping-style shots (as previously seen with Tom Ryaboi) are almost guaranteed to induce that queasy feeling of vertigo.

It's interesting to note that Maitland doesn't use a remote to shoot these photos, he takes them all by hand. He mostly climbs old, dilapidated buildings, finds the roof of a place, and then takes photos of his legs sticking, precariously, out. As he tells us, “When I started this series, in August, I was afraid of heights and I was afraid to climb ladders past 10 feet. After a few times sitting or standing on ledges, I found myself getting more comfortable with it. I soon realized how to tune everything out and just focus on getting a steady handheld shot. Now, when I go into a building, I'm always looking up and for stuff to climb. The series has pushed me out of my comfort zones and helped expand my creative boundaries. I've been able to concur my fear of heights and now I crave the adrenaline.”

I particularly enjoyed the shot, above, taken in an elevator shaft and the one immediately below, which was shot in a parking garage. “Gotta love when an idea comes together and actually works,” Maitland said of the one above. “I'm lucky to have had my ‘my mobile voice responsive light stand,' Derek with me. I mentioned my idea as we were on the top floor, he volunteered to go all the way to the bottom of the elevator shaft (via stairs) to place/position my light.

“Here I am holding a flashlight with my left hand to shine on my legs and shooting with my right hand.”

“This shot was totally spur of the moment. As I was driving into a local parking garage I noticed the amazing symmetry of the ‘ramp up.'

“I couldn't believe I didn't think of this before as I'd been in this garage many times. There was no denying I would get this shot, it was more of a question of who was watching and how concerned they might be (security cameras and guests in the hotel towering over me.) This shot was done in about 30 seconds total, from me getting on the ledge, taking the photo and off on my way…..In that short time, alarms started sounding off from below and I got super nervous cops were on their way. Luckily they were only car alarms, I couldn't help but think they were some kind of security alarm…..'we got a jumper, send police and medical support' type thing. Needless to say I got out of there quickly. A fun little rush.”

Dennis Maitland's website

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