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03-23-2010, 01:28 PM   #1
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Taking a shot on the roof of buildings?

Has anyone ever went to a random building and asked if you could go to the roof of the building to take pictures? How would you go about doing so? I have seen some people on rooftops of buildings downtown Toronto. I'm just interested. Please and thanks.

03-23-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
Has anyone ever went to a random building and asked if you could go to the roof of the building to take pictures? How would you go about doing so? I have seen some people on rooftops of buildings downtown Toronto. I'm just interested. Please and thanks.
Just ask... I'm not condoning it but some just do it, especially in abandoned buildings. It's called Urban Exploring..

Google

03-23-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Just ask... I'm not condoning it but some just do it, especially in abandoned buildings. It's called Urban Exploring..

Google

:/ Looks mighty dangerous if I were to go to some of these places alone ;(. Sounds like fun though.
03-23-2010, 04:35 PM   #4
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Get to know a building manager. I never thought of using them before for that purpose, I do a lot of highrise work and could always ask for a favour.

03-23-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Kurly One Quote
Get to know a building manager. I never thought of using them before for that purpose, I do a lot of highrise work and could always ask for a favour.
Yeah, that would help for sure... but I don't hang out around downtown a lot though, so I may be outta luck.
03-23-2010, 06:54 PM   #6
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You have to know somebody who does service work in a building... that person would know whom to ask... its the safest way and a 6-pack will probably cover the Supers time in opening the rooftop to you...
03-23-2010, 07:11 PM   #7
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A friend is completing an architectural survey of NJ for the state university. He had to go to 100 different places and be prepared for any questions. He always carried a letter from his publisher, and even then he was kindly asked to not take photos of some building - something to do with homeland security. This is what I learned from him:

Going up to a building manager and saying, "Hey, can I take some pictures from the roof of your building? Just for fun?" is probably not going to work.

Calling a building manager and saying, "Hi, I'm doing a photo documentary of the city of Toronto and am taking photos from roofs around the city. I'm...(pick one)

A-publishing a book
B-working with Acme.com website
C-working to submit the work to a number of galleries/shows
D-other

Would it be possible to take some photos from the roof of your building?"

If you have an email or letter from a publisher or organization that might be interested, that would help.

If you are just doing it for your personal enjoyment, I bet you can poke around and identify buildings that have public spaces on top. Maybe hook up with some local photogs and try to gain access.

Good luck!
03-23-2010, 07:56 PM   #8
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Personally I would just ask the people who owe me favours and not try to line up a big line of BS to a super or manager. Whenever you say its for something official they will automatically tell you to coontact there supervisor, area manager, district manager or head office. Because if its going to be published they could get in crap and lose their job over something that you (possibly) lied to them about. The truth in situations like this I think is the safest way to play it...

03-23-2010, 09:00 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Kurly One Quote
Personally I would just ask the people who owe me favours and not try to line up a big line of BS to a super or manager. Whenever you say its for something official they will automatically tell you to coontact there supervisor, area manager, district manager or head office. Because if its going to be published they could get in crap and lose their job over something that you (possibly) lied to them about. The truth in situations like this I think is the safest way to play it...
Who's talking about BS? I'm talking about treating it like a real project. It's an interesting idea - especially for a city like Toronto - and it's got a lot of potential.

Treating it like a real project seemed to work with this guy:

03-23-2010, 09:39 PM   #10
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that is a cool idea... might have to try it on some grain elevators...
03-24-2010, 12:58 PM   #11
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Thanks John, Uhh... I don't look very official... just a teenager... I'm not into any project... I don't know any photogs around my area or downtown. The pentax toronto group is pretty inactive so far... Planning to try and give it some life.
03-24-2010, 02:52 PM   #12
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It's a tricky thing to do, and I know--because I did something similar in NYC in the 70s, for a commercial project, from just one building, no less.

The problem is, you don't know your point of/angle of view until you're up there. So for this one shot we were trying to get, the first two buildings were totally unacceptable, and the final one was just passable.

Mind you, I'm not talking about achieving any kind of high level if art. It's just that framing and what got in the way really stunk, and you can't determine that from street level.
03-24-2010, 02:54 PM   #13
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And whatever you do, don't wear a turban.
03-24-2010, 03:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
And whatever you do, don't wear a turban.
Toronto (Scarborough) has a very high ethnic population. I do get the humour though! Lol.
03-24-2010, 03:21 PM   #15
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When it comes to photography I tend to ask for forgiveness afterwards than permission before. That's just me though.
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