The 30-year-old freelancer is a self-confessed ‘roof-topping’ photographer who admits he has a fair chance of being seriously hurt or killed in pursuit of a passion that has seen him scale the Waldorf and the Four Seasons hotels.
Edward – who has asked that his surname is not published – is quite clear where he stands, in a legal sense as well as physical: ‘Roof-topping is highly dangerous and is illegal,’ says Edward who claims he has always been scared of heights.
The photographer, who goes by the handle @WantedVisual on Instagram, tells Amateur Photographer that he uses a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens for his ‘super-wide look-down shots and landscapes’.
Edward’s latest self-inflicted photo assignment took him to Times Square. The challenge: capturing images from the 45-storey DoubleTree Hotel.
‘The thought of falling off is always there in the back of my mind, because if it wasn’t, then I really shouldn’t be doing this!’ he explains.
‘Just knowing that falling off is a very real possibility makes me that much more cautious in what I do. I have limits and boundaries of things I will not attempt, but the more I do this, inevitably, the bigger risks I take.’
Inevitably, his activities have landed him in trouble. One night he was caught, with a like-minded friend, on another rooftop near Times Square.
‘I was sitting on the ledge of the roof taking look-down shots, and the next thing I heard was an angry voice yelling at me to “put my ****ing hands up in the air”.’
The photographer adds: ‘As I turned around, I saw about 10 NYPD cops that I could make out through their silhouettes, shining their flashlights and guns drawn on us. I remember yelling, “I’m just taking pictures officer! Don’t shoot!”‘
It seems the police had been there for other reasons and the pair were eventually allowed to walk free – but not before a good telling off.
‘Lets just say it wasn’t fun,’ says Edward who insists he just wants to take ‘really cool pictures’.
‘To me, it’s definitely an adrenaline rush getting to these places, and it makes it that much sweeter when you succeed and walk away with one of a kind photos.
‘Also, I know that not everyone can do this; whether it’s because they are scared of heights, maybe they are not as physically fit, or scared of getting caught…
‘To me, that means that I get the opportunity to show people my city in an interesting and unique way.
‘There are plenty of other photographers who try to do the same thing, but everyone has their own unique style.’
For more about Edward’s work, click on the links below: