11 Vertical Views From Rooftops

There's nothing quite like sitting on a rooftop in the summer—except if you get a nice photo of the view. Here are the images taken from your rooftops in this week's Shooting Challenge.

Winner: Slightly Better View


I was relaxing on a rooftop bar on Friday afternoon (with the shooting challenge in mind) and looked for a good photo op when this person appeared on a taller rooftop across the street. His outline shaped by the background sky spontaneously generated an excellent shot.Sony RX-100 f/10 ISO-125 1/400sec

- Gene Li

Partly Cloudy

This is in Chicago. The day the contest was announced we had low altitude clouds, which I like in front of the Sears/Willis Tower. I went up to the roof and took a lot of shots, but I decided that I needed the commuter train in the picture. I waited for the right timing between clouds and trains and took the shot.

Equipment: Sony A7 + Sony 55mm 1.8 @ f/8, 1/400, ISO 100. I cropped the picture a little bit and did light post-processing in LR.


- Dave Lundstrom

Generating Station


This is a photo taken with an iPhone 4S in Panorama mode, turned through approximately 180° rotation. The view is from the roof of the main building at the Goldendale Generating Station, in Goldendale WA. I've worked here for almost ten years, and have not gotten tired of the views yet! The city of Goldendale is visible in the left half of the frame, behind all the power plant stuff. On the left side of the frame, the tan structure that rises up from the building and bends to the left – that is the air intake and filters for the Combustion Turbine, or CT. The hot gasses from that turbine (imagine a jet engine, only much bigger) leave the building, moving left to right in the photo, and enter the tan structure beginning at the center of the frame. This is the Heat Recovery Steam Generator, or HRSG. This is a boiler, converting heat energy from the hot gasses and creating steam, which in turn provides the energy to a Steam Turbine. The Steam Turbine is housed in the building whose roof provided my vantage point today. The last structure on the right is an Air Cooled Condenser. The pair of large pipes across the top bring the steam here after it exhausts from the Steam Turbine with most of its energy removed. That steam flows down ten enormous pairs of radiators (the angled gray surfaces), across which ten fans of 200 horsepower each blow air to remove the last bit of energy from the steam and condense it back to water, which is pumped back to the HRSG to be boiled again, in a giant closed loop.

The ladder I climbed to get here is also visible close to the camera on the right edge of the frame, and a portion of the roof I'm on extends to the left edge of the frame. Where I'm standing I am 80 feet above the pavement, and the top of the exhaust stack on the far right end of the HRSG is 150 feet high.


- John Gartner



The challenges for this one included:

- A suburban location without any tall buildings.

- Not wanting to go on the roof due to a mild fear of heights

- A boring view from the roof

Therefore, I interpreted the "Rooftop" challenge literally, and took the image of the top of the roof. It was captured with an iPhone 5S, and then the image was leveled in Paint.net, and then turned into a duotone to highlight the blue sky.


- Jonas Demuro

Early Bird


I was heading out to meet up with a few coworkers for dinner and ended up getting there almost an hour early. After wandering for a bit, I saw a building that rose up slightly higher than all the others. It took a few minutes but I reached the rooftop and got a decent shot close to sunset. I used a Canon 70D with a 17-50 mm f/2.8 Tamron lens at f/4.0 or so.

- Mike Song

Beacon High


This picture was taken at the old Beacon High School. It was shot on a Canon 60D through an EF-S10-22mm lens with an ISO 200 and f/11 at 1/25 sec.

- Clairmont Miller



A unique thing about living in Albuquerque, New Mexico is the unique bond the people here have with earth and nature. I wanted to capture an image that shows the combination of urban city and natural plant life. From the rooftop, I was amazed at all the vibrant colors I could see which helped me see the city in a new and beautiful light. I hope to share that beauty with others so they may see why New Mexico is called the "Land of Enchantment."

- Alden Bruce

Missile Storm


We were having some powerful storms come through on the day this contest was announced. I managed to poke my head through the door to the roof to get a picture of the last of the rain to come through. It was weird lighting as the sun was about to set. The lower clouds were yellow due to the setting sun, but the higher storm clouds were still white. The large vents are the exhausts for the hoods in the chemistry lab.

- Chris Sears



My building is a few blocks from Elliott Bay in Seattle and ships are often going by to the port after coming in the the Pacific. The "E" is for the Edgewater hotel, where their Beatles stayed on their first US tour. To enhance the sunset I used a orange gradient filter running along the treeline in the background.

- Jeremy Lau

VIP Access


Unfortunately, I don't have that much access to rooftops, so I had to ask my friend to let me use the 4th floor rec rooftop area on his building. We were aiming for sunset, but were just shy of it. The next day, it hit me that I have contacts in the EPA that would've let me taken pictures from their green roof some 40 stories up, but by then, it was Saturdayand they would've been closed. Pentax K100D18 mmf/5.61/30 sISO 800

- Chris Thai

Fort Worth


Here's an image of the Fort Worth skyline from atop of a parking garage. I was only there about 5mins before security asked me to leave. So this is what I got. I shot this image with my 4x5 view camera with a homemade adapter back to fit by 5d. The lens I was using was too wide to allow the bellows of the camera to be any closer together, thus I couldn't get the image in focus. But I still liked the way that it turned out- better than the in focus shots that I took with my 5d alone.

- Jayme Peterson

I'm staring at a tree right now, so needless to say, I'm jealous of some of your views! To see more, find the big shots on flickr.


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