Instagrammer Takes Risky Skyscraper Selfies

The photos from dizzying heights might seem foolhardy, but photographer Angela Nikolau isn't afraid.

Her photos taken from the tops of skyscrapers look vaguely suicidal, but Russian photographer Angela Nikolau appears to know what she's doing. And she clearly has zero fear of heights.

Her motto on Instagram: No limit, no control.

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Nikolau has climbed to the tippy tops of some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, often with support from fellow photographers like Ivan Beerkus. She's a "roof-topper," an urban explorer who goes as high as possible and documents the dizzying results.

"When I see that someone close to me does risky things, I always get anxious and scared for him, and try to stop him from doing dangerous shots," she says in a Vimeo video about roof-topping in Moscow. "But when I do things like that myself, I feel quite confident. I know I have a good level of physical skills."

The Moscow-based adventurer is in her early 20s and has posed, without apparent ropes or safety gear, on ledges and spires soaring nearly a thousand feet above the ground. Nikolau's photographs show her sky-high on bridge cables and skyscrapers in China and Moscow, including buildings still under construction. In one photo she dons a t-shirt that reads "next stop the top."

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My first thought upon seeing her shots, after hoping for a brief moment that they were actually Photoshopped, was how she managed to get up there. Did she have permission? Is this an ad campaign for something?

It turns out that getting around security and making her way to the top is a bigger rush for Nikolau than walking around on ledges, she told Denis Krasnov for his Vimeo video. She clearly enjoys the views, though. I'd offer up some high fives for making it so far with such a risky hobby, but my palms are too sweaty.