After posting a photo of looking down from the 80th floor of the Zenith Tower, I got more questions about how I got on the roof. So, I thought I’d talk a little more about rooftopping in Korea. According to the Urban Dictionary, “Rooftopping, also known as Buildering is an off shoot of urban exploring or urbex, which involves climbing onto the roofs of buildings, preferably the higher the better. Done to take pictures or just for kicks.” Like Jason Teale, a fellow rooftopper and friend in Ulsan, I had no idea that what I was doing was a global phenomenon.
Rooftopping Photography in Korea
In Korea, rooftopping has been going on for some time now and is very popular. Just take a look at some of the pictures over at the Korean photo club Nightview. After seeing some incredible photos of Marine City from my friend Juseok Oh, I asked him to take me up. The process is actually pretty simple and goes like this:
- Find interesting buildings with great views. The easiest way to do this is by looking at pictures from other photographers (try Google Images, Flickr, or other photo sites). Another way is to use Google maps to get an overhead view of the city. Look for great shots by finding things that will look cool from above like highways, rivers, or other skyscrapers.
- Enter building and find elevator. If the building is private or door is locked, wait for someone to exit and walk in when the door opens. You can also try going in through the garage.
- Take elevator to top floor and find the stairwell (sometimes there is more than one). Walk up to roof. If the door is locked, you are out of luck. However, many doors are open.
Do you want to see more? Check out John Steele’s amazing Cityscapes of Korea!