Von Wong, a photographer who likes to keep it real, recently published an explainer on how he shot a series of photos featuring models dressed as superheroes atop a skyscraper in San Francisco.

He wanted the shoot to be as legit as possible, which meant no “green screen or cheap special effects.” There’s only one way to achieve that: “The simplest way to make that happen was to place them on the edge of certain death,” wrote Wong about the shoot.


Complete with video and a warning (“Do not attempt on your own. The photographer is a trained stunt person”), Wong took readers through the process. He said the first step was to get his subject comfortable with the heights and the second was apparently to be a sadist. “My job was to convince them to inch closer and closer to the opposite direction of safety  — straight towards the edge of a 1000 foot drop,” he explained. “In the photo, it makes all the difference.”

To see the results of the shoot and read the rest of the lensman’s how-to, click here.

Spoiler alert: all the superheroes wore harnesses. They may be brave, but they’re not stupid.

(Photo: Von Wong)