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Death-Defying Photoshoot Dangles Superheroes from a Skyscraper

Definitely don't try this at home.

by Beckett Mufson
Feb 25 2015, 11:30pm

"Deadpool." Images courtesy Ben Von Wong

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's—actually, it's untrained models dressed as superheroes, posing on the edge of a skyscraper. Had it been a big budget action movie like Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy, that might have been the slogan for Ben Von Wong's death-defying new photo series, Superheroes on Skyscrapers. Instead, the low-budget photoshoot was designed to "recreate a childhood fantasy that I think everybody has had once upon a time in their life," Von Wong tells The Creators Project, "one of a superhero, standing on the edge of a building, wind hitting their hair, and just looking up at a city."

The photographer's coworkers at SmugMug Films were the lucky few whose dreams came true atop the San Francisco precipice, clothed in their own personal superhero costumes and professional makeup by Sandra Leathley. Like Sandro Miller's brilliant John Malkovich photos, Von Wong's answer for making these fantasies reality wasn't to just Photoshop his friends and colleagues into a picture of a skyscraper, but to actually hang them over the edge of a giant building. "I’m a trained stunt person," he explains. "But the models weren’t. They were secured with harnesses—everything was double-tied down!"

Rather than reling on a drone or a helicopter, Von Wong achieved the vertigo-inducing aerial perspective by using an oversized boom stand, tilted high above his subjects. "Though it looks flimsy, it was actually super solid!" he says. The moral of the story? If you want to become a superhero, all it takes is a camera and a little creativity. Check out Superheroes on Skyscrapers along with some behind-the-scenes images below:

"Mystique" 

"Wolverine"

"Harley Quinn"

"The Incredible Hulk"

"Hellgirl"

"The Green Goblin"

Ben Von Wong's photography setup.

A shot from before the costumes went on. The safety harness was edited out in post production.

Visit Ben Von Wong's website to learn more.

Related:

This Photographer Put John Malkovich Into Iconic Portraits Of The Past

Surrealist Photographer Erik Johansson Bends Reality Without Photoshop

"Unhappily Ever After" Has Disney Heroes Face The Horrors Of Real Life

Photoshop Comedian Makes NYC A Whole Lot Stranger

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