Climbing on Rooftops?
This is in response to Night Climbing by Ian Jeffrey at http://www.aperture.org/blog/night-climbing/.
Ian was writing about Thomas Mailaender, a contemporary photographer who collected these images for a traveling show recently. The images, however, are taken in Cambridge in 1937 of guys climbing on roofs. This article grabbed my attention because I myself like to climb. I generally like climbing trees but I generally like to see things from above. Something about seeing the world from a higher vantage point is fascinating to me.
Ian points out that the activity of students climbing on the buildings isn't unusual. He mentions a book called The Roof Climber's Guide that was written in 1899. You don't write a book about something you never do. The interesting point Ian makes is that these particular students were interested in publicity, in photographing themselves. In 1937 this would have been more unique than today where everyone owns at least two cameras, one on their phone and one on their laptop. Clearly these students back in 1937 were just forerunners to today's society where we're fascinated with photographing ourselves and putting our images up for the world to see on facebook and whatever other websites we're connected to on the internet.