@joemcnallyphoto’s #fromwhereistand Atop the Burj Khalifa

Photographer Joe McNally (@joemcnallyphoto) has climbed the antenna of the World Trade Center and all over the Empire State Building on assignments, but two days ago he reached his greatest height yet: summiting the tip-top of the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

The climb took three years to plan and just three hours to complete. Joe’s route took him approximately 450 feet straight up a combination of steps and rung ladders. “The portholes and grating access points are small, so you have to climb and then stop and rope up your gear which has been stuffed into climbing bags.”

Once at the top, Joe calmly snapped a #fromwhereistand photo with his iPhone and shared the image on Instagram. “It was wonderful being up there. A thrilling view, and certainly a bit of a sense of accomplishment,” he says. “I told folks I would send out a picture from the top, which seemed like a fun thing to do in these days of connectivity and instant visual delivery. Of course, I had to be very careful handling the iPhone at that height!”

To see more of Joe’s photos, be sure to follow him on Instagram @joemcnallyphoto and through National Geographic’s account, @natgeo, to which he’s a regular contributor.