Quote Originally Posted by John Bragg
Apparently this was not posed. Riboud just saw the guy doing his very dangerous job in a completely noncholant manner, cigarette in mouth and not a care in the world.
Could be - but these kinds of pics were very popular in the '20's and '30's and relied on using unusual angles to portray a riskier position than was reality.

There is a famous picture of a bunch of ironworkers taking a lunch break during the building of the Empire State Building. They are seated in a row on a steel girder, casually munching their sandwiches seemingly hanging in mid-air with a huge void below down to the distant city streets. Anyone here have that pic available?

Blansky mentioned Buster Keaton. He specialized in being pictured in these kinds of "harrowing" situations.