Aerial view of Brad Walls turns swimming pools into works of art

Aerial view of Brad Walls turns swimming pools into works of art

Aerial photographer Brad Walls offers a crisp conclusion to the summer months with a new book Swimming pools from above – you will want to dive into it

This year, for many of us, summer has truly arrived. He confidently waltzed into the gaping space we had made for him on our picnic blankets, rested his head on our shoulders and lifted our hearts. A long-lost love, stolen from us by two years of closed pubs and restricted travel. Now, as we fold beach towels and break out umbrellas, Brad Walls posts Swimming pools from abovea luxurious reflection on the pleasures of summer.

Walls began his aerial photo series with just 20 images, intending to make it a small project, but when he published them, the tranquil depictions unexpectedly gained popularity. The series grew, and in time a book seemed inevitable.

One turn only, taken in Malibu, California. Of Swimming pools from above by Brad Walls, Smith Street Books

Walls began a four-year journey in which he photographed around 1,000 swimming pools, refined to around 100 images in the book, in which swathes of blue are punctuated with poolside pink, yellow and red elements; sharp angles and irregular shapes dominate the page; leaves dust on the periphery of a frame and the shadow of a pool cleaner twists, interrupting the ripples on a blue floor.

Walls’ mantra for the book is its inclusiveness. The images oscillate easily between artistic, architectural and playful. “I wanted anyone to pick up the book and feel something,” he explains. He ensured, in the variation of forms and the integration of a range of sports, paddling and architectural pools, that Swimming pools from above is a complete artistic project, and takes its place among the photography books to be coveted. It simultaneously offers a glimpse into an exclusive world where a carefully designed backyard oasis is commonplace, while giving the curated walkways of a public swimming pool just as much prestige.

Patchwork, taken in Palm Springs. Of Swimming pools from above by Brad Walls, Smith Street Books

The book sits comfortably among Wall’s other projects; his work is distinctive – perhaps due to the slightly displaced point of view he adopts using drones, or the organic repetition in his photographs. He spots symmetry and leaves it next to his opposite counterpart, documenting dancers and synchronized swimmers in their element.

Offering harmony and balance, Walls’ book is a delightful conclusion to summer and a heartwarming soap opera that leaves you feeling nostalgic, perhaps inspiring a trip to the poolside. §

Swan, taken in Malibu, California. Of Swimming pools from above by Brad Walls, Smith Street Books

retro, taken in Tulum, Quinta Roo, Mexico. Of Swimming pools from above by Brad Walls, Smith Street Books

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