Elevating Perspective

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An Australian aerial photographer is using drones to take the beauty of swimming pools to new heights.

Brad Walls originally began capturing drone images during travels around southeast Asia, for the sake of memories. Later, inspired by Annie Kelly's coffee table bestseller "Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool," he refined his aesthetic to focus on the architectural features of individual swimming pools. His series "Pools from Above" features pools he photographed in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.

"Most aerial photography I had previously seen of pools ultimately always looked like a rectangle full of water, and struggled to pop off the screen and expose its beauties," he says. "I keep coming back to the basic design principles that we as humans are inherently drawn to: leading lines, geometric shapes, negative space and color harmony."

Walls uses Google Earth to scope out pools from above. After locating the visually interesting gems, it's time to get planning: The art of the aerial shot is "less about the photographing and more about the preparation, styling and post-processing," he says.

"To make pools intriguing, it's all about applying design principles...to bring out the features and their own sense of personality."

According to Walls, the most critical part of photographing pools is proper lighting and shadow management. Then comes the staging process, which depends on his vision for each pool.

"If the pool is clean and minimal, I'll add people for a softer, less sterile feel. It also helps personalize the pool," he says. "If the pool is softer and has natural elements like trees or plants, I'll do less staging."

RELATED: Aerial Views Can Help Sell Pools

Walls believes almost every pool is photo-worthy, and that "each has a unique story to tell."

"Ultimately, I'm trying to push the boundaries of aerial photography and would love to explore more pools," he says. "I know the U.S. has some beautiful pool developers and designers, so I'm very open to being contacted for collaborations."

"Pools From Above" can be viewed among Walls' other works online at bradscanvas.com and on Instagram at @bradscanvas.

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