Pools from Above by Brad Walls
Produced over a three-year-period across four countries, Pools from Above is the culmination of Brad Walls’ long journey to discover the beauty in commonplace landscapes seen from unexpected vantage points.
Initially inspired by his travels throughout Southeast Asia and Australia, he began capturing bodies of water to document holiday memories. It wasn’t until picking up Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool by Annie Kelly that he invested time into curating his own series.
As he turned each page of the book, he says that a wave of nostalgia washed over him, taking him back to summer days swimming in his childhood pool. “Paying homage to Kelly, I chose to explicitly experiment with negative space, compositional balance, leading lines, and symmetry,” Walls says. He goes on to say that his series emphasises the pools’ less appreciated elements that he fell in love with – their curves, sharp edges, diverse blue hues, and the way elongated shadows play against their surfaces – all of which is lost without an alternate viewpoint.
Walls says that as much as he’s drawn to their visual features, he’s come to learn that pools have distinct personalities – some evoking a sense of tranquillity, others a more solemn feeling. Pools, often appreciated merely as architectural objects, retain an innate ability to trigger involuntary memories. “For me, they can evoke the smell of my favourite food, or resurrect memories of my favourite holidays,” Walls says.
Pools From Above features 89 images captured in Australia, South East Asia, USA, and Mexico. The book is published by Smith Street Books/Thames & Hudson.
About Brad Walls
Brad Walls was born in Sydney in 1992. Despite studying Science, his preferred artistic medium is Aerial Photography. From 2019 to the present, he has been refining his style, garnering international acclaim, setting new precedents in photographic expression. Defining a new era of Aerial Photography and the recipient of several prestigious awards, Walls has features in Washington Post, Guardian, CNN, New York Times and various other publications around the world. His work has also appeared on the front cover of Signature Luxury Travel and featured spread in Aesthetica Magazine and Vanity Fair.
Walls’ niche style removes itself from traditional Aerial Photography and focuses on experimentation with negative space, symmetry, and leading lines. Taking a keen interest in top-down portraits, he has documented synchronised swimming, gymnastics, and ballet, using the human body to portray visually pleasing shapes from above.
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