A pool will be soothing lengthy earlier than you wade into its waters. Even seen from a distance, swimming pools can evoke a way of stillness, a way of calm.
But usually probably the most visually harmonious parts of swimming pools stay hidden to us — till we have a look at them from a brand new perspective.
In 2018, after buying my first drone, I started capturing a set of pictures that will later change into this sequence, “Pools From Above.” It’s the end result of my lengthy journey to find the sweetness in commonplace landscapes seen from surprising vantages.
After capturing my first drone images on a visit by Southeast Asia and Australia, I started experimenting extra explicitly with new methods: my use of unfavourable area, compositional steadiness, main strains, symmetry.
The outward steadiness and ease of those pictures usually masks the difficulties I skilled whereas making them. The picture titled “Time Warp,” taken in 2019 at a resort in Byron Bay, a coastal city in New South Wales, is an efficient instance: It took me greater than 50 makes an attempt to realize the proper composition.
As a lot as I’m drawn to their visible options, swimming pools, I’ve come to study, even have distinct personalities.
Consider, for instance, the picture titled “Nostalgia,” taken in Bali. It encompasses a cooler colour temperature, hints of tropical flora and folks lounging by the pool. The scene evokes a powerful sense of tranquillity. If “Nostalgia” existed as audio, it’d specific itself because the calming sound of rain pattering on a tin roof.
Conversely, the picture titled “Symmetry” was taken at a non-public location in Sydney and presents a prickly, conventional persona with its strict edges, imperfect floor bricks and deeper blue hues. I like to consider this one as personifying a grandparent who tells it like it’s.
While usually appreciated merely as architectural objects, swimming pools retain an innate skill to set off involuntary reminiscence. For me, they will evoke the odor of my favourite meals, or resurrect recollections of my favourite holidays.
Partly, too, the sequence is an ode to swimming pools’ much less appreciated visible parts: their curves, their sharp edges, their numerous blue hues, the best way elongated shadows play towards their surfaces.
As is true with all images, lighting — or, slightly, the administration of shadows — is without doubt one of the most vital parts to the sequence. The time of day I shoot is dependent upon the pool itself. If a pool has completely positioned furnishings across the rim, I shoot earlier or later within the day to extrapolate lengthy shadows. If, as an alternative, I need to keep away from any shadows and concentrate on the form of the pool itself, I shoot towards the center of the day.
As the sequence progressed, I grew extra focused with my pictures. I started utilizing Google Earth to scout areas, and the software rapidly turned essential in serving to to keep away from aimless capturing.
Once I receive a tough define of the pool, I then draw out as many doable compositions as I can think about. Only then, after sifting by the chances, do I truly start the method of capturing the picture.
Most of those pictures had been taken within the Southern Hemisphere — in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.
I plan to increase the sequence to new international locations as soon as the world reopens. I’m particularly eager to go to the Mediterranean, Mexico, and Palm Springs, Calif.
Like all types of artwork, images is an ever-evolving self-discipline. I’m grateful every day for the technological developments which have supplied me with the instruments to seize and showcase a novel set of views.