Photographer Gray Malin is known for his birds-eye view of landscapes. From above, the bustle of New York City, for instance, takes on a zen-like calm, while yellow-and-white life savers in a pool look like candies in a bowl. In his new book, Beaches, out through Abrams, Malin has pulled together images taken over five years from sandy spots in more than 20 cities on six continents. While hanging out a door-less helicopter, Malin photographed the well-known — Saint-Tropez, Cancun, Santa Monica — and the less expected — Chicago and Dubai. Here, he talks about the subject matter, kicking back and more.
From the aerial perspective, objects such as people, umbrellas, chairs and towels create unique patterns. These dazzling geometric landscapes give the viewer a familiar subject matter presented in a new and exciting way.
Memorable anecdotes from a shoot…
There are so many memories from every shoot, but I have to say that the new additions from Italy, which I shot last summer, are very special, as it was the first time I was able to travel to this stunning country with my husband. Also, I am proud to have included Dubai in the book. It’s a very difficult city to access by air and took months of planning, permitting and even a stroke of luck to be able to achieve the images you see in the book.
Outside of sand and water, the connection between the beaches in vastly different countries…
This project has taught me that the beach is a universal place of relaxation and reinvigoration, whether it be at play in the water or bronzing on the sand, a packed beach or a secluded one; everyone has positive feelings when they think of days spent at the beach. This is the connection and the feeling of joy celebrated throughout my book that unites us all no matter where we are in the world.
I love the beach so, honestl,y I would be grateful for any day spent at the beach! My personal favorite spots include Boulders Beach in Cape Town, La Fontelina beach club in Capri and Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Favorite non-work thing to do at the beach…
A glass of chilled rosé and some crispy potato chips pair wonderfully under an umbrella with sounds of the ocean in the distance.
For my next getaway, I’m headed to…
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