Gray Malin’s Colorful Beach Bum Aerials, Shot from Doorless Helicopters

Malin Beach Collection 1

Colorful images of beach bum-packed shores are probably the best way to describe West Hollywood-based Gray Malin‘s collection, dubbed “À La Plage, À La Piscine” (translates to At the Beach, Pool).

Malin Beach Collection 2

The images, shot from door-less helicopters in the skies above, come from around the world. From famed Bondi beach in Australia, to European shores, the Americas, and even Africa!

His inspiration? Watching pool-goers from a Las Vegas balcony.

“I was standing on a top-floor hotel balcony in Las Vegas that happened to have a bird’s eye view of the pool below,” Malin said to “I became mesmerized by the spectacle of hundreds of sunbathers and swimmers splashing around in this gigantic pool. I took a photo of the scene, and it ended up being the creative spark that ignited the series.”

Malin Beach Collection 3

Malin Beach Collection 4

Malin Beach Collection 5

Having spotted an interesting color or pattern, Malin bravely leans from the helicopter to snap away. His secret to capturing a great image is timing, he says.

“When you’re flying in a helicopter at high speeds, leaning out the doorway into strong winds, you often only have a fraction of a second to capture the right shot.”

Malin Beach Collection 6

Malin Beach Collection 7

Malin expects to continue shooting the “À La Plage, À La Piscine” collection this summer. His planned shooting locations include the beaches of Chicago and Italy.

Malin Beach Collection 8

Malin Beach Collection 9

Malin Beach Collection 10

Malin Beach Collection 11

Malin Beach Collection 12

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Malin Beach Collection 15

You can view Malin’s beach aerial collection, along with others, on his website.


Image credits: Photographs by Gray Malin and used with permission

  • KH


  • Richard

    Fantastic work.

  • Ryan

    Looks a lot like Richard Misrach’s “On The Beach” series, though not as ominious.

  • Sterling

    Those look great! I’m glad this photographer didn’t listen to the “never shoot in mid-day sun” experts.

  • worker88

    Looks like a lot of work, this has been done a few times over.

  • KewlDewd

    I actually think it would add more interest if the umbrellas and people were casting longer shadows from a morning or late afternoon/evening sun. Just my opinion. Cool photos, nonetheless.

  • Yarden

    How come the images look like out of a 3D computer game?

  • Mansgame

    The rule is for portraits because the angle of the light creates very harsh shadows. What he’s doing is essentially shining a giant light directly on the people below so in his case, the middle of the day is perfect. Why the angst against rules?

  • Mansgame

    Great pictures. I can see any of these pictures being on my wall.

  • ilo_photo

    The 4th photo from the bottom (grass huts) looks like it shrinks and grows as you scroll up/down past it. Pretty neat!
    I have to admit I couldn’t find Waldo, though.

  • Fullstop

    These are fun, can’t wait to go to the beach this summer.

  • HK

    Not the first time an otherwise charming if unoriginal series has been sullied for me by a pompous website and artist statement slash bio blurb. The first sentence of said bio will have you gagging if the salmon-colored trousers and francophile flourishes don’t.

    And please don’t drop that camera.