A beach is a familiar sight to many, but seeing one from a bird’s-eye view changes that picture to something different entirely. What’s old and familiar is fresh and new again.
Gray Malin, a fine art photographer, specializes in aerial photography. In 2016, he published Beaches, a New York Times bestseller featuring beach photos from more than 20 cities spanning six continents, all shot from doorless helicopters.
Malin’s passion for aerial photography began when he took a picture from the top floor of The Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas looking straight down on the giant swimming pool below.
“I realized that this perspective gave a completely different feel to a location, allowing the viewer to take a step back and see the patterns, colors, and shapes of a place from an aerial point of view,” he said. “I then took to doorless helicopters. I love that every moment that I capture is candid and that the world below creates a complete work of art when shown from a bird’s-eye view.”
When we spoke with Malin, he was just a few days out from releasing a series of aerial photos of the 30A area; a stretch of white-sand beach, and beautiful homes along a two-lane road on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Malin told us that he was thrilled to release this collection of images.
“The 30A area was a treat to visit and photograph,” he said. “This destination is so charming and the beaches are absolutely stunning—the pristine white sand and mesmerizing color of the water create an unforgettable sight, especially from an aerial perspective.”
Scenic Highway 30A has been on Malin’s list of beaches to visit and photograph for a while, and his customers have made clear their interest in the area.
“I took these images earlier this year, and I photographed all of them from a doorless helicopter,” Malin said. “With many of my aerial shoots, I have to fly over multiple parts of the city that are spread out. It was fun to be able to just go up and down the coastline of the 30A area and capture all of the beaches and gorgeous communities that line the shore.”
Malin’s collection of 30A aerial photos is available for purchase in three sizes and frame colors at graymalin.com.
Malin’s approach to photography is to create a sense of joy, escapism, and timelessness. His tagline, make every day a getaway, sums it up well.
“My goal is to create pieces that people want to hang on their walls and look at every day, to create artwork that evokes positivity and inspiration,” he said.
The beach has long been a source of inspiration for Malin, and for good reason. “I’ve always loved photographing beaches due to the vibrance of the colors, the unique qualities of beaches in different locations, and the fact that there is a universal joy that the beach symbolizes,” he said. “I have such fond memories of beaches and I know a lot of people feel nostalgic for beautiful vacations and priceless days spent at the beach when they see my photography.”
For Beaches, Malin curated a selection of his work showcasing what are, in his opinion, some of the most beautiful, fun, aspirational, and colorful shorelines around the world. In the book, you’ll find aerial photos of iconic beaches in cities around the world, including Sydney, Miami, The Hamptons, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Cape Town, and Dubai. The photos were shot by Malin over a span of several years, even before a book was officially in the works.
“Putting the book together was fun and challenging,” Malin said. “I’m proud that it really highlights my love for the beach and a sunny disposition.”