Written by Montanna Macdonald

Have you ever wondered what sports look like from a bird’s eye view?

Well, this is what Sydney Based photographer Brad Walls set out to explore. 

Brad Walls, known as Bradscanvas, is an aerial photographer. Keeping it unique with drone photography, Brad adds flair to scenes such as sport; showing the art form of us. Winning the Skypixel awards for his synchronised swimming team photo series this year, Brad explores a different perspective of Olympic sports like tennis, ice skating, gymnastics and synchronised swimming. Not only sport, but Brad also photographs the world from the eye of the sky that genuinely leaves you in awe; Imagery using symmetry and majestic patterns creating art with geometric flair.

We pondered, how does Brad get these fantastic shots from above so perfectly? And also, maybe there should be cameras from above more often rather than just side on in sports to appreciate the beauty we may have never noticed? 

Ponderings had the pleasure of talking with Brad about his incredible photo skills.

Where did your photography journey start? What do you love about the art form?

As a teenager, I was quite creative, borrowing friends’ cameras, playing with 3d software, building stuff with my hands and generally being a curious kid. It wasn’t until I bought a drone that I began to take it seriously. I started with video snippets of clips for Instagram, but it was a lot of work and didn’t enjoy the process as much as working on one photographic composition. I’m drawn to photography as it has the ability to blend creative concepts and the real world, creating a hybrid environment to let your mind wander but also being quite grounded truly.   

What led you to do aerial photography and sport and Olympic photography? 

Aerial photography provided a realm of new opportunity within the photography space. A space, which I believe has lacked creative innovation. 

The sports series was inspired by the shapes from above. When thinking and exploring, many sports provided those shapes that without an aerial perspective may have never been exposed. As you can see from the synchronised swimming, ice skaters and gymnasts series, all of which offered new and intriguing perspectives.

What is your creative process to deciding what you will photograph and how from an aerial view? 

My creative process is varied; it could come from out in the everyday world and spotting a moment or a structure and wondering what that could look like from above. Or it may be looking on google earth and spotting something that may look beautiful from the air; this method worked particularly well with my’ pools from above’.

Ultimately, it comes down to curiosity, as an artist, you constantly need to be curious, questioning “what could be.”

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Can you share with our Ponderers some of your favourite photo series from your works and the meaning behind them, we see you have just released a new series called “pools from above”? 

Great question and obviously a very hard one to answer as each series has their own identity. However, the pools from the above series are my favourite. 

The pools from above series sparked a transition in my aesthetic and deep understanding of composition. I remember spending hours trying to perfect this image named “A Palm Springs Ting” on my Instagram “It must have taken me 50 edits to get that image to sing, but that learning process was the foundation of the entire series. I cannot stress the importance of failing time after time to find a winning formula. 

Do you have any new series in the works? 

I am continually working on my “pools from above” series, working towards a coffee table book in the near future. 

I’m in the middle of launching a series with an Australian Ballerina, which has been very popular with viewers. Watch out on my Instagram for that to drop. 

Could you please share with us one of your favourite photo series concepts you have done, and why it is a favourite?

That concept would be the upcoming release with the Australian Ballerina. It’s my favourite because I loved the experience of being pushed to try a perspective that hadn’t been attempted before, and ultimately that is what drives me to do what I do.

Brad’s upcoming Australian Ballerina series is a beautiful perspective that we know you ponderers will appreciate, as well as the many other creative shots Brad captures. You can check out his Instagram @bradscanvas

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