A Sydney based aerial photographer Brad Walls, known as Bradscanvas has been working on a body of work that uses a drone to capture Olympic sports from above.
In 2019, after being inspired by aerial artists that focus on higher elevation compositions, Brad began an ongoing project to capture people from a lower elevation in what he defines “the aerial portrait ‘sweet spot’, too high for handheld DSLRs but low enough to capture the fine detail”. Since then, Brad has been able to capture a broad range of people from above, gaining worldwide recognition and an array of awards along the way.
When Brad first began his pursuit of aerial photography, drones were only just reaching the market. Despite the rapid evolutions in drone technology over the recent years, Brad keeps it simple, focusing on the basics of composition rather than the newest and latest gear. Brad says “I use a drone to as a vehicle to capture a new perspective.”
Brad’s work primarily focuses on people from above, saying “most aerial photography today turns a blind eye to the most beautiful element of our world, being us.”
Inspired by the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo (now deferred to 2021) Brad targetted Synchronized swimming, gymnastics, tennis & ice skating as disciplines that would be most appealing from above “Besides the aesthetic aspect, I am also trying to provide a new perspective to sports which have little coverage outside the Olympic season”
In 2020 Brad won an award in the annual Skypixel awards from over 30,000 entries for his work with a Sydney synchronized swimming team. The winning photo looked at the unique geometrical patterns synchronized swimmers – often overlooked when watching from side-on. One of his all-time favourite images is from the same photo capturing the team performing a cross front-pike pattern.
As Brad waits for restrictions to be lifted he is already planning a few more projects, one in particular inspired by fine art photographer Maria Svarbova focusing on springboard diving. “It was planned to happen a few months ago with an Australian olympian but due to COVID-19 it was postponed”.