Best Photo Locations — The Forgotten Spots [Swimming Pools]


© Jonathan Haeber | Catskills, NY

If you’re an on-location photographer or filmmaker, then you know how much value a great location can add to the shoot. I like to find and feature supercool locations around the world. Stuff I discover, stuff that others send me, places I’d love to shoot. If the location makes you scratch your chin, laugh aloud or the hair on your arms stands up… it might be a good location to shoot something original. Keep your knees bent and be ready – because these opportunities are ALL over. No matter where you live. You just have to be looking.

Case-in-point, these photos of abandoned swimming pools. Once a place full of people laughing and playing, abandoned pools have an eery, haunted quality. A story is formed through the ornate tiling, ironwork, balconies, and staircases. Through time these old recreational facilities are reclaimed by the hands of graffiti artists and the ever powerful force of nature. This is urban decay at its most photogenic. Some look straight out of Dog Town and Z-Boys – ready for Tony Alva to shred. Others look like a great place to shoot a horror flick. Check out the images below.

These pool images led me to discover photographer, J Bennett Fitts, who traveled 20,000 miles around the USA to photograph barren pools attached to deserted hotels in beautiful locations.  Check out Fitts’ desolate pools here. These structures present an interesting look at American history.  The wasted hotel pools reveal a quiet demise.  They reveal a fundamental change in our mode of migration. These hotels were the nighttime safe-havens when we traveled mostly by car over long distances. These old pitstops were necessary and profitable.  My million + miles on United (they gave me 10 free drink tickets for that achievement. Wow.) are proof that the blue highways are not quite as traveled as they once were.  Road trips are more nostalgic than necessary and these ghost hotels are the result. There’s a rich story of Americana in these photos. The past, the future, transportation, technology, family — all fodder for photos.

Sometimes you have to go looking a bit. And that can be the fun. Try jumping into the deep end of a forgotten spot. Figuratively, of course.


© Cari Ann Wayman | Two Guns, Arizona


© Troy Paiva | San Jose, CA


Thomas Hawk | San Francisco, CA


© Saaty Photography | Northern Arizona


© Phill D | Harpurhey Swimming Baths, Manchester


© Laura H | Govanhill Baths, Glasgow


© Julian Ratel | Isere, Rhone-Alpes, France


© hkvam | Eyjafjörður, Iceland


© Corman Phelan | Dun Laoghaire


© Cari Ann Wayman | Chicago, Illinois


© Troy Paiva | North Shore Marina, the Salton Sea

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