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

38 Responses to Best Photo Locations — The Forgotten Spots [Swimming Pools]

  1. sherri December 6, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    these are so sad. i love beautiful swimming pools. some really good photography.

  2. Justin Kosman December 6, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    200 page BMX book featuring photos and stories about searching for 100 empty swimming pools that I published with producer Dean Dickinson.

  3. Justin Kosman December 6, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    That last pool from the Salton Sea isn’t there anymore- by the way.

  4. CSA December 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Your best photo locations suggestions are awesome. Thanks for the latest one. Sounds cool but not my type of thing. :)

  5. Jon December 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Much better way to post pictures than the slideshow!!! Thank you!!! Love the photo sets, keep em coming!

  6. Heather December 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    These are beautiful, and what an original idea! I got to your site through Chase Jarvis’ G+ post. Do you happen to know if that Manchester pool was used for some of the scenes in the BBC series Sherlock? I think I recognize it from the show!

    • yogi September 10, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Ya really nice picx ;)

  7. Ashley G December 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    These feel like lost and forgotten dreams. Great post, great photos.

  8. stephan mantler December 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    nice. there’s something about pools that evokes more from such images than the ruin porn often associated with abandoned structures.

    anyway, it would be great if you’d link to the photographers you used pictures from – I’d love to check some of them out, and a direct link would be so much nicer than having to google them. and nothing says ‘thanks for letting me use your image in my hugely popular blog’ better than a link back! well, maybe cash does, but I wouldn’t go that far :)

  9. Julia Agnes December 7, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    WOW! awesome photos!

  10. AdventureRob December 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Great locations certainly make taking a good photo easier. I live in Japan and there is some very atmospheric abandoned places outside of the big cities. The latest Bond film featured the villain living on an abandoned island here.

    I wonder how research goes into finding the locations though. People often won’t want to spoil them so keep a lot secret from when I looked into abandoned places before.

  11. faisal December 9, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    Why empty pools make more attractive a photo opportunity?

  12. Jeremy December 9, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    These images remind me of of an article I read a few days ago about urban explorers in Toronto and I have to say that their activity immediately caught my attention. Even though I never visited such places in order to take photos it really seems very exciting to me now and as an amateur photographer I have to admit the pictures are really very impressive with a particular atmosphere I’d like to experience.

  13. Myo December 14, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    These are some exquisite shots of disused pools. I particularly like the pool in Arizona, I think it would be great for skateboarding. The Eyjafjörðu one also looks great as it would be amazing to swim surrounded by a great landscape, looks very cold though.

  14. fevi December 19, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    pools really changes from time to time =)

  15. Daniel kappelle December 22, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Cool places, I had also expected the Chernobyl swimming pool (although that’s of course a very well known one and therefor less special :) )

  16. pools January 9, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    We can never deny the fact that most us really loves to go to beaches and pools with families to be relax and enjoy the sunset. For those families who wants to have a vacation that is worth it , I’m encouraging you all to visit an Island called Camiguin in the southern part of the Philippines.

    Click to know more about the pools and beaches of the island that you will surely love.

  17. above ground pools with decks February 14, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Cool swimming pool photos you got here.

  18. Sam March 16, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    Its sad for a pool professional to see swimming pools in such condition.

  19. Click Here February 15, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly assume this web site needs much more consideration. I’ll in all probability be once more to read way more, thanks for that info.

  20. drewniane ogrodzenie July 31, 2014 at 6:30 am #

    hi!,I really like your writing so so much! proportion we keep up a correspondence more about your article on AOL? I need an expert on this house to unravel my problem. May be that is you! Looking ahead to see you.

  21. balkony August 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    I have learn a few good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you set to create one of these fantastic informative site.

  22. Pure Cleansing Pro Reviews September 14, 2014 at 2:55 am #

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people for this topic,
    but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!


  23. Prima Cleanse Review September 19, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    I know this site offers quality based content and extra
    material, is there any other website which presents these things in quality?

  24. cine gratis online September 21, 2014 at 4:22 am #

    Good info. Lucky me I ran across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve saved as a favorite for later!

  25. vimax September 24, 2014 at 3:56 am #

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after going through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly pleased I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

  26. develop business leads September 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    Good replies in return of this difficulty with genuine arguments and
    telling everything concerning that.

  27. torrent October 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Alguien esencialmente echar una mano para que los mensajes cr

  28. the book of mormon tickets broadway October 27, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    You can certainly see your skills in the article you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.|

  29. interior architect December 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and coverage! Keep up the great works guys I’ve you guys to blogroll.|

  30. Notglaserei March 1, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    Hello very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally¡KI am glad to seek out so many helpful information right here in the publish, we need develop extra strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .


  1. Best Photo Locations: Abandoned Swimming Pools | Chase Jarvis Blog | Steve Troletti Photography and Environmental News - December 6, 2012

    […] Jarvis explores different photo locations – from the backyard to far flung places.See on Share This Page: This entry was posted in News and tagged Draft, maire, Mayor, Montreal, […]

  2. Les liens du mercredi #29 (exceptionnellement le vendredi) - December 7, 2012

    […] piscines […]

  3. Best Photo Locations — The Forgotten Spots [Swimming Pools - Let You Know Everything - December 8, 2012

    […] See original article: Best Photo Locations — The Forgotten Spots [Swimming Pools […]

  4. Abandoned Swimming Pools | Luke Arms - December 19, 2012

    […] Abandoned Swimming Pools […]

  5. invisibilist - April 17, 2014

    […] The Forgotten Spots [Swimming Pools] […]

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin