"There is something beautiful about seeing the world from above," says West Hollywood-based photographer Gray Malin
. "The mundane becomes exciting and vivacious." And he should know; Malin traveled the world, dangling from helicopters in the salty ocean air to capture his A La Plage, A La Piscine series, which offers an artistic and tantalizing picture of summer from above. "I'm inspired by the shapes and patterns created by the landscapes, mixed with the sunbathers, beach umbrellas, surf boards and other colorful items in each scene." Before departing for Italy to shoot his next series, Malin shared the stories behind some of his breathtaking beach shots.