Swimming Pools in Photography Book: Keep Summer on Your Coffee Table

Written by | Books

woman by pool

Swimming Pool in Photography | By Francis Hodgson; Hajte Cantz, $55

Dive into the alternately exciting and serene world of humanity’s intimate relationship with swimming pools – from the earliest poolside photographs to the complexities of capturing modern day water athletics. Swimming pools have long been scenes of self-expression, from the religious rituals performed in ancient public bathing houses to custom swimming holes designed to reflect ever-evolving architectural aesthetics. Especially as one considers how each photograph relates to the others in any given particular section, this book finds new and surprising meaning in these not-so-simple tubs. With a foreword on the “Multiple Histories of the Swimming Pool,” we begin to explore how pools have evolved to suit the needs and desires of humanity. The text nods toward how society tends to think of these structures as mundane and fixed but then fiercely challenges these preconceptions. Each passage prefaces a related collage of themed photographs that present deeper looks at topics such as “The Art of Swimming,” which looks into many of the strokes and techniques involved. Stories seem to be waiting in each image and at every pool, together prompting fresh understandings of their functions throughout the 203 pages of images in color or black and white. Whether you prefer to revel in the variety and spectacle of their respective designs, enjoy the colorful crush of bodies in crowded summer retreats, or discover how swimming pools have been used for political purposes, you’ll find many different reasons to consider drifting through these pages.

Last modified: August 17, 2018