Cool coasts: Gray Malin's amazing aerial beach photos

Travis Levius, CNNUpdated 19th July 2017
(CNN) — Who doesn't want to be basking on a balmy beach right now?
Those who can't hop on a flight to Copacabana or Capri on a whim can still surf, swim or relax vicariously through Gray Malin's stunning aerial beach photography.
Malin, the New York Times-bestselling author of 2016's photography book "Beaches," dangles from open-sided helicopters to shoot stunning beach life images in Sydney, Lisbon and everywhere in between.
Malin's first foray into his now-famous beach photography started in Miami's South Beach.
"It feels like you're in St. Tropez, with the beach clubs, the umbrellas..." Malin says, and seeing the area from a unique point of view prompted his quest to capture the globe's most beautiful coastal destinations from above.
Some of his travel images have him more down to earth, however, as seen in his newly unveiled series, "The Art of Living," which includes both aerial and eye-level perspectives of Polynesian paradise Bora Bora.

'Teeny piece of paradise'

"Bora Bora is sort of a fantasy place for people, where what you see is hard to believe," Malin told CNN at the launch of an exhibition at Le Meridien Piccadilly in London, which included a retrospective of his "Follow Me" works in Barcelona and Bhutan.
Malin shot "The Art of Living" series at Le Meridien Bora Bora, with many images featuring the jagged, dramatic Mount Otemanu in the background.
Le Meridien
Malin shot his "Art of Living Series" at Le Meridien Bora Bora.
Courtesy Gray Malin
"[Bora Bora] is literally this teeny piece of paradise, a coral reef in the middle of this giant ocean," Malin says.
"I would tell anyone to take a helicopter tour of Bora Bora; it's stunning."
Out of the countless beaches he's visited, which destination, according to Malin, is the most underrated?
"Cape Town, South Africa, which happens to be my favorite beach destination," he says. "I went to Cape Town for the first time three years ago and I've been every year since."
What makes a great beach?
For Malin, it's on-site amenities like loungers, umbrellas and food service -- as well as the sight of roaming pets.
"Any beach where a dog's allowed to run free is a great beach," he says.
You can feed your inner wanderlust with Gray Malin's aerial beach photography featured in the gallery above.
See more of Gray Malin's work on his website or follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @graymalin.