Swimming pools become gallery pieces in these amazing aerial views by multiple award-winning photographer Stephan Zirwes. Stuttgart-based Zirwes takes his show-stopping images from a helicopter at 3,000 feet using a high end Hasselblad camera.

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An irregular kidney shaped pool is marooned in regularly patterned sand. A rectangular lap pool in shades of blues has a few sunbathers picked out in apparently extensive concrete landscaping. Circular slides form a sinuous sculpture into a pool which calls to mind the top of a grand piano.

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Zirwes is a well-deserved Sony World Photography award winner for his architectural photography. Here his distinctive, uncluttered approach turns the routine urban feature that is the public swimming pool into something remarkable.

There’s highly skilled digital trickery at work to create what turn out to be watery illusions. Zirwes expertly manipulates his images with Photoshop deliberately to isolate the pools in large areas around them. It’s perhaps a commentary on the indulgence these recreational facilities form on a planet where in many places water is a scare commodity.

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See more via following Stephan Zirwes on Instagram, @StephanZirwes.