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The Pool

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Published Aug 10, 2015 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 23 Contributors

    24 photos selected by

    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor

    This photo was taken in 2011 at the Tungsram Lido in the outskirts of Budapest, Hungary. The lido...

    #childhood #urbex #pool #adventure

    This assignment wasn’t an easy one but I am amazed and delighted that there were so many submissions that so beautifully illustrated my original inspiration, Pool by Jihyeon Lee. We started this assignment with one rule and left things very open as far as what we might end up with for our story. And while I realize that I encouraged you to explore pools and swimming outside of the realm of children, it turns out that it’s all about the kids.


    What is it about swimming as a kid that is so magical? Maybe it’s the feeling of being able to fly as you launch yourself from the ledge. Or perhaps it’s the weightlessness, the zooming through the cool blue with your fins or hovering just beneath the surface. Or maybe it’s the eerie silence of being submerged that somehow allows us to be immersed in our imaginations. Anything is possible under the water, where light plays tricks and bubbles tickle our cheeks like playful sea creatures. It’s a place where we can close our eyes and everything melts away. It gave us the ultimate moment of zen before we even knew what that meant. Like Heather Levingstone said of her “Magical Mermaid Pool” image, “When sunshine meets water ... magic happens.”

    It's a whole new world under the water. I have fallen in love with the way the light penetrates t...

    #summer #blue #light #water #kids #pool #underwater #underwaterphotography

    Editor's Note

    Trusting the process and trusting yourself and your instincts. Great points to make! The repetition of shapes really makes this image work. And what you've left out of the frame is just as import... More

    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor

    Swimming lessons at a public pool in Hong Kong.

    #publicpool #swimminglessons #hongkong

    My niece Grace, enjoying the summer.

    #swimming #pool #portrait

    children around pool at dusk

    A photograph taken of a father and daughter relaxing on a hot day at the neighborhood pool.

    #island #pool

    My happy son enjoying the swimming pool during our summer holiday in the Dordogne, France.

    #summer #dordogne #fun #splash #bubbles #light #france #happy #pool #underwater #holiday #swim #sunshine

    Lying on the wooden floor, I was looking at my children playing upside down in the blue reflectio...

    #blue #light #reflection #vertical_flip #paper_plane #cloud #children #pool #upside_down

    Editor's Note

    Your decision to flip this image turned a likely above average photo into a little fairy tale about a girl floating her paper plane through the clouds. Pure magic! Thank you, Karine!

    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor

    When sunshine meets water....magic happens. I was trying to convey how magical a kiddi pool can ...

    #pink #fun #magical #thepool #mermaids #pool #sunshine #girl #magic

    I found this rare slide with of my aunt not enjoying the pool. And i mix it with the sky

    #vintage #slide #aunt #pool

    A usual scene in our backyard during the summer! My daughter and vizsla don't require more than a...

    #canon1dmkiii #summer #child #colorphotography #canon #water #pool #vizsla #sigma50mm

    My original intention was to just photograph the woman in the dress standing poolside. I framed t...

    #summer #play #water #pool

    A young swimmer dives into a pool to do some practice laps for training.

    #dive #aquatic #swimming #water #sports #pool

    Editor's Note

    This assignment challenged members to go beyond the literal pool image and find something different. What I like about this image is that it is unexpected.Your caption tells me what is happening he... More

    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor

    Instead of jumping into the pool full of water, kids can only jump into the pool full of ....... ...

    #letsexplore #summer #junk #kids #pool #warsaw #adventure #action

    Editor's Note

    I love this image! Very well composed and great light! Always make sure to control everything i... More

    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor

    underwater view shot at a hotel wave pool

    #swimming #underwater

    Editor's Note

    What makes this photo so captivating in my opinion is the light. Quite honestly, I can't stare at it long enough. I am transported by it. The light reflecting off the swimmer's skin and the soft c... More

    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor

    #village #daughter #freezing #summer #fun #father #family #pool #holiday #fatherhood

    Ethan showing off his cannonball in the dark after fireworks on July 4th.

    Summer fun at the Lafayette Hotel Pool in San Diego, Ca. The adults relax, check their texts, and...

    #california #water #lafayette_hotel #pool #sandiego

    Olympic champion Darian Townsend teaches a future champion how to swim

    #swim_lesson #swimming #swimming_pool #underwater

    Under water

    Editor's Note

    The ethereal mood of this frame is really powerful. I might suggest adding a caption that tells ... More

    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor

    mother and daughter while swimming at transparent glass pool at sunny day...while enjoy the blue ...

    #relax #daughter #rest #blue #mother #sunny #pool

    Exploring underwater movement and light, soon after purchasing my first water camera. I love the ...

    #hair #pool

    The summer that all the kids were willing and eager to jump in on their own... no parental hand-h...

    #swimsuits #swimmingpool #jump #jumping #water #pool #flare

    Editor's Note

    This photo epitomizes for me the joy of the childhood summertime swim with friends/family. There is a timelessness to this image too that works so well to make this such a relatable scene. Great ... More

    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor

    swimming at night.

    #night #swimming #kids #pool

    Editor's Note

    Very strong image and perfect for this story. The framing, light, color palette, and even the distortion from the water all work so well to transport us into the magical world of swimming in a pool... More

    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor

    There were so many wonderful submissions and such beauty in your photos that it was very hard to choose. My editing process was a bit painstaking and slow. I truly weighed every image and every story possibility. In the end it was your little swimmers that completely charmed me: the happy and the fretful, the fearless and the hesitant, the leapers and the waders, the floaters and the divers. Thank you all so much for joining me on this assignment, for sharing your water babies with me, and for allowing me to live vicariously through your summer swimming adventures.  

    About the Editor
    Sherry L. Brukbacher
    National Geographic Photo Editor
    Sherry L. Brukbacher has been working for National Geographic magazine’s photo department since 2008. For 5 years her focus was on feature stories, and Visions of Earth and Photo Journal. In 2013, she moved to NG's digital photo team where she photo edits daily News stories, galleries, features and the ...

    Photographers Published In the Story