Sunbathers make a haphazard pattern on the sand at Pärnu, the so-called summer capital of Estonia.  Sven Zacek had been thinking up ideas for a book “showing the country as our national bird, the barn swallow, sees it.” One of the motifs he hoped to capture was a summer day on the beach in Pärnu, where people come together at the height of the season.

“With aerial photography, the most important thing is to get the weather right,” he says. “On a July day at around 2 p.m., when the sun was at its hottest, I hired an airplane and we circled the beach and got some nice waves from the people. After a while they stopped paying attention—and then I got the photos I wanted.”

(Photograph by: Sven Zacek, National Geographic)

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