Coney Island

"I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what to expect when approaching Coney Island on the F train from Green Point. I had seen so many images of this famous place before, nostalgic memories of the fun fair by the sea and it’s steady decline over the years but when I arrived I realised it had all changed. The now face-lifted Luna Park had been brought up to date, so much that I felt it had lost much of the soul and grittiness that I was hoping to capture. I’d anticipated an eerie, run-down, desolate graveyard of a place but was presented with the opposite; packed with people, shops, and digitally printed signage. The busy crowds and shiny, garish structures made it difficult for me to visually make sense of it through the camera. I was disappointed and a little frustrated by this at first, thinking I wouldn’t be staying very long if I wasn’t shooting anything worth keeping, but then I began to look up and realised that there was something quite special going on. The expressions on peoples' faces, in their moments of absolute fear and absolute bliss, isolated against the clear sky and chiselled by the stark October sun, said it all. The buzz was infectious and I crammed in as much shooting as I could until after sunset then I put the camera away, ate a Nathan’s hot dog and left happy, like everyone else."