NYT Photos: Andy Levin’s Coney Island

By Andy Levin // Source: nytimes.com

I wish I was a more talented photographer. The hundreds of photographs I sort through each month – from readers, contributors, aspiring and established artists – well, it’s just a constant reminder of how much I stink at the craft. But thank goodness for one thing: I’ve got this wonderful site to tell other people about all the great people out there.

Reader Athena D. sent over a link to New York Times’ latest Lens post – a profile and collection of Andy Levin’s Coney Island photographs. Levin began exploring and shooting Coney Island in his 20s. But unlike countless others, he avoided the all-too-tempting landscape of the amusement district and opted for the unsung heroes of Coney Island – the families that visit it and make all else possible.

“I tried to stay away from the freak show thing,” Levin told the Times. “Not that I didn’t appreciate what was going on with it. It just wasn’t my intent. I wanted to convey the commonality of the family experience. That’s sort of how I grew up. I think I was naturally more responsive to those elements.”

Levin’s black-and-white photos take place primarily on the sandy shores, with kids and adults swept up in familial bliss (as opposed to the instant gratification of the carny-ville). The resulting sensation of these photos is more akin to what we might remember as residents of the area, spending a regular visit on our summer weekends – and not the touristy weirdness of a mid-trip lark to the People’s Playground.

See the New York Times slideshow of Ed Levin’s Coney Island photos.