I have been wanting to photograph Coney Island at sunrise for some time now. This past Sunday the procrastination monster didn’t win and I headed out on my journey before dawn. The weather was to be overcast with with drizzle predicted to end before 9am. This was actually a good thing as I thought that would make more interesting photos. I had high hopes for some ominous skies.
Well, sometimes the best laid plans have to change. The sky was not as sinister as I had hoped. The rain didn’t stop until noon. I was not dismayed, I had finally made it to Coney Island in the early morning hours and I would turn lemons into lemonade. So I had hoped…
Funny that I thought that the more interesting images would be of the amusement park. That’s what I had set out to do. I had taken many angles of the Thunderbolt, the Carousel, Parachute and the boardwalk all in the morning mist. But when I got home and uploaded the photos into Light Room those photos were just OK. Nothing jumped out at me as that interesting. It was a little disappointing. I then looked at my pier shots. As I separated out just those images, that’s when I became quite pleased.
When creating a group of photos I try to develop them all in a similar style. If it works, I also try to crop them in the same ratio. This gives my images a more cohesive look when telling the story. The rainy sky created a misty atmospheric haze, so I wanted the photos to have a natural watercolor look.
I captured a seagull as it flew towards the pier with fisherman casting their lines. Off in the distance on the left is a ship starting on what is most likely a long journey. This is a small speck in the scheme of things, but I love these little details that you don’t really see unless you really look.
The rainy pier had wonderful reflections that would not have been there on a sunny day. The wet planks created mirror like reflections. Off in the distance was the perfect anchor point, a person with an umbrella in black silhouette. I love the color that was created in this image as it looks like a sepia print with pale shades of gray blue. This is how it really was, no photoshop tricks, a graphic effect from just natural mist and diffused light.
One can only imagine the story of this fisherman. You just had the sense that he was a local who goes to that pier all the time, especially early on Sunday mornings waiting to catch the big one.
When I saw this group of fishermen and fisherwoman lining the pier, I noticed that I had two yellow bookended slickers. A dot of the red hat in the middle of the composition created a story of the primary colors, yellow, blue and red.
Finally, what would a trip to Coney Island be without a walk on the beach. This seagull managed to get a shellfish for its Sunday Brunch. His watery reflection was cast in the wet sand as he walked along the shore with pride over his treasured find.
I will be going back to capture the rides and the excitement of the amusement park. But that will have to wait for another time. I look forward that.