Coney Island 40 Years spans the years 1970-2010 in black & white photographs. Sitting on the Atlantic Ocean, Coney Island has become a New York institution. Harvey Stein first began photographing Coney Island in 1970 and continued through the ’90s. He saw it as a funky and decaying place, but notes that the spirit of its visitors never wavered. While there were always rumors of its resurrection, the area only seemed to disintegrate further. Seeing this, Stein set out to capture the people who populated Coney Island and how they use the space.
In 1998, Harvey Stein produced a book on Coney Island that was shot with color slide film, covering the years 1970-1997. After this book was published, he continued to photograph there.
“It dawned on me, around 2005, that in another five years, I’d have been photographing at Coney Island for 40 years,” he said. “It seemed to me that it would be quite a rare achievement to do a book that covered that many years of one place, one subject.”
Asked if he will continue to document Coney Island he says he definitely plans on doing a third book, “Coney Island 50 Years.”
“I’ve already photographed there often in 2011 and plan to do so for the next nine years, at least,” he said. “So I am hopeful that both Coney Island and I will last until then.”
All photos by ©Harvey Stein 2011
The Hug: Closed Eyes and Smile, 1982
Sleeping Man in Suit, 1978
Bubble Blower, 2009
Hand Stand, 1992
Two Women Eating Ice Cream, 2004
Couple on Beach, 1986
Running Boy, In Rain, 2005
The Pier, 1970
Jumbo Jet Ticket Taker, 1997