Coney Island By Gabriel Rivera

Only NY: Where are you from?
Gabriel Rivera: Puerto Rico but grew up in Dallas, Texas.

How long have you been shooting photos?
Since 2011 so just about 8 years. Hard to believe I've been making images for almost a decade!

What brought you to shooting Coney Island?
Curiosity to the space and what it means to the people of New York City. I shoot primarily black & white film and thought it would be special to do so with this ongoing project. Of course Coney in the summer time has so many colors and vibrant people from all over the globe but I really wanted to challenge myself with capturing the essence of each person and moment that came and went.

What do you look to capture in your photos?
Honesty from the subject and honesty from myself. When I make photos, I want it to show not only the space/person in front of the lens but also myself (the photographer) behind the lens. I never want to make a photo where my energy isn't attached to it.

What camera do you prefer to use and why?
For this particular project I've been using my Leica M6 and M4, one with a 35mm and the other with a 50mm. The reason I use these cameras are due to the portability and speed at which I can make a photo. There's a skill to making a photo without ever being noticed, rangefinder until I die.

What kind of film do you prefer to use and why?
Ilford HP5 is my go-to stock due to its flexibility. I push most of my black & white film two stops with Ilford HP5 and when I develop it at home it handles the highlights and shadows so well, not to mention the grain structure is beautiful.
All photos by Gabriel Rivera