The series Coney Island, shot on the namesake seaside resort, by Montreal and New York City-based Michael Ernest Sweet reminds in many ways of the great black and white street photographers now holding iconic status. After seeing the photographs names like Weegee, Louis Faurer, Garry Winogrand, Bruce Gilden and Mark Cohen come to mind. Not quite coincidental as they are both a major influence on Sweet and photographers who also visited the seaside resort with their cameras. With the great photographers, especially Bruce Gilden, clearly in his mind, but still holding on to a personal vision Sweet started shooting on the beach: “I wanted to be unique in my approach. I didn’t want to be just a copycat”.
The award-winning educator, writer and street photographer Sweet will release his first full-length book of street photography, named ‘The Human Fragment’, in late 2013, published by Brooklyn Arts Press. The photographer’s work has previously been published internationally by magazines like B&W Magazine, The Evergreen Review and Leica Camera and Sweet is a national recipient of both a Prime Minister’s Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in Canada for significant contributions to his country in the field of education and the arts. Additionally, he was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award in 2011.
In an interview with Alex Coghe the photographer has expressed his ambition to continue to visit Coney Island with his camera, expanding his already interesting series: “The Coney Island series is close to my heart. I love that place. I don’t get there nearly as much as I would like to, but it somehow keeps drawing me back. I plan to do a lot more work there this summer. I’m thinking about shooting a 35mm project there this summer. I think the days for film are truly numbered now and I would like to do at least one more series project on film.”
We look forward to more beautiful imagery by Sweet shot on the beaches of Coney Island!