Coney Island as a Pastel Wonderland Through the Lens of Salvador Cueva

All images by Salvador Cueva. Used with Creative Commons permission.

One of the many delights of a photographer with a passion for color is an opportunity to roam and shoot places with interesting hues that reflect its vibrant culture. It was evident in the approach of freelance photographer and filmmaker Salvador Cueva in photographing New York City. Those of us who truly enjoyed that series will also surely like how he portrayed Coney Island, another well-known icon of American culture.

Coney Island is especially known for its amusement park attractions, beaches, leisure spots, and events like the summer Coney Island Mermaid Parade. All these make it a prime destination not only for tourists, but also for travel, street, and documentary photographers. After looking at his set, it became obvious why Salvador had his eye on the iconic island-peninsula.

The famous destination is brimming with all the hues that would delight a color lover such as Salvador. While a lot of spots were particularly eye-catching in many aspects, his attention was mostly fixed on the symphony of colors filling his frame — just as he had with his New York City snaps. The best part of it all? He must have also realized that everything looks perfect when viewed in pastel-colored glasses. Some of the colors may be too bright to be rendered in pastel, but they’re a feast for a color lover’s eyes nonetheless.

It’s particularly interesting how Salvador’s Coney Island set can be viewed in different ways: as a travel diary, a documentation of a distinct part of American culture and history, a retro-inspired street photography exercise, and a saccharine color study. And that, I believe, is the strength of this particular body of work.

Do check out Salvador Cueva’s website and Behance portfolio to see more of his outstanding color explorations and vibrant photography projects.