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Afton Almaraz January 8, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Hasidic Jewish man at Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

Afton Almaraz (b. 1981, USA) is a freelance photographer based out of New York. Photographing for the Associated Press, Getty Images, Reuters, Aurora Photos and Zuma Press, his work has appeared in publications such as Time Magazine, Newsweek, US News & World Report, LIFE, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He’s an alumnus of the Eddie Adams Workshop XXI, College Photographer of the Year award recipient in both 2007 & 2008, and recognized in the PDN Photo Annual 2009 and Sportsshooter.com. Prior to graduating with a B.A. from Brooks Institute of Photography, he interned as a photo editor with the TIME Asia photo department in Hong Kong, the photo department of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and under legendary surf photographer Art Brewer. Today he divides his  time photographing personal projects, and working as a news photo editor at AOL.

About the Photograph:

“Not having lived in New York for very long, I felt compelled to try and tackle a long-term personal project that expresses the cultural fabric and attractions that define the city today. This image was taken prior to Coney Island closing for the season. Hasidic Jewish families overtook the beach, boardwalk and amusement park, as if they rented the entire place for the day. After spending a good amount of time photographing families on the beach, I ran across this man by himself reading from his prayer book. I found it particularly interesting witnessing what was actually happening in front of me – modern Hasidic Judaism faith from the 18th century being practiced in one of America’s most iconic landmarks from the late 19th century. To me this expresses best what New York, a place mostly made-up of immigrants, is today.”

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