I'm on the Coney Island boardwalk , It's not long after midday, -10 degrees celcius and I've just been told to f*** off for the fourth time ( ironically, all from people with a Russian sounding accent). The will to continue is starting to ebb away. You get days where it feels like a piece missing; the location, the light are all fine...but for some reason something is not. And that unknown factor, what ever the reason, saps the positive energy and belief to a point where you're convinced not one decent image will be ever be captured again. And even though I'd experienced similar temperatures during the week, I foolishly imagined that -10 sub zero temperatures wouldn't be hindrance to my plans for the day. Everyone who had kindly volunteered advice about what I can do with myself in the privacy of my own home had been dressed for polar exploration and had no intention of standing still for more than a nanosecond necessary.
I gave myself the target of completing one more walk to the Pier and back before deciding to pack it in for the day and then, out of nowhere, the vision of a shirtless runner was heading my way. It was a sign; the sock -mittened marvel had been sent to save my day! After taking no more than 7 frames and not wanting to stop his run for too long, he told me his name was Gary Atlas and has been doing a run across the shore and swimming across the bay every day for the last 10 years. As well as being an inspiration for many New Yorkers, I’m hugely grateful to Gary for kick starting my day and helping me make it the success it finally was.