Ben Yan - Candid Photographer

What I See

Photography is the tool with which I find peace and flow. Looking through the viewfinder, I am transported to a world away from the constant bombardment of information and notification, one where my attention is undividedly in the present. In our current times, it is this dualistic experience of escape and presence that serve as my antidote to the COVID blues.


I wanted to share this with those close to me, with the hopes of brightening their everyday. I invited several of my friends on my photo walks throughout the city and asked them to serve as my subjects. We curated scenes where they acted as ‘the anonymous person’ in compositions where I would usually have to wait for a stranger to come across my frame.

Seeing Double: A product of many "move this a touch"s & "scoot a bit here"s

Seeing Double: A product of many "move this a touch"s & "scoot a bit here"s

Total Alignment: From the reflection and shadow created by my friend to the sign corresponding with the red traffic lights, every element came together for this image

Total Alignment: From the reflection and shadow created by my friend to the sign corresponding with the red traffic lights, every element came together for this image

Upsize: Despite my best efforts to curate, life on the street is unpredictable, which can provide pleasant surprises

Upsize: Despite my best efforts to curate, life on the street is unpredictable, which can provide pleasant surprises

Natural Obstacles: I revisited locations where I had preconceived ideas for images

Natural Obstacles: I revisited locations where I had preconceived ideas for images

Companionship: a candid image made during a discussion with Michael

Companionship: a candid image made during a discussion with Michael

Bending the Truth: Can you tell this image is flipped horizontally? It’s a subtle shift, but having the words on the sign read naturally makes a big difference

Bending the Truth: Can you tell this image is flipped horizontally? It’s a subtle shift, but having the words on the sign read naturally makes a big difference

Symbols of the City: In Boston, I took notice of the objects that restricted our movement: fences, signs, cones. This was an effort to show their prevalence in society

Symbols of the City: In Boston, I took notice of the objects that restricted our movement: fences, signs, cones. This was an effort to show their prevalence in society

Gratitude: ‘What I See’ was a team effort. I am grateful to those who came along and contributed and of course, Fujifilm and Muse Storytelling for making this project possible

Gratitude: ‘What I See’ was a team effort. I am grateful to those who came along and contributed and of course, Fujifilm and Muse Storytelling for making this project possible

Using Format