Ben Yan - Candid Photographer

What I See

an experiment involving human subjects

Jun-Aug 2020

To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place.... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.  - Elliott Erwitt

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.

For me personally, street photography has allowed me to see the beauty in everyday occurrences and thus maintain an optimistic attitude, despite the challenging circumstances. I wanted to share this with those close to me, with the hopes of brightening their daily routines.

I invited several of my friends on my photo walks throughout the city and asked them to serve as my subjects. I 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.

Learn more about What I See on

a special thanks to the team at Fujifilm and Muse Storytelling for creating the Students of Storytelling program which made this project possible

Using Format