Photographs have the ability to capture a single moment in time and preserve it for eternity. This is especially true of street photography, which allows photographers to document everyday life as it happens. Whether it’s a candid shot of a stranger going about their day or a snapshot of a busy street corner, street photography captures the mundane details of life that we often take for granted.
For street photographers, getting caught is part of the game. Whether it’s a curious child or a suspicious dog, there’s always someone who will notice the lens pointed in their direction. But as the photographer, Benjamin Lee (aka Itchban) shows in his ongoing series named “caught”, it can also lead to some great shots. By pinning down the precise moment when his subjects notice the camera, Lee captures a range of emotions, from confusion to amusement to outright hostility. In some cases, the staring contest even leads to a smile or laugh. So next time you’re out taking photos, don’t be discouraged if you get caught–it could lead to your best shot yet.
To show these moments, Lee created a TikTok video that highlights some of the challenges street photographers face, as people often assume they are taking their photos without permission. In the case of the woman on the London tube, it is unclear whether she was actually angry or just surprised. However, the video highlights the importance of street photography and how it can capture unique moments that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Lee’s follow-up video provided more context for the original images. It’s clear that the woman was not angry, but rather caught off-guard by the camera. She was also only in view for a brief moment, which explains why Lee took so many photos. The subsequent images show the woman smiling and enjoying the wind blowing through her hair. In light of this new information, it’s clear that Lee’s street photography captures real moments and tells a story, rather than just capturing random shots of strangers. As a result, his work is all the more interesting and engaging.
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Street photography is a unique and challenging form of photography that can capture real moments and tell stories. It’s not always easy, as photographers often get caught by their subjects. But as Benjamin Lee shows, it can lead to some great shots. So next time you’re out taking photos, don’t be discouraged if you get caught–it could lead to your best shot yet.
Street photography has long been an important part of documenting the human experience. By capturing everyday moments and interactions, street photographers provide a unique record of the world around us.