This article originally appeared on VICE US.
Bitter failure is a vital part of Barcelona-born, Oslo-based ex-architect Pau Buscató’s photography. He takes playful pictures of people, animals, and objects overlapping in amusing ways. They look Photoshopped, or at least staged, but aren't. Busctaó takes hundreds of attempts, and sometimes years, to snap the perfect shot. The results are like a good joke. As soon as you understand what's going on, you get butterflies.
Buscató got his first serious camera in 2010, and almost immediately quit his nine-to-five to take photos full-time. He regularly spends seven hours a day walking the streets, and snaps his shutter 400 times in a regular session. These numbers are doubled when he’s traveling to New York or India, or any other place that isn't home. He calls his technique “Hopscotch” for the way he must think of mundane life as a wondrous game.
The idea is based on his childhood playing with his brother and sister in a countryside village on Ibiza. “Ordinary objects and simple ideas kept us busy for hours,” he said. “What I do now is not so different from that, except that I do it on my own and with a camera in my hands. But I still get the same feeling of play, fooling around with the ordinary things I find.”
These photos are fun by necessity. They require a disciplined practice of not being bored by people and places Buscató has seen a million times. “Over-familiarity with our surroundings can blind us, so trying to keep fresh eyes and an open mind always helps,” he said. It’s a lesson anyone trapped in a place, job, or situation they find boring can learn from.
The secret is a combination of patience and recognizing that he’s in the right place at the right time. “Sometimes photos just build up,” he said. “A simple element or person catches my attention, and I start to photograph it; then another element shows up, and I find a way to connect them. Other times everything happens so quick that it's just a matter of reaction.”
Buscató sells his photos on his website and is a member of the art collective Burn My Eye. He also makes money giving street photography intensives that can last up to 12 straight hours. Below, he’s shared some of his favorite photos with us, along with the stories behind how he captured a couple of them.