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Photos by Pau Buscató

Pau Buscató's Playful Photographs of Crazy Coincidences Found in Cities

Beckett Mufson

Beckett Mufson

The street photographer Pau Buscató​ spends seven hours a day searching for the funny moments that only happen when people are crammed together.

Photos by Pau Buscató

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.

His process 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.

"This one is a sequence of birds taken in Leicester Square, London. The photo shows painted birds, an imaginary one and a real one. I took this on July 2016, but I had already tried something similar in the same spot a year earlier. In 2015, I took some shots there trying to add a real pigeon (they were flying around) to the painted birds sequence. I more or less succeeded, but I found the result quite boring, so I just left and forgot about it. A year later, I was on another photo trip in London, and after four days in the city, I noticed the same fence with the painted birds, but didn't pay much attention to it. Some hours later I passed by and saw a detail that changed everything: There was a hole in the fabric that in my eyes looked like another bird. That's when I got obsessed and spent my last two days there, trying to get something. I tried many different things, and after several hundreds of failed attempts, I got that photo."
"This is a strange case. I found this photo while looking for an address on Google Street View."
"This one taken in Barcelona is a geometrical connection between some yellow lines in the road and a cane that a man is holding. They kind of create an arrow that on the right side comes out of another man's ear. I first noticed the yellow cane and started to photograph it. I followed the man holding it for some meters until he stopped at a crossing. That's when I saw the yellow lines, so I rose my camera to see if it was possible to connect them, and when I was doing that, the man on the right showed up and completed the photo on that side. I was lucky with some details like the clothes of both men being the same color, or the hand gesture of the man in the left, that balanced the frame in that corner."

See more of Pau Buscató's work on his website.

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