Behind the Streets is the work of 18 year-old Ben Blyth, a photojournalism student at the University of South Wales, who stopped to talk to a man who was sleeping rough, as he walked through Cardiff city centre one night. The man told Ben about the harsh condition of a life on the streets, what he had learned and how it had changed him.
When a few days later he was asked by a lecturer to produce 10 photos on a topic, Ben jumped at the opportunity to capture the man’s story. “When I’m out and about in Cardiff I always see homeless people on the streets and this project gave me the perfect reason to stop and discover those hidden stories,” said Ben.
“I chose to just go out with my camera and walk around in the hope that I would find some suitable subjects on my way. I chose to shoot most of these images at night to create the dark and high contrast look in the images. Cardiff is a great place to take photos as you never really know what or who is going to be around.
“Every single person I have spoken to on this project will leave a lasting mark in my memory. Actually sitting down and seeing Cardiff from their perspective has been a real eye opener and also very moving.”
After creating his 10 portraits, Ben has not had enough and plans to pursue the theme when he comes back to Cardiff after the Easter break. Ben, who is originally from Newark On Trent, started taking pictures about two and half years ago but started to be serious about it when he became the official photographer for Notts County Ladies FC.
He has worked closely with The Nottingham Post. He said: “My main interest before university was sport photography but, since being in Cardiff, I have enjoyed portraiture and working more closely with people to find stories and tell them through images. This project has enabled me to take more time, to get to know the people I am photographing and to make them feel involved with the project.”