I am a big fan of crosswalks. It came about mostly by accident because the urban landscape is full of busy streets, people and crossings. Plus, you get the benefit of having various groups of people just waiting to walk toward you every 60 seconds. It’s hard to define the genre of street photography and I won’t get into that debate here, but as a street photographer I found myself drawn to these spots. I found that these corners were perfect for catching strangers from all walks of life waiting, chatting on the phone, talking to friends, running between traffic…and as the photographer you have the benefit of being practically invisible to them.
As a bonus, the big broad white stripes contrasted against the black asphalt of the street is visually pleasing. As I combed through my photographs and I found that more often than not that during the course of a photo-walk I’d find a few that were taken from or around a crosswalk.
Try it. Camp out at a crosswalk, busy or not, and just shoot. Be patient and shoot through 5 or ten cycles, move on to another crosswalk and repeat. In the end you’ll come home with some interesting, candid photographs full of personality and action.
In many urban areas you will find pedestrian overpasses. I love these things. Perspective has a huge influence on your photography and it is not often that you get to shoot from directly above a busy street.