Featured Photography – Pedestrians And Shadows At A Crosswalk. Washington, DC

Pedestrians And Shadows At A Crosswalk, Washington, DC

Pedestrians Shadows Crosswalk DC



Pedestrians Shadows Crosswalk DC

Pedestrians and shadows on a sunny day at the crosswalk of 16th. Street NW and Columbia Rd, Washington, DC.



Pedestrians And Shadows At A Crosswalk, Washington, DC

About The Photograph

Photographer’s Statement

For the purpose of this discussion, I would characterize the genre(s) of this photograph as street photography.

The Backstory

The Process Of Making The Photograph/Overview of the process of composition.

This photograph was made while walking around Washington, DC on a bright sunny day during the Summer.

And the sun was primarily overhead.

Consequently, while crossing the street with a group of pedestrians I noticed the interplay of shadows moving across the pattern of the crosswalk.

Because of the direction and texture of light, short, dense and distinct shadows were being thrown onto the ground by the pedestrians.

I decided to repeatedly cross the street with different groups of pedestrians knowing that I could make what I’d consider being an interesting photograph.

Seeing and thinking

Specifically, I was drawn to the movement and relationships of the shadows, and the pedestrians causing the shadows, as they moved together through the pattern of the crosswalk.

In addition, I thought that the shadows thrown by the people as they moved together through the pattern of the crosswalk would make for some interesting photography.

Because of the movement of the people and their shadows, the relationships of the shadows provided a consistent flow of changing compositions. 

Framing and content

Primarily, my intent was to fill the frame with nothing but the crosswalk, the shadows and the lower half of the body to show a portion of the source of the shadow.  


First, I spot metered to a standard tonality for the white stripes in the crosswalk.

Then, I increased tonality by two full stops with exposure.


Always, I focused on the shadows closest to me. 

Additional composition considerations

In addition, an intentional tilt of the frame to fill the frame with as much of the crosswalk and shadows as possible.

The Critique Of The Photograph-Pedestrians And Shadows At A Crosswalk, Washington, DC

Above all, I need to see the final photograph as a result of my process of making the picture. Because when viewed from that perspective I can critique my composition in a useful way.

The Visual

There are people crossing a street using a crosswalk.

And the paint that forms the crosswalk is white.

Furthermore, we can see the lower portion of the people crossing the street as well as the shadows thrown by the people.

The Psychology

Frequently, I think that we think of shadows as something that hides and obscures.  

However, in the case of this picture, shadows reveal. 

Because, In general, the shadows in this picture are used to reveal what we don’t see. 

Specifically, what we don’t see is the upper portion of the people throwing the shadows. 

In addition, the shadow, usually seen as an absence of light, actually serves to illuminate with information.

Because the illumination provided is additional visual information produced by the shadow caused by the upper portion of the pedestrians. 

And In a way, the shadow makes visible, what I intentionally cropped out the frame. 

furthermore, I find it interesting that the seemingly insubstantial shadow could provide substance.

And in a way reminds me that light depends on dark. And dark depends on light. 

Because, without each other, neither exists. 

Pedestrians And Shadows At A Crosswalk, Washington, DC


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