Traffic Cops

December 9, 2008


Mexico City   Jan ’08   Nikon 28ti   Agfa Precisa

Traffic cops in Centro Historico, think I shot this from the hip as I was nervous about their reaction if they saw me photographing them. Colour intensity is from cross processed Agfa Precisa & the mixture of city evening light colours.

I was intrigued by the number and variety of police in Mexico City, apparently there are something like 80,000 of them. These are the traffic police and wear uniforms that look a bit naval. They have certain hand gestures for signalling vehicles to move through. Fingers pointing down & fanning the hand from the wrist. I read that the way traffic police signal in the west is regarded as an obscene gesture in Mexico although I never followed up on that. Most of these traffic police are women. It didn’t look like a fun job; they’d be breathing heavy pollution all day, bombarded by noise & trying to sort out the traffic chaos which is extreme at peak hour. Still, they’re probably grateful to have a steady job.


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