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I've never attempted a time lapse in a crowded city, where do I mount myself so I'm not in the way?

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There are probably as many solutions to this as there are locations in cities
A brief selection...

  1. Indoors. Shoot through a window.
    As noted in comments, this could include a parked car, though there are potential vibration issues.

  2. Lash the camera to a lamp-post, tree, pillar, fence, etc - though again beware of transmitted vibration.

  3. Elevate yourself - A stairway which isn't currently in use - a bank on a Sunday etc. or a statue plinth might be just sufficiently out of the way that people aren't constantly pushing past you.

  4. Immediately inside any cordoned-off area. Looking out from a nearby park or small green space. Though the park may be busy behind you & the street in front, no-one is going to need to be right by the fence.

  5. Brave it out. Make your own cordon with cones & tape... this is likely to raise the interest of the local constabulary, so get a permit.

  • "Indoors" in point 1 can be interpreted broadly to include "from a parked car". – Peter Taylor Jun 4 '18 at 11:17
  • Indeed it could, potential vibration aside. I'll add to the answer, thanks :) – Tetsujin Jun 4 '18 at 11:21

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