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Pay Phone
Pay Phone

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Best of 2008 (Advanced Editing VII*)
Collection: Challenge Entries
Camera: Olympus C-70 / C-7000 Zoom
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Jun 6, 2008
Aperture: F/2.8
ISO: 125
Shutter: 1/2
Galleries: Urban, Street
Date Uploaded: Jan 10, 2009

Discovered this young chap at a pay phone one night last summer in downtown Pittsburgh. Seems his father had gone off with his camera somewhere, and he was left to his own devices.

Okay, alright, it's my kid. It's not exactly candid, but it's certainly not posed either. We had just come from the symphony (the PSO had performed Shostakovich's tenth). I was shooting something on the way back to the car, and he thought he'd amuse himself with the pay phone while waiting (pay phones never cease to interest kids). I caught his reflection in a plate glass window I was standing near. It was interesting, but something else was needed. Then came the car. I held the camera against the glass to steady it, and shot this.

I had wanted to enter this in that month's free study, but I had no idea how to process it. The color was too orange, but the straight black and white too boring. Framing it was a challenge too. And I spent a lot of time trying to blur the reflected street lamps so the dirty glass didn't show. Now, I think it adds to the intrigue, so I didn't touch it. In any case, I had a lot of good pictures that month, so this one got passed up -- until now.

POST: Forget all that. It's more like how 21.gif K10DGuy tells it. In fact, my original title for the image was "Lost" but I didn't want to force an interpretation on anyone.

Thanks 21.gif chromeydome for the recognition!

Place: 297 out of 531
Avg (all users): 5.5773
Avg (commenters): 6.4444
Avg (participants): 5.6061
Avg (non-participants): 5.4909
Views since voting: 808
Views during voting: 350
Votes: 220
Comments: 16
Favorites: 3 (view)

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01/10/2010 10:06:41 PM
Love it, love it. LOVE IT!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2009 08:16:41 AM
Just stumbled across this (didn't vote on all entries in "best of") and really wonder why it didn't do better; well composed, good technicals, a good story and the right amount of "artsy" post-processing (the noise isn't everybody's taste, though).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2009 12:47:07 PM
Originally posted by Ja-9:

kind of dull and grainy

Grainy, yes. I added noise. It needed some texture, some grittiness, I thought.

Message edited by author 2009-01-31 23:29:32.
01/28/2009 10:27:10 AM
I like the balance this shot has its story and the duotones. Very well done. I don't think you would have forced anything on the viewer by calling it lost but you really didn't need to as this was my first thought. Made me think of my kids, has that little emotional tug there.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/25/2009 04:26:49 PM
I really enjoyed this shot in the challenge. I like the reflection symmetry going on, but it is most enjoyable since it is slightly off center giving it a more engaging shot. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/23/2009 11:59:16 PM
677021.jpgPostLuminous Award Nominee!
well seen, well done, well toned, well composed, well well well!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/21/2009 12:46:03 PM
I like the surreal feeling this imparts and the processing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/20/2009 08:13:56 AM
Well observed and nicely done :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/19/2009 11:31:12 PM
They had searched for him everywhere. When he disappeared the night before, after an argument that resulted in screams and tears and slammed doors, they thought that he'd just gone out to blow off some steam. They'd figured he'd be back once he'd calmed down, and thought things through and needed to be back in safer arms and a warm bed.

However, as the night wore on, and morning approached, and there was still no sign of him, they began to fear. The worry stretched in to anxiety, which then stretched into panic. The authorities were called, and by early evening the next day, the search parties were out. They combed the woods, they called the friends, they searched the stores and theaters and hospitals, but no trace was found.

Then, in the wee hours of that next morning, while darkness still lay over the land, the phone rang. Tearfully, his mother picked it up, and broke into a flood of emotion as she heard his voice.

"Mama, I'm so sorry, I just want to come home."
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/18/2009 10:48:53 AM
Fantastic capture, treatment!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/18/2009 07:59:24 AM
interesting result
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/17/2009 01:48:33 PM
kind of dull and grainy
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/17/2009 10:53:49 AM
very cool shot, nicely done, impressive well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/16/2009 05:43:03 PM
VERY cool efect! Nicely seen & captured. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/16/2009 04:04:14 PM
A study in geometry and symmetry. At first I thought this was a train platform with just eerily identical subjects :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/16/2009 02:57:34 PM
the reflection almost creates the feeling of different people being at the phone - the choice of duotone gives this a very gritty feel
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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