Critique Welcomed The Lone Phone

Stevenson Gawen

Well-Known Member

This is a case of going back in the archives.

I took this image back in 2010... I was 16 and learning to drive. :) Here in Australia at the time, you had to log a certain number of hours driving under supervision, on 'L' plates, including 20 hours of night driving, before you could progress to 'P' plates, so my parents (very kindly!) set some time aside for semi-regular evening drives, to make sure I was able to meet the requirements. Occasionally we made photo stops too!

This phone box is at a locality called Numbla Vale. Numbla Vale consists of an RFS 'fire shed', a line of bins for the surrounding residents... and the phone box!

The photo is a panorama of 8 shots handheld with an Olympus Mju770SW, a relatively early 'ruggedized' digital compact. (it was rugged... in case you were wondering. I was a little more testing on gear sometimes in those days ;) )
I couldn't remember what I stitched it with, but the metadata tells me it was ArcSoft Panorama Maker.
Haven't come across Arcsoft in years, but I remember a few of their products being included on the software CDs that used to come with cameras. They were quite good.

Anyway, I was quite proud of this image at the time, and recently remembered it - so after around 45min of rummaging through a stack of portable hard drives here it is! I've just resized it and sharpened a tiny bit to 'make up' for the downsizing, otherwise it's exactly as I turned out 14 years ago.
Great shot(s), Stevenson.
You've captured a real sense of isolation. Makes you wonder who's used that phone over the years, and for what purpose? Lots of stories there I'm sure.
Thanks all! :)

colour contrast between the phone box and the sky is so strong that it almost looks artificial, like a pop art drawing.
Yes, I know what you mean. I think I used Levels to stretch the contrast slightly, at the time, but otherwise it's just what the camera produced. (no RAWs here!)
real sense of isolation. Makes you wonder who's used that phone over the years, and for what purpose?
Yes... I suspect not that many people (at least in recent times) but I wouldn't be surprised if a few emergency calls came through there!
14 years later, is that public phone still there? and functional? Most public phones here in the USA have disappeared or been vandalized and no longer work.
I haven't been there for about 6 months, but it was there and functional then. :) Cellular (or mobile as we call it more often) coverage in this kind of area is pretty sketchy or non-existent while the home phone service usually still consists of kilometers after kilometers of copper wire underground, and it's not 100% reliable.

This is changing, as most people will have a satellite internet service (generally either a slow but cheaper service through the government-sponsored Sky Muster system or the newer, fast but expensive Starlink ala Mr Musk) and phone calls can be done through that.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that there still seems to be a place for the humble phone box, as backup. So far...