When I was in London a few weeks ago, one of my target photos was one of the iconic telephone booths we have all seen on TV, etc… for years. While traveling around town during the week….I kept my eye out for a booth that would be perfect for a photo. As I looked – it was becoming easy to see…it would not be simple to take at the normal times of day. With so many people walking around – timing would be difficult. I saw this one near Trafalgar Square and paid attention to the sunsrise and the people traffic. The sun rose early – around 5 :30 AM and people didn’t get going until 6:30 AM downtown.
So I woke up one morning at 6 AM…grabbed my gear and set up to take this shot. It was me and the street cleaners out on Trafalgar Square this early. I tried few shots with buildings in the background…but they were just ok. Then I just focused on the booth and this is the shot. Perfectly simple! 5 exposures with a cable release and tripod. The sun was rising and it gave the booth a nice glow. Adding the one broken window gave the booth a nice “used” feel. The colors around the booth were monochromatic and makes the booth stand out.
Some quick history – the first telephone booths were placed in England in 1920. In 1924 they had a competition to design a new booth. Giles Gilbert Scott was awarded as the competition winner chosen by the Fine Arts Commision. His design was in the classical style, but topped with a dome reminscent of Soane’s mausoleum in St. Pancras’ old churchyard. The Post office decided to cast this winning design in iron and paint it red. Scott had suggested to paint it silver with a greeny-blue interior. But red was chosen and it was put into service in 1926.
So thanks to the telephone booth for standing out! After taking this shot I wondered if anyone uses these booths any longer? Since the day of the cell phone has arrived….the booths are now just for sightseeing. Gotta run and make a call! Enjoy!