October 21, 2017

Ashburn, Virginia. Change [your]LOCATION

Letter: A Tribute to Pay Phones

Sep 16, 2017 |

Original article can be found here.

It is with great interest that I read your report on photographer Sheila Williams’ attempt to find the last payphones in the Highlands (Last Call for Payphones, Sept. 1), as I’ve been working on a pay phone photography project of my own for a good long while.

highlandscurrent.comphone-booth-1-204x300-9d85879d1924d8f60eb994982ddd25adc067a53b Letter: A Tribute to Pay Phones Opinion [your]NEWSPhoto by Dirk Westphal

In the early 1990s, when it became clear to me that pay phones were going to be dead-on-arrival at some point, I started photographing every pay phone I passed in lower Manhattan, where I lived.

highlandscurrent.comphone-booth-1-204x300-9d85879d1924d8f60eb994982ddd25adc067a53b Letter: A Tribute to Pay Phones Opinion [your]NEWSPhoto by Dirk Westphal

At the time I didn’t think too much about it, because I was quite busy and having a lot of fun. In fact, I kind of forgot about it, as I did with many other of the hare-brained exercises that I undertook at the time.

Somehow, someone saw my project and offered a few of the photos for sale at a New York City gallery. They were life-sized, about 2-by-3 feet each. The edition sold out, so I’m starting another one and also working on a book — a phone book, if you will, coffee-table style.

Dirk Westphal, Garrison

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