Visual Attractions, Letting your Photographic Instincts Guide You

On the weekends I like to do photowalks by myself. Sometimes I'll have a specific goal like shooting at sunset to learn how to use shadows better, a la Alex Webb. Most of the time I define an area I have noticed from my car or randomly pick a spot to walk around and take pictures. 

My goal here is twofold, get better at shooting anywhere and finding out what my eye is naturally attracted to. I'll walk around the area and be open with what I shoot. As long as I feel like shooting it, I'll take the picture. It can be trash, cracks in the sidewalk and silly lettering. The goal is to scratch the visual itch.

Over a year I found I was drawn to colored poles. The common large electrical/communication poles around town. Austin hasn't buried their lines yet and you will see the poles carrying power and cable everywhere. Austin being Austin, people paint and decorate the poles and I must of noticed and started capturing them. Once I started seeing the pattern I leaned into it and am now actively trying to capture these poles.

Stepping back that all sounds silly. Why shoot poles? There must be millions of other things that are easier and more interesting to shoot. Poles though, when no one was watching was what I naturally shot and drawn to. A few photographers made careers by shooting collections of sweaty people smooshed against subway windows, faces extremely close to the camera or a fire fighter training facility outside of an office window. All those in retrospect sound silly too. 

I'm not shooting poles to make a book or to be famous. I'm doing it to find out what makes me tick and tap into whatever could interest me. I didn't want to my interest to be something that sounds interesting to others or gets a lot of likes on Instagram. My images and natural tendencies made themselves clear, poles it is.