Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

My unwitting transmission tower obsession

A transmission tower, showing the climbing barrier in detail, with another tower in the far distant.

Sometimes I’ll go for a photo walk and fixate on a subject. I don’t mean I start following people around in a stalkerish way. My focus settles on a particular object or situation, and I start looking for shots to fit this mood.

This was one such occasion.

It was another hot day, and a morning walk to the local pond was a great idea. Aside from the cooling effect of a large body of water, there was plenty of dapple shade, and it was 6km there and back. Out and back before the sun got too high in the sky, and wander around for half an hour with a camera.

A transmission tower seen from below, looking up through trees

Wander I did, following a well-trodden route and pausing to snap this and that. A few insects. Shots across the water. A rotting tree stump. The usual.

Except when I got home and went through the images, I realized I’d dropped into that fixated mode. About half my shots were of transmission towers. A handful of these monsters ring the pond, ferrying electricity from one of Hyogo’s power stations to communities far and wide. For whatever reason, I’d decided they needed documenting.

A transmission tower rising above the mountains in the distance

It’s not the first time this has happened. Some of my written work focuses on renewable energy generation, and I often look for electricity-themed shots. Earlier that week I’d wandered down to the local valley to capture a few images of the solar farms. I have a small library of transmission towers looming over landscapes.

Peering at a transmission tower through the branches and leaves of trees

Perhaps I should share a few on Unsplash. At last count I have over a hundred.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction. Find out more.