Alan Saunders knows better than most how little his fellow man notices of the world around them.
He experiences this general inattention when he steps out, each month or so, in what he calls “girl mode” – wig, dress, heels and all.
“A lot of the time people don’t notice [the crossdressing],” Mr Saunders said.
“It’s amazing what people can block out if they’re not walking around paying attention.”
A married father of two from Unanderra, Mr Saunder gives a glimpse into the world as he sees it via his lively photosharing pages on Flickr and on Instagram, where he is kaptainkobold – “Australia Wargaming geek dad with optional girl-mode”.
The pictures show where he has found points of intrigue in unlikely places – the shadows cast by bike racks in the late afternoon sun, patterns in the street pavers, the criss-cross of the train tracks or some ignored display of urban decay, caught in a square shape and rendered eye-catching.
An IT professional, he says he notices patterns and shapes in the streets the same way he does in data.
“I’ve never quite grasped taking pictures of landscapes … sunsets and seascapes. But when you see patterns and shapes – I can work with that,” he said.
“The more I’ve taken photos, the more I’ve … seen what’s there. Now even if I’m not taking photos I’m walking around, seeing things.”
Mr Saunders says he discovered his need to crossdress as a teenager but he didn’t embrace it until he was aged in his 40s.
Now 51, his pictures of this, like everything, make it onto his photo pages.
“Every few weeks I feel the need to get the girl mode out,” he told the Mercury. “It’s a conscious decision to post occasional photos of this because it’s something that people don’t always understand, or have a bit of a negative reaction to. I occasionally throw things like that into my photos because it normalises it.
“My Instagram is full of things that interest me family, friends. [Crossdressing] is as much a part of me as the model soldiers and the Lego that also appear on there.
“I have hobbies.”