Eric: First of all, your tar images are very well chosen and a delight to the eye. Are you the first (reference to your comment on the cliche thread) or only one to choose this as subject matter? No, of course not. We have to accept that the photographic eye is drawn to the same elements of visual interest; whatever one sees - in shadow patterns, reflections, etc. etc. - is the same that draws the attention of other optical hunters. I, too, have done a series of sewer covers years ago and years before that. Among names artists, Aaron Siskind was inclined to follow along asphalt roads for this very subject, although for his published work, he preferred flat planes parallel with the film plane. I prefer your approach of photographing them as they appear to us in the world. I frankly tire of Siskind's emulation of abstract expressionist paintings - even understanding that he was very close to that community. The occasional drain lends nice spice/counterpoint to the "zen brush strokes". You have done this sub-genre proud.