Capturing the Unexpected through Photography

by Earl J Posted on August 27, 2013

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Has your photography become predictable and maybe a bit boring?

I’m calling my blog post Capturing the Unexpected because I want to share some tips with you that can make your photos more interesting and even show you what can happen if you decide to go Outside the Box.

These first two photos show what is probably the most photographed statue in Warsaw, Poland – that of the famous composer, Chopin. Most shots taken of the statue would be similar to the first one, as he appears in Lazienki Park. But there’s a special photo op each Sunday in the summer, when different pianists play his music at noon and again at 4 pm. To get the unexpected I positioned myself so that I could get Chopin, in statue form, watching the lady who was playing his music on a summer Sunday.



When I visited the Railroad Museum in Warsaw I was told not to take photos inside so I only photographed outdoors. I’m especially fond of the power radiating from this colorful engine.


Then I captured the totally unexpected when I spotted some tiny, tiny flowers under one wheel of that engine. These make for two of my very favorite pictures and the enlargements I ordered from Shutterfly are powerful.


Madurodam, in the Netherlands, is a wonderful attraction for both children and adults, and the first photo gives you somewhat of an idea as to how small the scenes and buildings are. But, if you try to capture the unexpected, as in the second photo, you get a much better idea of its size because of showing a real person who is helping to maintain the grounds.



Diane took this shot in the country outside Oxford when visiting England. An unexpected surprise came when we viewed our enlargement as the small red flowers became visible. Think rule of thirds for this photo as it would have not had the same dramatic effect if the horizon was in the center.


This building is in Bratislava, Slovakia, and is typical of the humor that appears in that city. You can see that artists have transformed this deserted building into a piece of art.

Then notice, if you do the unexpected, how you can transform this side of the building by showing the interaction between man and cat.

This shot shows Diane in conversation with a very impressive gentleman in Warsaw. I wonder how many others chatted with him.


These photos are of the the typical seascape in Maine. Both are dramatic in their way, but see how including a house in the second picture adds so much to what the photo is trying to say about that area.

Bailey Island

Bailey Island

Only one of the six boys in this sculpture, in Phoenix AZ, is touching the ground. I can’t tell you how the other boys stay above ground – it certainly qualifies as the unexpected.


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more about Earl J

I'm a long-time film photographer, starting with a darkroom in my parents' fruit-cellar when a teen-ager. I fought the change to digital at first, but no longer. I've become a convert and Shutterfly has been my on-line provider since 2002. Since then I've placed (as I write this) 135 orders for prints, enlargements, calendars for every year and 42 photo books in different sizes. I'm very pleased with the top quality of all Shutterfly products.

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