Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

Enjoy taking photos? Love to share them with others? Welcome to this week’s photo challenge! (I post a new challenge every week…check in each week and join the fun!)

As I go through my daily life, there are lots of things, places, and people I see every day.  And while they are not the same from day to day, they are quite often as I expect.  But this week as I looked through my pictures to decide on the weekly challenge, I realized that instead of seeing what I usually see, this week I had opportunities to catch glimpses of the unexpected.

On Sunday I headed off to the lagoon for a walk.  My husband usually pushes for the gym, but I am much happier out walking in nature than on the treadmill.  The lagoon is filled with native plants and there were lots of lizards scurrying about in the mild sun.  I’m used to seeing plants that thrive in a low water environment like the prickly pear cactus.  But it was unexpected to see these cactus in full bloom!  And what beauty these scaly, spiny plants displayed.

prickly pear in bloom

After work on Monday I was trying to convince myself to head the gym (you might notice a theme here–the exercise habit is a hard one for me to establish consistency with!) when I remembered that the tide would be low at the time I was leaving.  I rolled up my pant legs and walked along the shore, convincing myself that this would count as exercise.  As I left the beach to drive home, I took a look in my mirror and was hypnotized by the beauty of the ocean in the mirror.  While this photo doesn’t quite do it justice…you get the idea of my feelings of the unexpected.

ocean in the mirror

Tuesday I had a few minutes before an appointment, so parked and decided to squeeze a quick photo walk and an iced coffee into my schedule.  I took photos of some interesting buildings, a mineral water place (unexpected, but not a great photo!), and then I noticed this beautifully painted fire hydrant.

scenic fire hydrant

Last night I had a late meeting at school, an information night for my multiage program.  We’ve also had a heat wave, complete with scary Santa Ana winds, so when I headed out the door to head home it was still quite warm.  I teach in a place where when I walk out my classroom door and head down the hall I have an amazing view of the ocean.  But yesterday as I headed toward my car, the sky was painted in oranges and reds as the flaming sun dipped into the Pacific Ocean, creating this gorgeous and unexpected sunset.

sunset from school

And today my students reached the point in a project we are doing that they got to plan and construct the circuits that would light up their art design and writing.  I knew the circuits would be tricky for little hands, and while optimistic, I wasn’t sure how successful they would be, at least on their first try with these materials.  The first, “It worked!” was both unexpected and amazing…and gives me confidence that this project is within reach for my young students.

circuit success

So this week’s photo challenge is to pay attention as you go through your daily life and be on the lookout for the unexpected.  Or you might look through older photographs with an eye for the unexpected.  Post either the photo alone or along with writing inspired by the photo. I also invite you to use others’ photos as inspiration for your own writing and photography. I often use another photographer’s image as “mentor text” for my own photography, trying to capture some element in my own way.

I like to share my images and writing on social media…and I invite you to share yours widely too. (You might consider Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+) Use the hashtag #unexpected and include @nwpianthology to make it easy for us to find and enjoy. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @kd0602. I’d love to follow you if you share your handle.

You can also share your photos and writing by linking to this blog post or sharing in the comment section below. Be on the lookout for the unexpected…who knows what this week’s challenge will bring!



1 thought on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

  1. Amy Clancy

    I would love to reprint your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected” by kd0602 in our KY Council Teachers of English/Language Arts Newsletter in the fall – http://www.kcte.us (for now. It will revert to http://www.kcte.org once website construction is finished). If you are OK with that, please email me to let me know. I will not be publishing the photos you took- only the ideas your present with links to your website and the Slice of Life Challenge website.


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