Beginner Photography: Unexpected Beauty

Hello! This week’s photo topic is a weird one. I’m pretty sure by definition you should not be able to seek out “unexpected beauty” it’s just something that happens, but I did my best. I thought this tied in pretty well with last week’s topic of “abandoned.” I love abandoned buildings, especially at the point where nature starts to take back over. Living in a big city, there are a horrifying number of abandoned buildings, but seeing nature reclaim a space is pretty satisfying. Last week I added a human element as the subject, but this week I just went searching for something beautiful in what many people just see as decay.

I’m not sure if there’s any way to teach something like this, it’s just a matter of training your eye to find something to focus on in the midst of some amount of chaos. Finding a specific object, or a pattern, or the right light. Also some willingness to get close and get dirty. I for sure climbed into some places I wasn’t meant to be.

As usual, I shot with an Olympus E-M10 on aperture priority. I shot the same things multiple times from different angles to find what looked the most pleasing to me, and did some post-processing in Lightroom to crop, straighten, adjust the exposure, etc. 


f/5.6, 1/500th, ISO 200

Not sure why my shutter speed is so fast. The colors and pattern of these windows are so beautiful to me.


f/4.5, 1/80th, ISO 320

The vines growing through this piece and the natural framing of the leaves immediately caught my eye.


f/3.5, 1/160th, ISO 200

Ornate columns on a stunning abandoned home.


 f/3.5, 1/320th, ISO 200


So that’s what I came up with. Beauty is subjective, so I’m not sure if these will appeal to everyone, but since I was a teenager I have taken shots like this. I’ve always loved capturing age and wear on objects and seeing them change over time. 

So what do you think? Do these fit the criteria? How did you interpret “unexpected beauty”? I look forward to seeing your submissions this week!

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7 Responses to Beginner Photography: Unexpected Beauty

  1. Trisha Presnell May 31, 2017 at 6:36 am #

    Beautiful photos! I have always been drawn to places like this. I always wonder about the people who built these homes and loved them and how they would feel if they could see them now…? I also find that nature often acts a a frame to showcase (and add to) the beauty that has been left behind. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos!

  2. Roderick May 31, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    That first shot is lovely, Siobhán. As you said, those colours…
    It took me a while to understand the second one. All I saw at first was the graffiti (yep, I’m slow), but when I read your caption the penny dropped.
    The abandoned home one, I’m not sure about. It is a beautiful piece of architecture, well photographed, but I picked up a feeling of sadness from it, rather than “beauty”.
    (Could be because I’m a mopey old sod, and nothing to do with the photo).
    I think to aced the assignment yet again. Thanks for the ideas
    Best regards,

  3. Steven Prokop May 31, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

    These are nice shots. I was thinking along the same ideas for “unexpected beauty”. This might have been my first submission, but alas, everywhere I looked for unexpected beauty was exactly as I expected, no beauty! LOL Oh well, one more day to try and find something.

    Still enjoying your journey though!!

  4. Mike Steele June 1, 2017 at 4:15 pm #

    I really like the very first image!

  5. Keith E Cook June 1, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

    How do you submit images?

    • SonOfAJeffer June 2, 2017 at 12:15 am #

      after the live show starts, go to

  6. comment perdre 5 kilo en 1 mois July 21, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

    Valait la peine de lire

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