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Unusual photographs

A mini-gallery of unusual photographs

What happened to all these people?
What happened to all these people?

When you travel with your camera, you never know what strange opportunities for different and unusual pictures will arise?

Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Does the camera lie? It just takes a picture, but the picture can sometimes be open to different interpretations. When we look at an image that shows people in unusual positions or behaving peculiarly, we try to make sense of it, and sometimes can't.

The photographs in this section show some unusual scenes where what you see may not appear to reflect reality, or may just be unusual or a little bit off the wall. We hope you enjoy them.


The picture above is an example of one that doesn't seem to make sense. Everyone is flat out on the floor, unmoving and seemingly unconscious. Why, you ask? Was the picture taken during a bank robbery? After a mass murder? Fortunately, no. Nothing so dramatic or drastic. The “bodies” are snow-stranded airline passengers forced to stay overnight with nowhere else to sleep than on the floor of the airport in Pittsburgh.


There we were, high up on a mountain, photographing log furniture in a wilderness setting for a catalog. Suddenly, out of the woods, came a charging cougar.... Just kidding. Nothing that adventurous happened. We brought along a stuffed cougar to use as a prop. It looked so lifelike, we couldn’t resist taking this staged picture.

Anyone who takes on a cougar must be one tough customer.
Anyone who takes on a cougar must be one tough customer.

You never know when your motorbike might break down.
You never know when your motorbike might break down.


This motorcyclist caught our attention. Some people carry a spare tire or extra gas. He's carrying an entire spare bike, just in case.


Your immediate reaction, probably, is to wonder what terrible accident caused this boat to ignite in flames, and whether everyone on board got off safely. Fact is, the boat was set on fire on purpose, replaying an historic incident during an annual sea festival.

Looks like a disaster occurred on this boat.
Looks like a disaster occurred on this boat.


We plan for this area of to grow over time as more and more unusual pictures become added. Some will come from our own photo files, while many will hopefully be provided by visitors to the web site - viewers such as John Milleker who sent in the unique photograph below.

Perhaps you, too, have taken a picture that defies explanation, is strange or unusual, or just different from what people have come to expect from photographs. If you'd like to email it to us, along with an explanation so that we'll all know what's going on, please do so. If we post it on the site, we'll of course provide you with credit for the photo and the story behind it.


"This is a single water drop captured in mid-flight by high-speed camera equipment," says Baltimore's John Milleker.

John has been involved with unconventional photography for a long time. "I often get bored using my camera how it is supposed to be used," he says. "I love stereoscopic, high-speed and pinhole photography." Between photography experiments, John enjoys wildlife photography and portraiture.

John used a 135 mm macro lens with about 36 mm of extension tubes at f/22 or so, a minimum 2 sec shutter speed, and a Vivitar 283 external flash unit adjusted to fire the quickest possible burst of light. A trigger that detects objects in an infrared beam detected the falling droplet and caused the flash to fire.

"First the drop was focused using a macro lens," he says, "then the background was moved closer and farther to bring the refraction into focus. Here the drop acts as a lens. The background was not letter tiles stacked up, instead it was a printed piece of scrapbooking paper purchased at a craft store."

Now that is different. Quite an amazing picture, John. Thanks for sharing it with us.

John Milleker provided us with this unusual picture.
John Milleker provided us with this unusual picture.
Further information...

Humor in photography
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