July 19

Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual

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“Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.”  Joseph Addison

Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual Aurora Clock
Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual Aurora Clock


Kirsch-Hamilton Aurora Clock

Definitely Unusual and Not so Common – For this week’s challenge on – Unusual – I dug back to some old treasures and  this popped up at me.  It’s a novelty Kirsch Hamilton Aurora clock  that I bought on sale a few years ago. It is quite old and not the remakes that showed up in the 1990s.  Because it offers a unique approach to  reading the time, I added the YouTube video to help you understand the beauty and magical quality of the clock. It does remind one of the psychedelic lava lamps of the 1960s; remember what they looked like?  They had swirling colors and a kaleidoscopic effect that was meant to draw attention; the changing colors of this time piece is in the same vein.

If you look closely, at the face of the Aurora clock, there is a moon shape within the clock and it moves around to the minute, as the glowing hands identify what hour of the day the clock is going to show next. The colors change throughout the day and it has one of those Jetsons in outer-space with a new-fangled toy feel. It’s old, it works and I like it.  In case you are wondering about all the color effects, I used a photo-editing feature to create more colors for my collage. I figured the effect will somehow mirror what one might see if they stood by the clock every hour of the day as it seamlessly changed into beautiful colors. PS. The original photo of my clock is in the middle.


“Today is a most unusual day, because we have never lived it before; we will never live it again; it is the only day we have.”  William Arthur Ward

Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual Octagon House
Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual Octagon House


Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual
Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual

The home, the Octagon House (Armour-Stiner House), is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is a popular 8 sided, pink colored historic home in Irvington, NY.  Known locally as the Octagon House, it sits on lovely landscaped grounds that  border the walking path/Aqueduct.  I walk by it on my Aqueduct jaunts and, one fall day, I took the photo you see above.  Because it is a historic landmark, the owner allows occasional tours of the property. Some years ago, I took a tour with the local Historical Society and was surprised to find the rooms were unusual in size and the ceilings somewhat low. What struck me most was that once I stepped inside, the sense of it being 8 sided disappeared.



More Below!

Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.”  Edward Weston

Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual - A night light show
Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual – A night light show


Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual Aurora Clock
Photo Challenge: Uncommon = Unusual Aurora Clock

The colorful set of lights glowing in the dark, are part of an art installation that appeared out of nowhere as I was driving home from a rural part of upstate NY. As I turned a corner, they were sitting there glowing in the woods in the dark night. I pulled over and took these shots; unusual for the area. A few weeks later, I drove by the property and decided to do a bit of investigative work and drove up the country road to a gorgeous grounds filled with art installations. I am still searching for the place so I can properly honor the location.


This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: UNUSUAL  For this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, please post a photo that is unusual in some way for you, whether it be through technique, by subject, or in some other unique way. This theme is wide open to interpretation because only you know what is unusual to you.


Positive Motivation Tip:  There are unusual things everywhere. Open your eyes!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet



art installation, Aurora clock, Collage, creativity, Happiness, inspiration, life, love, Octagon House, photography, postaday, uncommon, Unusual, Weekly Photo Challenge

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  • In photography as far as I concerned anything could be caught by a camera, either common or uncommon, familiar or unfamiliar, ordinary or weird, regular or unusual. However, the point of importance is the very nature of such images. Weird, uncommon, bizarre kind of pictures attract more and they appeal to the sensitivity of the beholder to find an answer and to satisfy their curiosity.

  • All of the pictures you have created here go with the unusual theme. That clock does have quite the interesting look to it with those moon shapes. And the octagon shaped building I am sure works the same way. Love your thought process and creativity here.

  • I really enjoyed your article! I love photography, so this was very informing about what i can do with the things you wouldn’t think to photograph.

  • Oooo that totally explains it now! There’s a moon in there that looks like the eye thing! Yeah this is totally unusual and uncommon!

  • These are some amazing illustrations and looks like you spent a lot of time with creating. It’s so interesting how the buildings themselves are so unusually unique as well.

  • I have never seen a Kirsch-Hamilton Aurora Clock before. What a unique item! I love all the colors in your photographs too!

  • A few weeks ago we went to an art exhibition where they featured beautiful light-based artwork, similar in style to the clock you photographed/taped. It was such hypnotizing, unique beauty!

  • You do have an eye for good photographs. The octagon house looks fantastic but haunted? It is really unusual and uncommon. I really enjoyed your photographs, very colorful and unusual. thank you for sharing

  • Oh that’s interesting. The photos are unusual indeed. But quite cool! I think you can do anything with a camera. Just a matter of angle, light and timing.

  • I think they all look unusual. These photo challenges leaves a lot to the imagination – very insightful.

  • Lava lamps!!! We used to have a few of those in our old home, and as a kid, I was enchanted with those colorful globs floating all over, as if they were dancing with the light! 🙂

  • I love your photos! The bright colors definitely stand out! I agree that people like unusual and new things. We are hardwired to continually learn and grow!

  • Wow, I never would have thought that was a clock face. This design is really unique and unexpected. These uncommon objects give variety to this world, making it more exciting.

  • The aurora clock really stands out and is really unique. In some ways we should really be unique in our own right.

  • These images all look so amazing. Sometimes, artwork isn’t about it being true to life. I believe art should be all about expression and emotion. These pieces of art definitely have a certain moodiness to them. Thanks for sharing!

  • This looks somewhat similar to Prisma Clock. The only difference is Prisma is square shaped clock and Aurora is round shaped. Your images looks amazing. You have explained it very well.

  • The clock is definitely unusual. I would have a hard time telling time with that. It is true that there are uncommon things around us and our reaction to it, whether we accept it or fear it is totally dependent on the situation.

  • Until reading this post I had never heard of the Kirsch-Hamilton Aurora Clock. It is really quite fascinating and I really liked the colors and creativity of this. The video was almost hypnotic! Great challenge for keen photographers. I think we all enjoy seeing something different and unusual to challenge our everyday thinking.

  • Love the clock. It’s so psychedelic and totally reminds me of a lava lamp and the architecture of that building is not something you see every day!

  • Wow, this is an amazing looking clock. I’ve always liked unusual things. Homes. People. Books. Food. Unusual makes life fun.

  • What a meaningful illustration! It’s interesting to see the uniqueness of the unusual aurora clock in photos. I really like the quote by William Arthur Ward. Beautifully written!

  • These are great photos. I would love a Kirsch Hamilton Aurora clock. I will have to add it to my wish list. I love to take photos of unusual things.

  • Thank you for a wonderful article! The pictures of the aura clock makes me curious and want to see it live.

  • What a unique perspective! I love all the photos you took and the colors too. I really like how they look next to each other and really tell the story then.

  • The 8 sided home is pretty great! I love to come across unique places like that one, even better if you can get an inside tour. 🙂

  • I like the quote you shared by Edward Weston. Its all about making common things super unique!

  • I remember when I first had my kaleidoscope, these photos have brought back so much vibe f it, so nostalgic. Also, I like how you think uncommon things give us greater joy and imagination since I have the same thought. These photos are really pretty, therefore, keep doing what you’ve been doing!

  • As food-blogger I keep looking for inspiration everywhere. Colour combinations, uses of light..etc. I really like the orange/red/green/blue on the bottom left in that little collage you made.

  • Ohh this is a different kind of photo challenge! I like the colorful set of lights glowing in the dark

  • I love that quote from Arthur Ward. It really reminds you that every day is a gift… time is so very precious!

  • I appreciate that you included a YouTube video explaining more about the clock because at first glance I was a little lost. This is a very interesting challenge that will bring about inspiring pieces

  • Those photos are just so visually appealing! The colours and the designs are like tricks for the eye.

  • I really like your photo challenge. These lights are very unique. It’s first time for me to see it ^^

  • What a great photo challenge! These are all so unusual and I love the colours. There is so much to see that fits this theme, even the things that maybe usual can be viewed as unusual to some.

  • I love the concept of unusual photos. Or even taking your usual surroundings and photographing from an usual angle.. Puts lots of things into perspective 🙂

  • Loved this photos challenge!! it’s totally unique and unusual!! loved that you included a YouTube video to explain!! great work. well done!!

  • I like that lights! Indeed very unique and reminds of Aurora Borealis! I love such quirky home decor! Interesting way you’ve interpreted the topic!

  • Those photos are absolutely incredible. The clock that has moon shape and it shows the minute while revolving is so cool!

  • Pretty hypnotizing haha, very unusual! Keep these colorful uncommon pictures coming. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love anything different, anything that’s uncommon. It’s a reminder for me, that we can tread a different path than others and still emerge beautiful. Your photos are lovely!

  • Wow, this definitely fits with the unusual theme – what a unique clock! I love how you played around with the colours to create such an “out there” feel.

  • What an absolutely amazing photo challenge! I love the images you shot. So unique and fun!

  • I actually saw your pin of this on Pinterest a few days ago, but I didn’t get chance to click through to see what the awesome pattern actually was. How cool that it’s an unusual clock! I love it 🙂

    Louise x

  • Impressive quotes. Photography channels your energy towards something positive and yet creative

  • I love your photos! That clock is cool on it’s own, but you always find a cool new way to present things.

  • Wooh so trippy! haha I’m literally kinda spinning now and loving it. Is it odd that I kinda want one of these in my life?

  • I feel like this clock would be great for timed meditation. I always do better when I have something visual to focus on, and this is definitely interesting!

  • I’ve never seen anything like that before, it was very different. I see it as being a great art piece though if someone wants a bold statement.

  • I love reading the quotes on your blog posts. I am loving the photos in this post! So cool!

  • Interesting read. I consider myself an aspiring photographer and sometimes like to make the common seem a bit uncommon. I love this quote, “Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.” I may have to start considering challenges to myself to deepen my photography style. Thank you for sharing.

  • I love that clock! I love to find weird and interesting items to photograph. These collages are great. It makes me want to go out and take photos today!

  • This is a unique photo challenge. I have been thinking about something unusual, but I guess being homebound does not give me a chance to explore more about the places outside our home. If I were to photograph something unusual, it would be a clean kitchen sink – no used plates or utensils soaking in there! That is definitely unusual in this house. 🙂

  • The clock’s a tad too unusual for my liking! haha… not sure why, but it is indeed really unique. i wonder what will I write if I’m given that unusual theme.

  • while watching the video, it really felt like watching a clock version of a lava lamp! So mesmerizing.

  • The octagon house is definitely unusual! Everyday, as we go on our routine tasks, sometimes something so common will appear to be unusual for us. I try to find things like this that spark my interest.

  • Love this! I like to see interesting photography. The Octagon house looks so awesome! I would love to try and take a tour the next time I am in NY.

  • It’s fun to come across unusual things when you are not even looking for them. Especially true if they light up pretty. 😉

  • These quotes are those to live by. Also the clock makes me imagine that it is an eyeball and that Octagon house is very unique. Love it too!

  • That house has quite a unique look about it, and it is located just a few towns away from where I went to college. Would love to take a look inside although I understand it is a private residence. Very neat what can be just around the corner from you.

  • That`s an interesting clock! The quote by William Arthur Ward is agreeable. Each new day brings new surprises. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the uncommon circumstances in our lives, we should embrace and make the most out of them.

    ❀ Grace ❀

  • Loved all the photographs in this post. Especially loved the quote by William Arthur Ward. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  • Great photos. I would love to take photo’s of what intrigues me, but I am not that disciplined in the art. However, you have done a great job capturing the unusual. The moving moon is pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  • I like the arora clock, you are right it is unusual and your edditted lictures with all the colours are great- what editting program did you use?

  • This post reminds me of an old friend that is really in to unique or unusual stuff. He is creative and artistic that seems like there’s a magic or something so special in everything that he do. Thanks for posting this.

  • There is always something so interesting in things that are uncommon. This is one of the reasons I always have my phone with me even when I just have to walk the dog. You’ll never know when you’d see something unusual and fascinating. 🙂

  • I appreciate the thought process here, and really just taking part in anything that subverts the usual thought process in one way or another. Man, that Kirsch Hamilton Aurora clock is absolutely unreal, I’d love to get my hands on one of those!

  • The colors on that clock are so relaxing! I’m a huge fan of quirky items and it actually reminds me of the relaxation lamp that I recently purchased for my classroom. I definitely wouldn’t have caught all of those hidden pictures on it if you didn’t point it out. I also love the shape of that house, it’s so unique!

  • The Aurora clock is not only has beautiful mixture colorful lights but look quite mysterious. I love photography and I agree with you about capture something uncommon on camera.

  • All these photographs in this post are surely unusual. I couldn’t guess at once that those were clocks, I looked back to figure it out and then realized that these are unusual clocks.

  • I love the concept of the Aurora clock, and you’ve captured it brilliantly. These photos are so colourful, I love them x

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