As a career photo professor and a professional "intro to photo" teacher, I got this question a lot. "Irony" was often an early assignment in my beginning photo classes. Took students a while to grasp exactly what this was. Hence: "hey Neal, is this irony?"
What got me thinking along those lines is that something happened today that was ironic. I am on Martha's Vineyard for a couple of weeks and bought one of the island papers (The Vineyard Gazette) this morning while food shopping. Reading it over lunch I turned to page 2 to find this:
(apologies for print-through)
An aerial I made a few years ago of the small island called No Mans Land off the Vineyard's coast on a flight from New Bedford. The paper paid me $25 for the picture(!).
There was my picture of No Man's Land in the local newspaper and where did I find myself this afternoon? Shooting No Man's:
albeit from a slightly different angle. Of course, I didn't make the connection until I'd downloaded what I shot. (This shot with the Nikkor 200-500mm f5.6 on an RRS tripod, at f8. Nikon D850.)
IRONY: happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this: [with clause]: it was ironic that now that everybody had plenty of money for food, they couldn't obtain it because everything was rationed.
source: Apple dictionary
Photo can be so cool. Love comparisons, analogies, multiple images to make a statement, create a line, draw attention, or tell a story.