Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #18: Blending In or Standing Out

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.~Cecil Beaton
For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #18, Ann-Christine asks us:  So, what is most important to you – blending in or standing out?  Well, here’s my answer in words and images.
Stand out because you think differently.
Stand out because you speak differently.
Stand out because you act differently.
Stand out because you work differently.
Stand out because you live differently.― Matshona Dhliwayo

We are now in New York City, where it’s easy to find people who want to stand out from the crowd.  On Halloween, we walked to Washington Square Park, where thousands of people were gathering for the famous Greenwich Village Halloween parade.  This couple dressed as Jeannie and Captain Tony Nelson from the TV show “I Dream of Jeannie” were showing off their costumes.  They won first place in my “competition.”

I Dream of Jeannie. Washington Square Park, Halloween.

This photogenic “mechanic” was eager to pose for us.  He is promoting Candytopia, a new interactive candy experience near Madison Square Garden.  His custom-designed taxi certainly stands out.

Stand Out Garage. Candytopia. Shot with a Fuji X-T2

I tried out my new ultra-wide lens in Central Park last week right before sunset.  The golden leaves in the foreground caught my eye, as well as the golden light in the distance.

Autumn in Central Park. Shot with a Fuji X-T2 with a 10 to 24mm lens

To stand out from the crowd requires you to stand up and stand for what you believe in. Gift Gugu Mona

In New York, newsstands are ubiquitous.  This one in midtown, decorated with a portrait of the famous writer James Baldwin, caught my eye.  It includes a quote from his book Notes of a Native Son written in 1955, but it could have been written today about the controversy between “real” vs. “fake” news.

…but no one was interested in the facts. They preferred the invention because this invention expressed and corroborated their hates and fears so perfectly.~ James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

Compassion makes you strong, caring and creative. It creates a different attitude, a level of maturity and understanding, where you do something which makes you stand out of crowd. Amit Ray, Walking the Path of Compassion

James Baldwin’s words clearly mirror our current state of affairs.  We are living in unsettling times, when the lines are blurred between right and wrong, good and evil, truth and lies.  When a few people give their hatred free reign.  When most people insist on doing the right thing because it is the only way they know to combat the perniciousness of hatred, of evil.

I prefer to focus on these good people, compassionate people, instead those who hate–even as we grieve for the 11 Jewish congregants murdered as they prayed on the sabbath in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Their deaths are a call to action, to stand out against hatred and to let our voices of reason, of compassion, of hope be heard above the raucous clamoring.

I’ll end my post with a note of appreciation to all of you who participated in the “Just For Fun” challenge last week.  You are all rays of sunshine!

And speaking of sunshine, thanks to Ann-Christine for this week’s Lens-Artists inspiration and our talented Amy who will post challenge #19 at noon on Saturday, November 10th.

Have an inspiring week, everyone!

39 replies »

  1. Love all your shots and the message, Patti. The Stand Out Garage is my real favorite – where the light falls perfectly on the car as well as on the man’s face. A most timely post, and “…a call to action, to stand out against hatred and to let our voices of reason, of compassion, of hope be heard above the raucous clamoring.”

    Unsettling times it is – all over the globe. May all good forces be with you tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, thank you. 🙂 I loved that fellow too in the garage. He was so eager to pose for the shot! I am anxious but hopeful about the vote tomorrow. This is a true test of where America stands.


      • We are very anxious too over here in Scandinavia – but there is still hope. If only people will vote – then we hope the true, sincere, responsible and compassionate America will come back to the world again.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The messages are beautifully stated and well incorporated with your photos. The quote of James Baldwin’s line says so much about today’s chaos we are facing. “The deaths of the 11 Jewish are a call to action, …”; and yes, the vote will be a true test of where America sands! Thank you, Patti, for this remarkable post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s so much evil and bad news in the world these days, but I like to also focus on the good, which is too often neglected. I think that if the media would change their focus, it would change the attitudes and focus of many. But they’re too invested, literally and figuratively, in the bad. What a shame! At our macro, personal level, we should strive to focus on the good, bring back compassion, try to bridge divides again all too often fostered by the media. It’s the only way we’ll survive.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Janet. Great comment. Yes, I agree that the news is skewed towards the negative. I do think the media believes that bad news sells and this drives the ratings. However, I think the 24-hour news cycle is as much to blame as the privatization of the TV news outlets. In that way, bad news seems ubiquitous, but of course it is not!! Compassion does need to be foremost. Otherwise, we become desensitized to others’ feelings and our own. This is very dangerous for all of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In the end the vote was a mixed message but certainly not a great success as claimed and now it will not be so easy to bulldoze his opinions over others.
    There is certainly a look of appreciation in Captain Tony’s face looking at the vibrant “Jeannie”.The last photo appears “dark” at first glance but it isn’t as it carries an enlightening message.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Abrie. Yes, a mixed message, but I’m encouraged nonetheless. It’s astounding to me that his popularity is still holding steady in parts of the country. But, on a lighter note, Captain Tony did appear to be totally mesmerized by the vivacious girlfriend!!


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