Lens-Artists Challenge #18 – Blending In / Standing Out

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

Audre Lorde



This week my husband and I in the midst of a trip to Israel.  Ann-Christine’s blending in/standing out challenge comes as we are experiencing an incredible blending of many different cultures, nationalities and religions all around us. For example, above we see three young Israeli soldiers having a break at a gelato counter. How strange for us to see their machine guns casually draped over their shoulders as they decide which flavors they’ll choose. It seems quite foreign to us, yet there are young soldiers everywhere blending into street scenes wherever we look.



“Different is good. But different is hard. Believe me, I know.”

Matthew Quick

In Israel, one sees an amazing array of unique costumes signifying different religions and sects. The three young men above represent an Orthodox Jewish sect known for their black hats, black coats and long payot curls. Although their dress causes us to assume theirs is a serious conversation, for all we know they may just as easily have been discussing the Red Sox victory over the Dodgers to clinch the US World Series 😊



“Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.”

Mahatma Gandhi

I was surprised to see as many Christian sects represented in Israel as Jewish and Muslim. The Franciscans, such as the two shown above, are quite prevalent. They are responsible for many of the Christian churches and historic sites visited by pilgrims from countries all around the world. Again, their robes lead us to believe theirs is a serious conversation, but the bright blue sneakers seem to tell a different story!



“Things look different depending on your perspective.”

Banana Yoshimoto

Speaking of blue, I was drawn to the headwear of this beautiful young girl in one of the alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City. While its distinct shape told me she is of a different culture than most of the young people I know, she is as intently focused on her cellphone as any other young person might be. While there would surely be differences, clearly there are also areas of commonality among the world’s many cultures.



“Differences were meant by God not to divide but to enrich.”

J.H. Oldham

Finally, a silhouette of a man in religious garb moving into the light from the darkness of an alley. To me he represents everything that is  important about humankind. His garb shows his beliefs, which make him different. But his journey from darkness to light is the same for us all. Whatever our beliefs, we all face challenges, striving to be our best selves as we move through our lives. Let us focus on those things that unite us while appreciating the differences that make us unique. 


On a personal note, I would like to add my voice to those who have expressed support for the victims of the Pittsburgh Synagogue attack. There is no place in this world for such hatred, nor for anti-semitism of any form. Edmund Burke once said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” At the very least we must speak out against such acts of cowardice.


Note: All images captured with Fuji X-T2, 18-35mm f/2.8 lens





106 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #18 – Blending In / Standing Out

  1. Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-Blending-In-or-Standing-Out – WoollyMuses

  2. Excellent photos, observations and comments Tina. The image and imagery of the tham man travelling into light is my favourite. My cousin’s daughter is spending this year on a kibbutz in Israel. She also a grandchild of my aunt who became 80 (previous lens-artist post) but absent from the birthday as she was trying to get your signature in Israel… I wanted to but was disqualified from becoming an Orthodox Jew due to absence of the necessary hair curls…

    • LOL Abrie – somehow I cannot imagine you with long curls but if that’s the only thing stopping you I’m sure you could purchase some fake hair extensions to fit the bill 😀. Glad you enjoyed the post my friend. I’m sure your cousin’s daughter will love living on a kibbutz. They’re a great experience for young people (not so much for seniors like me !!)


  3. Israel was one place we didn’t visit when we lived in the Middle East. It didn’t seem prudent at the time to have our passports stamped with anything that might cause an entry problem!
    Your photos are wonderful, so I will be content to experience a trip there through you!

  4. All such wonderful images and commentary – my favourite is the Guns and Gelato – such a powerful image – right down to the boots and flooring! Also love the Brothers in Brown for the rich warm and textured environment – their brown garb blending in so well!

  5. Really like this post Tina…obviously the Pittsburgh support hits home but how you capture the people in each of these shots is great. Love how they can tell a story on their own…although I always enjoy your wordings and quotes 🙂 Well done, enjoy the rest of your trip.

  6. what a gorgeous post Tina…..i just adore these photos & your words….fabulous….so happy u r enjoying!! can’t wait for more!!

  7. I was expecting great shots from Israel and you have definitely NOT disappointed me. 🙂 Beautiful post, Tina. Your thoughts about speaking up against acts of evil ring so true for me as well. Enjoy your travels this week. 🙂

  8. Wow, I find that first image to be particularly impactful.
    So, I am in the market for a new camera and that Fuji you used here is one I am considering. Have you used other lenses (like Canon or Nikon) with an adaptor to make them fit on and if so, what do you think?

  9. Wonderful post, Tina, about this country of contrasts and differences, some more charming than others. When in Israel, I was struck by something we rarely read about Israel, and that is the co-existence of at least three faiths in a fairly decent everyday way. All of your photos depicting the many types of people in Israel help show how we are really more the same than different.

  10. Tina – this post was heart tug and I nominate it for a humanity post award!
    And some misc comments
    The blue sneakers also seem a bit high end and remind me of the 140$ water sneaker my hubs just got (his are black)
    The girl in blue headwrao – yeah – universal commonalities for so many humans and cool capture – esp as the blue gates match the headwrao and just other elements
    Really stand out.
    Oh and the opening photo had a “pow” impact on me and was a nice tension start for this theme

      • truly a culture rich area – DC area comes to mind for culture rich too – and I love going there to hear different languages (other than french and spanish) – but I think DC is nada compared to this place

  11. Beautiful images Tina and I especially love the Gandhi quote. Enjoy the rest of this amazing trip! 🤗💖 xxx

  12. Such wonderful pictures. You seem to capture the spirit of a country wherever you go!! And inspiring words….Glad you are having such a wonderful time.
    Safe travels home.

  13. I think you say it all in your words “Let us focus on those things that unite us while appreciating the differences that make us unique.”

  14. A truly beautiful post, Tina. And timely. Complete and harmony filled despite the young men wearing weapons. Love your quotes as well. Safe travels.

  15. First all, Tina, have a wonderful trip. Secondly, I love the first and last quotes in particular and the photo of the girl. However, the blue sneakers are so much fun and of course all the photos are excellent.


  16. The quotes, photos, and your insights are well blended in this beautiful post. Using Audre Lorde’s quote to open the “blending in” theme, then it ends with the photo that presents “his journey from darkness to light is the same for us all.” is moving, yet so very powerful.
    Thank you so much, Tina for the post.

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