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No “Gear”-riority Complex Here!

Unfortunately, I own a lot of high-end camera gear. Why “unfortunately?” Well – I have concluded that a substantial portion of my energy is spent on selecting and fussing with equipment. Which camera body? What lens? What settings? And then there is whatever is left for actually shooting. It just doesn’t seem to make sense sometimes. Yes – there are both advantages and fascinations associated with certain equipment. However, if at the end of the day the result of all my work is the almighty image, have I really been faithful to pursuing my potential and the potential of the moment if I haven’t given nearly all my time to the capture itself?

I don’t think there is a black and white (forgive the pun) viewpoint here. I just think it is a question all amateur and pro photographers should challenge themselves to ask. As importantly, and as inspirations to the rest of the world taking millions of photos a day, we should acknowledge that ultimately it is not the equipment, but an appreciation for the art and/or significance of a photograph that matters most.

Pro Photographers with Amateur Gear vs. an Amateur with Pro Gear – PetaPixel (blog)

The photographers at Mango Street wanted to show that it generally takes more than “pro” camera gear to shoot “pro” photos, so they decided to do a shootout to test this. Pro Photographers with Amateur Gear vs. an Amateur with Pro Gear – PetaPixel (blog)

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“My Camera Was Like A Shield”

‘My camera was like a shield,’ says Syrian war photographer – Deutsche Welle

Karam al-Masri was shot, spent time in an “IS” prison and lost relatives to the violence in Syria. Now in exile, the photographer can’t get the images of war out of his head – and can’t wait to get back to the field. Karam al-Masri (AFP/Getty Images). ‘My camera was like a shield,’ says Syrian war photographer – Deutsche Welle

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Tunnels Of Love

These are some of the most amazing pictures of a subway system I have ever seen. So how does one turn a metro system into something visually captivating? Well, it certainly doesn’t hurt when the subject is an architectural phenomenon as are the case in Chris Forsyth’s images. However, all train stations, new and old, have elements that can be pleasing or interesting to the eye.

To start, train stations are loaded with interesting parallel lines that all lead to somewhere. Such geometry lends itself to producing cool perspective shots that vanish into somewhere or nowhere, or lead to a destination that is sharp in focus or blurred and blended into the background. Most stations do not offer the same menagerie of color as those featured in Chris’ gallery. However, nearly all have curious lighting that create all sorts of color casts that span the full range of color temperature. From the subtle bulb-lit sign to the powerful florescent fixtures that flood the space. Easily a lack of vibrant color can be substituted with shadows and highlights of blue to yellow light which can add mystery and contrast to the image.

Finally, what do ALL train stations have that can bring photography to life? TRAINS of course! And one can have a field day with the motion caused by a train entering or leaving the platform as well as the action and expressions of people sprinting in and out.

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did and get inspired to go “down under” for a day of metro station photography!

Photographer Chris M. Forsyth Exposes the Beauty of the Metro System – Interior Design

Photographer Chris M. Photographer Chris M. Forsyth Exposes the Beauty of the Metro System – Interior Design

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Walls Are For Pictures…

These photos remind us that the only walls we need to build, are walls to hang photos that recall our too easily forgotten history. Our memories are short and photography is one of the few means that can overcome this disability. When we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat it or in this case, doomed not to. Undocumented Mexican migrant workers allowed Americans to continue their lifestyle through difficult years and how quickly we have forgotten. Seemingly, we have not only forgotten to be grateful, but have also neglected the important role they play in today’s economy and social tapestry.

Long-Lost Photos Reveal Life of Mexican Migrant Workers in 1950s America – TIME

World War II affected the U.S. labor market in countless ways, but in the farms of the South and West, the impact was perhaps most visible when harvest time arrived. With American workers off fighting and therefore hard to come by, Mexican farm workers… Long-Lost Photos Reveal Life of Mexican Migrant Workers in 1950s America – TIME

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Images That Force Us To Look Into The Mirror

Selfies, advertising, and other staged photography all too often portray a false or fabricated depiction of our society. It is a no wonder that we don’t necessarily feel the immediate pressure to radically change our increasingly violent identity. Yet, images from around the world tell the true story of what we are becoming – Desensitized to violence.

Understandably, who doesn’t want to live in “wonderland” like Alice, where we can shut this painful darkness out from our daily lives. However, the downside is quite costly when we don’t allow ourselves to experience the true world around us. As photographers, we have a tremendous responsibility to use our craft to depict our changing society in ways that may be painful to capture and share, but necessary in order to keep our world real and responsive.

Photography Pulitzers Recognize Aftermath of Violence Here and Abroad

Mr. Berehulak said he offered to go to the Philippines after discussing the president’s bloody crackdown with David Furst, The Times’s International photo editor. Soon after, Mr. Furst assigned him – but not a reporter, entrusting Mr. Photography Pulitzers Recognize Aftermath of Violence Here and Abroad

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Photographer changes face of autism – KARE

Photographer changes face of autism – KARE

BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The photographer welcoming guests to her Burnsville studio is about to be a guest herself – in Truman Lane’s world. “Hello world,” says Truman, face first in the lens of a visiting television photographer. He hops. He claps. He mugs. Photographer changes face of autism – KARE

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Images That Will Raise Your Eyebrows This Glorious Sunday!

Winners of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards – The Atlantic

The Sony World Photography Awards, an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organisation, has announced the winners of its Open categories and National categories for 2017. This year’s contest attracted 227,596 entries from 183 countries … Winners of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards – The Atlantic

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Photographer Joseph Rodriguez Talks About Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and Photography – Marymount Manhattan College News

“Photography is a powerful medium because it not only freezes time, but it has the potential to freeze the mind long enough to full absorb the moment.” -Greg Pai

Photographer Joseph Rodriguez Talks About Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and Photography – Marymount Manhattan College News

Award-winning photographer Joseph Rodriguez shared his work with students, faculty, and staff in a packed Regina Peruggi Room. Photographer Joseph Rodriguez Talks About Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and Photography – Marymount Manhattan College News

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Smile! Wait… Don’t Smile

This is such a fascinating article. Comparing the photography of subjects from long ago to today is something we should probably do more often. This particular mystery tells a lot about our modern evolution in front of the camera. Quite the contrary from long ago, we are totally obsessed with our appearance. In addition, the popularity of the “forced” selfie smile suggests that we are a very different culture today. Perhaps, more self-absorbed and vain; more synthetic and commoditized.  This is one topic where there is more much to it than meets the eye.

Now You Know: Why Do People Always Look So Serious in Old Photos? – TIME

Some dismiss the idea that bad teeth could have been a possible cause for early photography’s close-lipped images, since that was a common condition and wouldn’t have necessarily been noteworthy at the time. Now You Know: Why Do People Always Look So Serious in Old Photos? – TIME

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Don’t Try This At Home!

Do not try this at home! This photo shoot gives a whole new meaning to “Falling for someone.”

Model Dangled Off 1,000ft Skyscraper for Reckless Photo Shoot

Russian model Viktoria Odintsova is being harshly criticized online for a photo shoot she did that involved handling by one arm from the edge of a 1,000-foot-tall skyscraper in Dubai… with apparently no permission and no safety equipment. Model Dangled Off 1,000ft Skyscraper for Reckless Photo Shoot

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Making It Real – The Refugee Crisis

A lot of jibber jabber about the problem of refugees on social media. Images however, for those who care to see, start to bring the problem home and make it real. I pray this article and these images perform an angioplasty on the hearts of those who have turned their head away from this tragedy. This is not their problem. This is everyone’s problem.

Photographer Captures Life In A Refugee Camp During Trump’s Travel Ban – Konbini US

Photographer Captures Life In A Refugee Camp During Trump’s Travel BanThe global refugee crisis is considered the greatest humanitarian disaster of our time. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, over 65 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015. Photographer Captures Life In A Refugee Camp During Trump’s Travel Ban – Konbini US

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Love Is Power

The most powerful force on earth is the divine ability to love one another and express it in nearly infinite ways. Blessed are those of us that embrace and promote love over any other emotion.

New Platform Promotes Images Of Black People Engaging In Acts Of Affection – Huffington Post

“Black Love Power” aims to reimagine and reflect the many ways black love can be experienced and perceived. 02/14/2017 08:28 am ET | Updated 6 hours ago. 6.3k. Lilly Workneh Black Voices Senior Editor, The . New Platform Promotes Images Of Black People Engaging In Acts Of Affection – Huffington Post

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We Don’t Have to Have Sight To Truly See

Psalm 146:8
The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous;

Unique vision from a blind photographer – Bristol24/7

She may be registered blind, but a 15-year-old student fills her Instagram account – @a_blind_photographer – with delicately composed and colourful photographs. Though Roesie Percy cannot see details, she can see shapes and colours. Unique vision from a blind photographer – Bristol24/7

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How to Photograph an Elephant – National Geographic

Not everyone will have a chance to photograph an elephant, but if you do… Well, here are some tips for you.

How to Photograph an Elephant

Whether you are on safari in Africa, visiting a sanctuary, or on a trip to the zoo, the key to a great photograph lies in understanding elephant behavior so that you can photograph—and appreciate—what makes them truly magical. If you have the chance to see them in the wild, it is well worth taking the time to wait and see what unfolds. If you see a baby elephant, don’t leave. How to Photograph an Elephant

 Check out a few of my elephant captures at the Gallery Shop links below:

Ordinary Life In Iran

With Iran in the news seemingly everyday, I think it is important for us to pursue a deeper level of understanding about who Iranians are beyond the 24/7 news cycle portrayal. In fact, we ALL benefit as a global community when we open up our hearts and minds to learning more about one another. No single person, much less a group of people, are defined by sound bites. There is a wealth of depth, diversity, and commonality which serves to bring us closer together in so many ways that are more powerful than a “news story” that seeks to separate us.

These stunningly beautiful photos show what ordinary life in Iran is like – Washington Post

Photographic work coming out of Iran isn’t necessarily a rarity. These stunningly beautiful photos show what ordinary life in Iran is like – Washington Post

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Under The Sea… Under The Sea…

Genesis 1:9
Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.

In pictures: Stunning images of sea life from the Underwater Photography of the Year 2017 – Yahoo News UK

These amazing images were snapped in extreme conditions by talented photographers with a keen eye. They all feature in the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017 competition, which showcases the best images below the surface. In pictures: Stunning images of sea life from the Underwater Photography of the Year 2017 – Yahoo News UK

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Dizzying Sights From Dizzying Heights

Genesis 11:4
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

German photographer climbs to dizzying heights, risking life and limb – Imaging Resource

Most teenagers are busy with school, spending time with friends, playing sports and video games, etc., but not Andrej Ciesielski. The German teenager was climbing skyscrapers at age 15. Ironically, he was afraid of heights. German photographer climbs to dizzying heights, risking life and limb – imaging resource

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As It Was In The Days Of Noah…

Matthew 24:37
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Image of ‘hatred of our times’ wins World Press Photo – Malay Mail Online

Image of ‘hatred of our times’ wins World Press PhotoMevlut Mert Altintas shouts after shooting Andrei Karlov the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara December 19, 2016. Image of ‘hatred of our times’ wins World Press Photo – Malay Mail Online

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A Child’s Stare Is Not To Be Ignored

Matthew 18:10 NIV
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

PHOTOS: Young People Look You In The Eye And Open Up Their Souls – NPR

His name is Katlehong Matsenen. He’s 18. And when you look at his portrait, he seems to be looking right back at you. The photograph of Matsenen (above) by Claudio Rasano took top honors in this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. PHOTOS: Young People Look You In The Eye And Open Up Their Souls – NPR

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When You Pass Through Waters…

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

Top Swimming Photos From 2016 – Swimming World Magazine

The staff at Swimming World would like to extend a huge “Thank You!” to all of the photographers who contributed photos to in 2016. Top Swimming Photos From 2016 – Swimming World Magazine

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“Dear God. In Know You Are There Because I Am Here.” -Greg Pai

Isaiah 6:3
And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Where is God? – Washington Post

It is one of the common questions of eighth-grade theology (which is generally more insightful and useful than post-doctoral theology): If God really exists, why doesn’t he show himself in some dramatic, undeniable way? Where is God? – Washington Post

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Time Flies… Doesn’t It Though?

James 4:14
Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Flying Timelapse Technology Is Here to Change Aerial Photography Forever – The Creators Project (blog)

Timelapse photography is reaching literal new heights thanks to an experimental technique filmmaker Brian Bloss has developed over the last year and a half. Flying Timelapse Technology Is Here to Change Aerial Photography Forever – The Creators Project (blog)

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Snow In The Desert? Only God!

Isaiah 48:21
They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts; He made the water flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock and the water gushed forth.

Photos Capture Snow In Sahara Desert For First Time In 37 Years

This is not a mirage. On Dec. 19, snow fell on the red dunes of the Sahara Desert for the first time in nearly 40 years.Karim Bouchetata, an amateur photographer, captured photos of the rare event in his Saharan desert town of Ain Sefra, Algeria.“Everyone was stunned to see snow falling in the desert; it is such a rare occurrence,” Bouchetata told The Independent.“It looked amazing as the snow settled on the sand and made a great set of photos. Photos Capture Snow In Sahara Desert For First Time In 37 Years

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The Master Of Climate Change

Psalm 148:8
Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;

The Best Weather Photos of 2016 – TIME

From hurricanes and blizzards to blistering hot days and massive tornadoes, 2016 offered weather photographs ranging from the devastating to the surprisingly beautiful. The Best Weather Photos of 2016 – TIME

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Remember… Jesus Was Once A Refugee

Matthew 2:13-15
Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON.”

Children Photograph What Life is Really Like in Refugee Camps – Resource Magazine

There are currently over 79,000 people living in the Zaatari refugee camp, just north of Jordan. Out of this population, about 58 percent are children, according to the World Health Organization. Children Photograph What Life is Really Like in Refugee Camps – Resource Magazine

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Full Provision Is Made For Our Cure

John 5:4
For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

A Photographer’s Journey Into Haiti’s Cholera Crisis – National Geographic

After Hurricane Matthew hit, a silent killer struck the fragile country—again. A Photographer’s Journey Into Haiti’s Cholera Crisis – National Geographic

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The Earth Is Defiled By Its People

Isaiah 24:4-6
The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.

Photographs of Mermaids Trapped in Plastic Depict the Plight of Marine Animals – One Green Planet

Every day as activists, we struggle to make our causes appealing to the masses. Saving puppies from the side of the road is heartwarming and rescuing a baby rhino from the poachers who murdered his mother is inspiring. Photographs of Mermaids Trapped in Plastic Depict the Plight of Marine Animals – One Green Planet

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Confidence Has Great Reward

Hebrews 10:35
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

Photographer Beautifully Captures The Rise Of Ballerinas In Africa’s Biggest Slums – Huffington Post

Fredrik Lerneryd spent the last year and a half photographing ballet dancers in the Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi. 12/14/2016 01:47 pm ET. Katherine Brooks Senior Arts & Culture Editor, The . Photographer Beautifully Captures The Rise Of Ballerinas In Africa’s Biggest Slums – Huffington Post

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The Lord Must Build The House & Guard The City

Psalm 127:1
Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.

Amazing images of New York City before it was a city – Business Insider

New York City — a city known for Times Square, Central Park, and commanding skyscrapers — didn’t always look like the way it does today. Amazing images of New York City before it was a city – Business Insider

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Love & Honor Each Other…

Romans 12:10
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Loveland family wins awkward photo contest – Loveland Reporter-Herald

Jarrett and Hannah Thollot react during a family photo session in 2014 after the photographer told their parents Gina and Todd Thollot to kiss. The photo recently won the Awkward Colorado Family Portrait Contest from AwakwardFamilyPhotos. Loveland family wins awkward photo contest – Loveland Reporter-Herald

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Fear Not!

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

14 Not-Fake Shark Pictures From a Real Nat Geo Photographer

A phony photograph of a shark is the latest in a year of fake news. But these images are all real. When a man on Twitter claimed to be ‘s chief photographer, several photo editors at the magazine assembled to discuss. 14 Not-Fake Shark Pictures From a Real Nat Geo Photographer – National Geographic

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Fight Like A 2 Year Old

The first time I read this article, I felt hope leak out of me. Who wouldn’t. And the photos didn’t help since they made this little girl’s short life and its finality very real. But, by the grace of God, I was able to pivot my emotions so I could find light in such total darkness.

This baby didn’t battle cancer and die without leaving us a valuable message. Life is a fight. Different battles at different times. And here we have a 2-year-old girl showing us how to fight with grace and hope. I want to thank this lovely little lady for what she personally inspired in me today… To fight like a 2-year-old.

Life interrupted: A photo essay about one girl’s battle with cancer – Russia Beyond the Headlines

A personal story in photos of a small Russian girl who could not overcome cancer. By Ksenia Isaeva, RBTH. Dasha. Scroll down to see more. Yulia Skorobogatova. Russian photographer Yulia Skorobogatova created a photo series about a small girl … Life interrupted: A photo essay about one girl’s battle with cancer – Russia Beyond the Headlines

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Got God On My Mind AND In My Mind

This article is easily controversial and many people will have different kinds of problems with it. WARNING: It is not dinner table conversation!

Nevertheless, what I find especially resolving is that this mainstream look at how our brains respond when experiencing God seems to suggest that it doesn’t matter what “belief system” we subscribe to; The neural or stimulative effect is the same. This is an excellent validation that organized religion has little to do with how we are wired to experience our Creator. This would also help explain why prayer is a common form of connection across every major religion.

This Is Your Brain on God – Seeker

Religious experiences activate the brain reward circuits triggered by love, sex, gambling, drugs and music. BY TRACY STAEDTER. 0. Jeffrey Anderson / University of Utah. This Is Your Brain on God – Seeker

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The Eyes Have It; But The Homeless Have The Eyes

Not all people who have met the misfortune of homelessness are homogeneous and can be lumped into one group. Homelessness does not define a person. Rather, it is a description of one’s circumstances and not who they are. Let us never forget that these are individuals with their own special stories and the blessing of life from God. Furthermore, the label alone will never define the potential of a single person. Just ask world-renowned author and humanitarian, J.K. Rowling.

However, one thing homelessness seems to bring out in most who are inflicted is a deep expression of soul and “truth” in their eyes. It would be wrong to quickly and categorically dismiss such expression as sadness or depression. I have personally felt an “angelic” or spiritual presence when engaging with people who are living on the street. It always seems like a more meaningful encounter than one I might have with a colleague or friend.

Incidentally, I don’t think this phenomenon is limited to the homeless. Life’s challenges tend to reduce us from what we have pretended to be to who we really are. I believe that when we let go of, or distracted from, what the world tells us is important, our true soul begins to shine through our eyes as well as our actions.

We become “real!”

Their souls are in their eyes, says photographer of the homeless – OCRegister

Pedro Oliveira of San Juan Capistrano holds his photograph of a homeless man named James. The image led to an ongoing series called “Careful: Soul Inside,” to raise awareness of homeless people. Oliveira has taken photographs of the homeless in … Their souls are in their eyes, says photographer of the homeless – OCRegister

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Do You Have A Room With A View… Into Your Heart?

Certain opportunities for self-expression seem to reveal more about who we really are than others. For example, a fad or social phenomenon like bell bottom jeans in the 60’s or selfies (or selfishees as I call them) in the new millennium, are distortions of our true identity. Fads have power over us because they make us feel accepted by a group; Which always seems so important to us. However, the tradeoff is a costly displacement of our true preferences, personality, and individuality.

Interestingly, the customization of one’s own bedroom, particularly when we are young, is typically a place where we will allow our individuality to blossom. Maybe because it is a “safe” place that only few will ever see.

When we select a preference because others have selected it or we have a dire need to fit in, we should recognize that there is a very “personal and individual” preference that is likely being overridden, neglected, or avoided. Hence, we give up a piece of the most valuable real estate we own – our true identity.

I never did like bell bottom jeans anyway!

PHOTOS: ‘My Room Project’ Captures Millennial Bedrooms Around … – NPR

Your posters. The color of your walls. The size of your bed. Where you sleep says a lot about who you are. PHOTOS: ‘My Room Project’ Captures Millennial Bedrooms Around … – NPR

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Beauty Is In The Eyes Of The Creator. Not The Beholder.

“The color of beauty is light.” -Greg Pai

Without light, there is no way to literally see beauty and there is certainly no need for photographs or photography. Light represents the fullness of all colors, visible and invisible, in the spectrum. So, why is this important? Because the “Voice of the World” wants you to believe that certain colors are more “beautiful” than others. Moreover, advertisers use our natural response to colors to shape the way we think about them so they can promote a product, service, perception, opinion, or bias.

For example, the color red is considered one of the most intense. So if an advertiser wants to assign a feeling of intensity to a statement or product they are promoting, they will likely use the color red in the ad. Seems somewhat innocent, except it isn’t. It is a blatant manipulation of our subconscious. We are not going to stop advertisers from being maliciously creative. However, we can minimize their influence when we are aware of how they are operate.

Such is the case with advertisers who are hard at work convincing beautiful West African women that their natural color is not “good enough” or that they really want to look like someone else. In addition to the health concerns caused by this worrisome movement, culture and individual self-esteem are also at stake. In summary, this is nothing less than an industrial hijacking of people’s God-given identity.

What Is the Color of Beauty?

With some estimates putting the number of women in West Africa using lightening cream at 70 percent in some places, officials say they are worried there could be a sharp uptick in skin cancer because these products attack the skin’s natural protective What Is the Color of Beauty?

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