Winding Down

Winding Down

Summer is fiftyfootshadows Achilles heel, often leaving my posting schedule moving along at a snails pace. My work as a live audio tech is always the most packed through the warmer months as I keep busy either out in the field or in the office handing advances for upcoming events. This has left little to no time for my creative mind to stretch out and share and explore with you guys here which always ends up bumming me out and to compound the issue further I have slowly been taking on more and more of a workload this year which has made it even harder this time around.

That said, I have a folder here on my macbook that I have been gathering possible images to share, even a handful of drafts for future write-ups, and a couple of new radio mixes that have been on the back burner since spring! Looking ahead I see work lightening up somewhat and my mind is starting to let itself feel hopeful that I can start hanging out with everyone here again. It’s an exciting prospect because I always miss it when I am away for too long.

So, while I’m here today, between morning and loading up a system for a small event this afternoon I thought I would jump in and get a new wallpaper up for you guys. Something for these lingering summer days as we ease our way into the cooler months. I hope everyone has been well and I look forward to getting back to more regular posting soon!

Anywhere

Anywhere

When naming images I more often than not play a quick game of word association, I pull up a photo with a blank mind and the first words that come to me become the title. Sometimes it manages to be clever, other times mundane or downright boring and nonsensical. At some point along the way I discovered that this quick spur of the moment naming method helped guide me to discover patterns hiding inside my photographs. I would see images I wanted to share and the first words to pop in my head were identical to words I had previously affiliated with other images. Common threads started to form in my shooting and I realized that I was slowly building various bodies of work based on these loose, subliminal ideas.

One of my more common tropes became, “Any Other Day,” which I have attached to a number of images through the years. Often images playing into the idea of a common scene that is often overlooked or forgotten. An exhausted, usually over embellished idea for many photographers but one that I have repeatedly come back to because it always interested me.

I took the image above a few days ago in Durham, NC while getting some coffee, probably the only image I took that day if I’m remembering right. I discovered it after importing recent photos and felt it would make for a great wallpaper. It seemed to hold a familiarity with with a hint of a story and a just enough kindling for daydreaming. When I opened up the file and cropped it down the save dialogue sat there, staring me in the face, as it always does. A blank, almost hopeless stare on its face, waiting for me to sort out a name for my new post before I could move on. So then, as always, the first word that came to mind, Anywhere, and here we are, collectively reading, everywhere and anywhere, sharing this one sunny corner of a coffee shop together yet apart. Seemed fitting to me. Enjoy!

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Welcome Home

Wherever you go, there you are. Home is an idea as loose as time, wedged between comfort and a sense of belonging. It is tied tightly around happiness, bound to its ease and lack of worry. Home is where you find yourself being nothing but yourself. No protective layers, defensiveness, or need to be afraid. Home is love, home is friendship, home is anywhere.

I often discover that I feel most at ease while traveling. Feeling lost is the most clarifying experience I have ever come across. Freedom to be myself, no need for fear, anxiety, worry. On our recent trip to the outer banks we stayed at a beautiful little Bed and Breakfast style Inn which ended up being one of the most humble, easy going experiences I have ever had with an Inn or hotel. Respect among fellow guests is assumed and understood. There were no down payments, no locks on the doors, just simple courtesy and trust which put me at ease enough to shake loose some of the anxiety work has been bringing as of late and let me notice things around me for the first time in what felt like ages.

Sunlight, precious and fleeting, cast shadows throughout the day into the rooms of the Inn and gave me pause more often than I can remember. Gentle breeze brought them to life as the shadows of leaves and curtains danced on the floor. It was a beautiful stay and we won’t hesitate to return to the same Inn the next time we are in Ocracoke. For anyone curious the name of the name of the Inn is The Crews Inn and you can find more information on their website here.

I hope these photos pass along the feeling of calm I felt in this space and bring a little peace to your day. As maddening as the world can be at times it’s nice knowing there are still places of calm out there, waiting to give us a needed break.

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Mnml Beach III

Mnml Beach III

Way back in 2010 I posted a series of wallpapers called Mnml Beach and they went on to become some of the most popular desktops on the site. Even to this day I bump into them online from time to time and if your a pro user of Wunderlist you would certainly recognize one among their premium background options.

While visiting the Outer Banks I decided to make a couple of photos in a similar light to carry on the series. The sand of the dunes are soft and fine like sugar and as the sun sets take on a beautiful color. We brought along an old antique bottle to collect a little something to take home with us as a memento which I have also included as a bonus shot below.

Mnml Beach III v2

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Ghosts

Ghosts / Gibberish

This past weekend we took a short trip east to the outer banks of NC and stayed on small island only accessible via ferry boat called Ocracoke Island. I for one am not much of a beach lover; constant sun, salt, and sand are not my idea of a good time. That said, this trip ended up being a wonderful, compact holiday that brought an unintentional photographic hiatus to a close.

Our timing for the trip worked out in perfectly serendipitous ways starting with the fact that we were there right at the start of the tourist season so there were no crowds of people at the beach or in the small town. This gave us the opportunity to stay at an amazing and humble B&B without any trouble and made for a particularly quiet stay on the island overall.

The last night of our trip we decided to camp at a great campground by the ocean which ended up being a perfect end to the trip because of a dramatic display we were able to witness atop the sand dunes. Not only were we treated to a beautiful sunset to the west but it was immediately followed by a stunning moonrise to the east over the ocean. A bright glowing ball of red appeared over the ocean among distant clouds and slowly rose into the sky. Easily one of the more beautiful things I have ever witnessed in nature.

After enjoying the moment we pulled out a tripod and played around with long exposures on the beach. I ended up with a few playful photos and thought I would share a couple here as desktops for you guys. Rather than split this up into two posts I decided to share two here. I have a handful of other great shots from the trip that I will share here in due time, for now though, enjoy the new wallpapers!

Gibberish

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Don't Walk, Ride

Don’t Walk, Ride

It’s finally looking as though cold weeks are in the past and the season is moving into warm, sunny days. That means pulling my bike out more often is back on my list of things to do and I’m excited for it. Hard to deny that riding a bike is among life’s simple pleasures that one should not miss out on whenever possible. To get into the mood I found this photo taken in Kyoto, a city where bikes were a common site for travel around town. Heres to the simple things.

Konpeito

Konpeito

Among those close to me it’s no secret that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. While traveling I search the farthest corners of any new grocery store for unknown and untried sweets, sodas, and food. I love discovering new tastes I have never tried before.

While traveling in Japan there was, of course, an ample supply of new things to try and while I was fairly restrained overall I came across a few things that I really enjoyed. Among them were the dozens of tiny “vitamin” drinks in glass bottles, various kinds of mochi, and these tasty little sugar candies called Konpeito. While they are apparently Portuguese in origin they seem to be a staple among foods unique to Japan and were most often found in tiny local shops around Kyoto. The taste reminds me of rock candy common in the US, simple, and gently sweet.

I bought this little glass bottle of them before we left with the intention of snapping a photo and sharing it here as a desktop and I am finally getting around to it now. Thanks for stopping by,  enjoy the new desktop!

Us

Three Years In

Life is constant. It breathes in deep and exhales long winded sighs of lucid relief. A warm, understated fluidity flows forward and we drift along doing our best to guide ourselves safely along. Because of this, we need ways to slow the movement, we need anchors to tie off to along the way. What are your anchors? Where do you seek comfort as the night moves in?

Me? For the longest time I left myself to drift, untethered. I let life carry me along as I slipped through blindfolded, that is, until I decided to open my eyes and allow myself to understand things about this flow that I had not let myself fully understand.

Joy is love and love is gravity. This is my anchor and I found that love, warm, heavy, and with a resonance that keeps me grounded in happiness. With it I am learning to balance myself and see things with a clarity that I only thought was possible in my imagination.

Three years ago today I married YoungDoo Moon and with a throat sticky with nerves and the newfound weight of an abundance of love I read the following to her during our wedding as a way to try to communicate how I felt with words:

Life brings us to unexpected places. It is infinitely complex yet unwaveringly simple. In this life I have felt so much and experienced a myriad of emotions and curiosities. I have seen the rise and fall of hope and love within me skip widely about the surface of my time here on earth and I have done so with open arms and a great, un-censored vulnerability that led me to both to moments of great happiness and of unbearable darkness.

As fate would have it, along this path, as transient and unpredictable as it has been, I have discovered something that has not only pushed me beyond my own self doubt and reservations, but has also given me the strength to transcend what I thought I was capable of within my lifetime. That discovery is you and the love you give to me.

Never have I felt so confident and capable as when you are by my side. You give me pride and a wholeness I never thought possible within myself, and for this, I love you.

For you, YoungDoo, my love is absolute.

It is, without question, the greatest feeling I have ever been blessed with and without it I would be incomplete.

There has never been a feeling locked away inside me that has been more pure, honest, and true as this love that I have for you. It feels as transparent and essential as the air I breathe.

You are my light.

The light by which I live and breathe and find happiness in all things. Together I feel anything in this life is possible and darkness will never again find me. I love you YoungDoo. You are my everything.

Of course, this is just as true today as it was when I wrote it 3 years ago while riding along in a busy subway train in Seoul a few days before the wedding. Struck with an exciting rush of inspiration the words flowed out without hesitation as though they were there waiting for me to pick them from the air. Happy anniversary YoungDoo, here’s to the years of joy we have yet to share.

Sprung V1

Sprung

Spring is doing its best to push winter aside around here. While it is still chilly out the sun is starting to take hold of most days which is giving me some much needed energy among an increasingly busy work schedule. Over the past couple of weeks I have tried to sneak in a few photos of spring springing and I thought I would take a few minutes today to share a couple of them with you guys.

Thanks for hanging in there while things are slow around here, I still have a few things brewing and am still chipping away at them as I am able. Enjoy the blooming new wallpapers and for those of you also starting to see spring take shape, enjoy the sun!

Sprung V2

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To whom it may concern,

IMAGES FOUND WITHIN FIFTYFOOTSHADOWS.NET ARE ©JOHN CAREY AND MAY NOT BE USED FOR ANY COMMERCIAL USE WITHOUT PERMISSION. 

DO:

• Enjoy the images! It’s a labor of love, thanks for your support!
• Share fiftyfootshadows.net with friends.
• Send me a quick mail if you are interested in using an image for commercial or personal use other than wallpaper.

DON’T:

• Post desktops elsewhere online.
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• Pass them around in mass.
• Make prints.
• Use images for web banners or graphics. (send a quick email to ask, I’m pretty easy going about this with permission.)
• Use them in commercial work.

If you help me out with these I will be able to keep doing what I love to do. Thanks again, really, for your support and understanding. -J

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All of the images contained within this website, fiftyfootshadows.net, are property of, John Carey unless otherwise posted. The images are distributed as freeware but they are available for personal use only on your personal computer, tablet, or smartphone as your wallpaper image. Any use of these images for any purpose other than this is a violation of these terms and anyone found using said images will be asked to either compensate the creator for doing so or be asked to stop using them immediately.

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Use your best judgement and we will get along just fine.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

John Carey (curator, owner)

fiftyfootshadows.net

fiftyfootshadows@gmail.com