Beach Dream

Beach Dream

Take a deep breath for me, it’s OK, go ahead. Our lives are filled with noise so it can be good to take little unexpected breaks from time to time. The weather is warming up around here so I looked back through my archives and found a few shots from the coast to share. Messing about with focus and perspective as always. The odd image out is the oddly tinted one which was shot through a pair sunglasses for a simple effect. Thats all for now, I just thought I would share something fresh for your screens while I had some time today. Enjoy!

Beach Dream 2

Side note for the geeks, I’m using a new resolution for the iPhone 6 Plus. I’m probably the only one using it but I prefer it. It matches the iPhones resolution better in my testing and allows me better control over the end result as it appears on your screen. You will notice it latch back into the stay place any time you try and shift it from left to right and then activate perspective again. This unfortunately does not extend to the vertical field and there is a bit of give to where you choose to position the image vertically but its the closest I have gotten to a properly behaving image resolution on the device. 

There is a common misconception that I have played into that the 6 Plus should use a square wallpaper because of its orientation changing capabilities but the way the feature is coded does not take into consideration a wider image, it simply zooms to adjust to the wider perspective making a square wallpaper pointless. 

Also, standard desktop resolution from here in will be increased to match current 15 inch macbook models. Future changes here on 50ft will include iPad Pro models as well as the frequently asked for giant iMac resolutions which is tricky for me for reasons I will get into another day. 

Beach Dream 3

Birth And Balance

Birth And Balance

The time has come, and we’re as ready as we will ever be. Stepping into another dimension of adult life in the coming week I honestly have no idea what to expect next. I am ill-equipped for this humbling new variety of lingering anxiety blanketed with excitement and blurry expectation. It’s hard to put into words, really. Bringing a new life into the world has given pause to my projections of the future.

My world is becoming both smaller and much larger at the same time. Instinct tells me to protect what I am responsible for so my senses are tuning into much broader frequency ranges than simple self preservation. Because we can not predict the future, now more than ever I recognize the conflicting nature of being human and the need to find balance between self, family, and society by looking beyond personal philosophies to create a world that we can all live in peacefully together so we are able to protect ourselves and each other from our darkest tendencies.

For me, this year is packed full of the kind of huge decisions and responsibilities that I don’t often have to weigh in on, the rare ones that alter the course of my life in distinct ways. A child, a home, a growing responsibility at work. I am buzzing with curiosity and hope for the future… but then I read the news and see never ending stories of terror, racism, violence, intolerance, hate, fear; things that have always been among us but seem to be steadily increasing in weight as my stake in the world continues to cement itself into what is considered adulthood.

Closing my eyes I can still feel joy in the warmth of sun on my face and the smell of spring coming into bloom so I know the potential for true moments of happiness is still alive and well among us, but this rumble under the earth is starting to rattle in my bones and echo into my heart as I worry for tomorrow and the next generation we are welcoming to this world. What fears and uncertainties will they know and how will they be taught to love and help us continue to evolve and discover new kinds of happiness. Will happiness have a different meaning in the future?

Change is inevitable, it’s evolution. Some of us fight to keep things the same, some of us fight to adapt and grow as society demands it. All I know for sure is that the only way to find balance is to allow ourselves to be conscious, alert, aware and understand that our personal viewpoints may not be the only answer for the greater good of our society. There are always two sides to every story. Be sure to hear them both before passing judgement. Assumption is a dangerous precedent and the increasingly casual nature of our consumption and acceptance of information has weakened our deeper understanding of the complex world we now live in. It’s not possible for any one of us to have all of the answers. It takes trust and a balance of conflicting ideas to find realistic solutions to any given problem, not radical emotionally charged rhetoric.

When I woke today and read news of attacks in Brussels my heart sank in disbelief as I worried for those who I know in the city. I felt ill at the thought of them having to navigate that situation and stay safe among the chaos. These events compounded against my already full mind and left me feeling deflated and hopeless for a time. Yet the world is still spinning. Work is still being done, hope is still viable and joy, even in small doses, can still be discovered when we pay close attention.

As small as we may feel at times we must understand that modest acts of kindness and compassion are contagious and as confused, lost, or angry as we may get at times, there is never a good excuse to spread that anger beyond rational discussion. Rather than focus on what makes us different, we should be focusing on common philosophies that we share to bring us together. We let our differences define us and guide us to conflict because we are too stubborn to listen to each other with our common foot forward. How is anything ever going to change for the better unless we make the choice to listen to our rational selves along side our emotional selves?

Balance is life’s simplest philosophy, one I can easily suggest you slip into your daily rotation. As shaky as the ground under my feet feels after todays news, I still somehow see hope that together we can manage to find such a balance, one that may help pull so many opposing forces together and bring us to a future we can believe in, one that encourages happiness rather than fear.

Impossible

Impossible

Listening to Lyla Foy and reflecting on this view and those like it; considering its transformative significance in our lives. Travel is a gift and has brought my life meaning beyond what I knew possible before I started to explore what the wider scope of the world had to offer. Within it I learned so much about what I now know about myself through maddening fits of love and regret, the overwhelming joy of witnessing something new, and that familiar and haunting feeling of being lost. Travel can tell us more about ourselves than you can possibly know without buying a ticket and seeing what you may find waiting for you on the other side. The great and terrifying unknown, true beauty and joy.

But hey, I know a lot of you are here to geek out about photography too so what about this photo? It’s one of those that I nearly didn’t bother sharing because I felt so lazy capturing it that I didn’t feel it was honest enough, almost embarrassing!? Enough contrast and tonal tweaks to make me queasy, not to mention a spot of noise to accent what the X-Pro had already given me.  So, this image is hardly a photo anymore, more an illustration captured from the ghost of a photograph forgotten and not given enough love on the shooting end.

Still though, I like it well enough and it reminds me of a fleeting feeling fueled by hazy cabin pressurized daydreams of what may be waiting for me when the plane lands. Nothing quite like it.

Midnight Diner

Midnight Diner

I’ve had Japan and Korea on my mind a lot lately. Places that are important to me because they have done so much to fuel my imagination and inspiration for so long now. When I am unable to travel, books, film, and TV are the best ways for me to get lost without leaving home. A couple of weeks ago I saw a Japanese film called Midnight Diner that I really enjoyed watching. It’s a film based on a TV show based on a manga comic, I think.

The basic premise is there is a small diner, only big enough to fit maybe eight people inside, on a back alley street in a neighborhood in Tokyo which only opens from 12 midnight until 6am in the morning. The man that runs it has a backstory that is never fully explored, he is left to be an understated presence in the lives of those who visit his shop which is what the film is really about, the late night visitors. There are three different stories that loosely tie together in the overall arch of the plot but in my opinion the film is held together and made enjoyable by an overall calmness that I admired quite a bit. It promotes positive choices and looking out for one another within a community, no matter how big or small. There is an underlying sense of joy and acceptance that left me feeling good after watching.

It made me feel naively hopeful that somehow or another we are all equally capable of looking out for each other and respecting each others beliefs, ideals, and personalities. A joyful life contains a delicate balance of self preservation and a mutual respect for others that work hand in hand. It’s easy to forget that we as individuals are not islands and the way we treat each other is paramount to building a sustainable future.

One way or another, this is where my thoughts took me after seeing Midnight Diner and I could easily recommend it to anyone looking for something easy going to watch. That is if you can manage to find a copy of it… Japanese films that aren’t anime or award winning sure are hard to come by in the US. I first saw it on a flight to California and later again after finding it through alternative means. Good luck with the search.

The wallpaper was shot will in Japan at the end of 2014 during a weeklong trip to Kyoto with YoungDoo. I have been hoarding images from that trip for a full year now and I’m starting to feel a bit guilty about it! Expect a nice Kyoto wallpaper pack int the future.

Heading South

Heading South

Sure, for some of you it’s cold out there right now but thats no reason to ignore the beautiful things happening outside. This was shot in December while on a photoshoot for some new friends of ours that own a cozy little bed and breakfast. If you’re ever near Carolina Beach, have a look.

I have recently realized how little I have traveled specifically to take photographs. Photography for me has always been more of a means to appreciate the world around me, a side effect to always wondering whats around the next bend in the road. The world is larger than I will ever fully understand because the amount of diversity and possibility within it is too great for any one person to ever fully soak in. Getting lost is one of life’s greatest opportunities and I highly recommend everyone take advantage of that as often as possible.

I crave making photographs because I crave the high that being emerged in an unknown place or situation brings me. The photos I make are taken because of an innate fascination of moments and details I come across unexpectedly.  While it’s fun to talk about the latest gadgets or our preference of format, the gear we use is not all that important in the grand scheme of things. I have said it here before and I will say it again; living a joyful, fulfilling life is the real secret to great photography. Now get out there and get lost.

circumstance

Circumstance

“What are you listening to?”, he asked her as she awkwardly glanced up from a laptop covered in stickers.

There was a time when people like this would bother her, eager, curious men looking to bait her curiosity through something she seemed passionate about.

She noticed his old jacket, cuffs torn from wear, faded blue, forgotten yet loved all the same. Two small pins stuck on its right breast pocket; symbols she did not recognize, or maybe she did, she couldn’t be sure. In this shaken state anxiety clouded her memory to the point of annoyance and distraction. Fuzzy, tangled brown hair, thin silver framed glasses resting on his nose, he had a look on his face that frustrated her. Something between confusion and acceptance.

She realized he had left a few moments later, her gaze met his for a moment and he recognized her need to be left alone. Did she know him?

Her croissant was cold now but she hardly noticed as she took occasional bites. Flakey crumbs had split off and left a greasy mess on her keyboard as she wiped them away. Focus broken she rest her face in the palms of her hands not realizing others nearby started to take notice of her.

Focus. Eyes closed for a time, red was all she could see until a deep breath filled her with calm enough to open them again and discovered he was sitting across from her now. Their eyes met and she froze, confused until she remembered her name, her skin, her breath, and her legs nervously shaking under the table. A smile found its way to her face and she stood up, packed up her things then left the small coffee shop without saying a word.

He sat at the table for a time wondering where he went wrong, was it the breakfast he offered her? Was cereal not enough of a welcoming gesture after a night spent with a stranger? Earlier that morning they lay together in bed, legs twisted together as sunlight cast a warm glow on their bodies. Up until that blank look in her eyes moments ago he thought they had made a real connection. Did he know her?

Their names were etched into the now empty table, understated and at peace. The air was still, the noise of other guests swelled then vanished into the pure white of time. A phone rang but no one cared to answer.

In unison, voices around the world echoed out into a deftly constructed void. Prayers, focused and pure, circled the atmosphere. Through all this noise time is bound to make a few mistakes. From this angle, even God had trouble understanding how this managed to happen.

She found her way to a bus stop but realized she had forgotten her favorite scarf on the back of her chair and imagined it tying itself into knots, hiding from anyone who may have noticed it there. Time grew bright and vengeful around her but she chose to forget it, let today be what it is.

At this same moment, two blocks over, she also stood in an empty lot, scarf tied loosely around her neck, warm and comforted she looked down at her feet, faint smile across her lips, and gripped his hand a little tighter.

He sat alone on a bench in a park he did not immediately recognize and looked down at her scarf twisted in knots on his lap. The hollow beat of a drum pounded somewhere behind a rusted garage door and his head started to nod along. An expression hard to place came over his face as he started to hover a few inches above the bench. No one noticed but God. The rhythm set in motion nearby left him euphoric but disoriented.

The air felt thick on his skin as he floated there, drifting among waves of foamy white. He felt his hands start to speak for him as the rest of his body disappeared and his head was filled with images of the ocean stuck looping at fractured speeds.

Focus. Eyes closed he could only see red, thick and opaque. He knew he had to open them but was afraid. He felt five soft fingers slip into his hand and squeeze tight. Terrified, he opened his eyes and she was there in front of him surrounded in pure white. Her eyes were filled with tears that began to drip down into an uncontrollable smile as the white began to dim into the color and shape of a city.

The bus pulled into an empty stop as the sun set over a field where they stood hand in hand, confused, terrified, but ready for whatever was to come next.

(Written earlier today out of the blue while sitting down to work on a separate post meant to be the first one of the new year here on 50ft. The other post, not yet finished was about perspective and its importance in our lives but somehow, this story was waiting in my mind instead. I tied up loose ends and did my best to polish it up so I could share it. Hope some of you enjoyed it!)

(Desktop of the image posted along with it now available below. It is a film scan and was upscaled to fit the high resolutions of modern screens FYI.)

Blanket

Blanket

On a cold afternoon in Seoul earlier this year YoungDoo and I climbed into a friends car for a long ride out to a coffee shop shaped like a twin lens reflex camera. Two stories of charm and warmth on an otherwise chilly day in Korea. Our timing worked out quite well as we arrived in time for both a sunset over the surrounding farmland and a coincidental flurrry of snow which amplified the modest trip into one that still comes to mind as a highlight of our time there last year.

I managed to capture this shot through a window in the side of the cafe which, if I am remembering correctly was tinted and offered up a strangely magic photo of the landscape outside. This image takes me right back to the glowing masterpiece that was that moment and I hope that you find some comfort in it as well.

This image came to mind after day dreaming of a nice, light snowfall among the unusually warm December we have had. Enjoy.

Beginning to look

Beginning To Look

Better late than never they say, so here is a little something for your desktop decorating needs for the holidays. While not as dramatic as my Blue Christmas image form a couple years back, this kind of kitschy decoration often comes to mind this time of year so why not highlight something simple. Heck, I even threw in a few bokeh holiday balls for good measure because, Christmas.

On a related note, I made a simple composition with my little OP-1 keyboard using a sample recorded from a holiday radio station. Without going to far into it, my history in making music still holds heavy inspirations from the heyday of late 1990’s/early 2000’s underground electronic music from labels like Warp, Reflex, NinjaTune, Tigerbeat6, Merck, and Schematic. I’ve long had a love affair with artists who create music with an inspired exploration of sound.

That said, heres my take on a holiday classic. May not be for everyone but I enjoyed making it. The tracks hypnotic repetition felt somehow natural to me when I first stumbled into it. In taking this iconic moment from an iconic holiday song and repeating it indefinitely I was sucked into its grip and surprisingly its feeling of warmth didn’t change as I heard it over and over again. I hope some of you enjoy it, let me know what you think, of course.

I have some great photos on the back burner to share with you guys and I will be choosing the winners of the cool little 50ft keychains soon! If you are among those fortunate enough to get a break this time of year I hope you enjoy it and to those that don’t, I wish you the best as well. See you again soon.

Fifty Foot Lifestyle

Update: I have mailed out messages to the winners of the tags at this point, thanks so much for your kind words and for the interest and support of Fifty Foot Shadows!

Time to reflect and then give something away! I know its been quiet around here this year. My creative side has been on hiatus as I switched tracks for a while to contemplate a life more dictated by priorities. As with the end of any year, I have been looking back as well wondering what the next year will bring. Life will only get bigger as more important decisions are put on the table. My hope is that I can find a happy medium between obligation and creativity because inspiration has been flat as of late but I am looking to renew trust in my abilities behind a camera and start shooting more again.

In the new year (or sooner if I get the pieces together) I plan on announcing a long considered and way overdue subscription service here on 50ft to bring a couple of new ideas to life and shake things up around here. There will be a couple of levels to the service that I will detail when I make the announcement. Among other things, this has been something I have been making notes on and hoping to get off the ground for over four years now. I really can’t wait to get it off the ground after so much needless planning and second guessing. It will provide a perfect launch point for a renewed focus and drive.

For now though I wanted to do something fun for the holidays and give something away to a few of you. I came across these cool custom made brass tags online and knew straightaway that I wanted to have some pressed to share. I love this sort of humble accessory and so I had five of them made to give away for the holidays (six total so I could have one too). I don’t plan on making any more of these in the future so they are a highly limited edition keepsake from the land of fifty foot shadows. They work as a handy keychain accessory, zipper pull, or anything at all you may want to hook them too. The letters are hand stamped into the brass tags so it should last for years as long as it’s not lost.

I think the best way to give these away is to simply use the comment section again, leave a note below and in a couple of weeks I will randomly grab a few names and contact you via email to let you know that you won! Simple enough right? I will mail them anywhere in the world so there are no limit to who can enter. I know it’s a modest gift but I wanted to show you guys that I appreciate you, even if in a small way. As always, thanks so much for your support and generosity. The future is bright!

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.
• Share links directly to images.
• 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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It’s not fair to artists if you do not credit their work and link back to the original content creator. It is theft plain and simple and blogs that attempt to somehow be mysterious by not giving credit to the creators are simply hurting the artistic community as a whole. If you love it so much then please, support it! The artistic community on the Internet is based on trust. Without trust then what do we have? are you going to be one of the responsible users out there or will you be among the bottom feeders, stealing content and passing it off as your own to make a quick buck in ad sales.

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