After nearly 10 years of operation fiftyfootshadows has seen the landscape of photography online morph and change in all kinds of ways. Communities have come and gone, trends have caught fire and flickered out. As often as things seem to change I have been right here, in my own little world on 50ft, jogging along side the shifting landscape. I love this work and I am eternally grateful for the encouragement and kindness everyone has shown through the years. Let’s start by looking back for a moment and where we have been, then move onto the new.
Did you know 2017 is the 10th year of operation for fiftyfootshadows.net? It’s been a long run! Prior to this you could find me on twistedsun.net, a project started in my senior year of high school in 2000 which I retired while moving to 50ft. It all started as a way to get my name into the online design world at a time prior to social media in the early 2000’s by sharing photos and designs as desktop wallpapers.
In those days trading links was the best way to get your name out into the world, so ad hock networks offering similar services started to pop up all over the place hidden on friendly link pages stuffed full of little gifs linking to other sites. There were even standards for the dimensions of these little badges to make link pages uniform. It was always fun to dig through these underground communities because everyone leaned on each other for support. During that time I relied on larger, well established sites with link sharing pages such as Pixelgirl Presents and the Icon Factory to get my work out into the world.
Years passed by and slowly but surely my persistence started to snowball and my readership grew. It wasn’t until the 50ft days that I really started to get my footing and find my voice not only as a photographer but as a writer as well. This project has guided my creative side for nearly a third of my life and given me opportunities and encouragement I could not have dreamed of otherwise.
Among the wealth of genuine joy it has given me to write and share on these pages through the years, the most fulfilling part of the experience has been in the connections I have made along the way with those in tune around the world. The encouragement, respect, and generosity shown by everyone following along has been my number one driving force among all else and without you I would not still be here today and for that I want to take this moment to day THANK YOU.
Now, lets look forward shall we? To do that I need to lay out what my goals have been for the site for several years now. I have always had a bigger vision for these pages but have largely kept it to myself in an effort to curb expectations. Distilled to its most basic form, I want to post at least twice a week along with less frequent additional posts. This would include a new wallpaper image and a “Now Spinning” music post in addition to 50ft Radio mixes once a month or so, regular guest wallpaper posts, and continued commentary on photography, tech, and living life.
Yet a regular posting schedule is just the shallow f/1.4 point of view. The full scene really starts to come into focus when you stop down to f/11 or so and see just how much there is that I hoped to accomplish within this space. Ideas include but don’t end with; product reviews, a podcast, a publishing company releasing books, zines, music, tangible goods with a common aesthetic along with my wife, YoungDoo, and more.
Somewhere in the middle of modest and lofty lies something I think I can accomplish with my current means and schedule and I believe it will be a perfect launching point to not only get back to regular programing here on the site but build for a better future as well. That brings us to today and the long overdue launch of a membership service here on 50ft.
I call it The 50ft Print Club. It’s an idea that started to form in my head at least five or more years ago and I think its high time to get this project off the ground. The basic idea is simple, at the beginning of each month I will send members of the club one 4×6 Print.
The prints will be chosen by me from my archives each month and printed at home on my lovely Epson R3000. If the amount of subscribers gets to be too big to handle on my own, then it will be outsourced to a trusted printer but they will always pass through my hands on their way to you. I’m a stickler for quality. Photos will be signed and mailed in simple, stamped envelopes.
Also, because I’m a bit of a romantic, I will also include a letter to go along with each print as well. You could view it as a tangible blog post, I see it as more a pen pal kind of scenario on a bigger scale (feel free to write back!), either way this is all for the sake of connecting with those who support what I do and giving back.
But wait, theres more; a second, lower level membership to 50ft that does not include a print each month. This will be called The 50ft Standard. Included with this basic membership I will offer up higher resolution versions of wallpapers for those of you with more pixel hungry devices, not all at once, but gradually I will start filling a members only archive with users old favorites and adding exclusive images into the archive over time. I will send out emails letting members know whats new in the member section.
Please, be patient with me as I add more content to the section, there are a few things in the member library to get us started but there is still plenty more to come in addition to regularly scheduled updates.
*All benefits of the 50ft Standard are included with a print club membership.
I did my best to keep costs as low as I could but still send you guys a nice looking, quality print. Cost of the print club is tied to the raw cost and time going into making this viable and realistic for me to maintain. Cost for the Print Club is $7 a month and the cost of the 50ft Standard is $3 a month*. Shipping is included (anywhere in the world).
There is also a couple of “tip jar” options in the sign up page for those who are able and perhaps willing to give more to support the site it will add a couple more dollars to whichever level of subscription you choose.
In addition to these memberships I have lowered the cost of Fine Art Prints and offer a discount on them if you are a member of either subscription. 8.5×11″ prints are now $40 for non-members and $25 for members. 11×17″ prints are now $60 for non-members and $45 for members.
Thats it! I really want to keep this simple, no tricks, long term commitments or fine print. If you are wondering, any money raised here will go back into this side of my life. Hosting, future projects, camera gear, travel, anything that would aid the further growth of the site. This is and always has been for you guys so let me say, again, you guys are the best. Thanks for encouraging me to keep going through the years. One last thing, if anyone was wondering, nothing will change for non-members, I will continue to post and share as I always have.