Albino Santa

Christmas At A Distance

While the rest of the world I know back west anxiously gathers their wits in preparation for Christmas, I walk through the streets of a country where it feels more like a novelty, an afterthought, a coincidence. This has given me new point of view on the holiday as I usually know it. I have no tree in my living room, no presents to wrap, no frustration over having enough spare money around for gift giving or who I may forget in that process.

This is not to say I have no Christmas spirit. I love this time of year and the calmness it brings to family and community. I love the way it puts life on pause while we all take a collective sigh of relief, if not just for one day. Being away from the U.S. has given me a refocused perspective on what is so great about this time of year.

Holiday junk email is the only faint reminder of the madness and pressure of holidays back home. Suddenly, in unison anyone and everyone with something to sell is barking all at once and its noisy, even from across an ocean. The games big retailers play with consumers get more and more pushy year over year and distancing myself from that has been refreshing.

Personal observation aside, I hope you guys have a fantastic holiday this year, may it be joyful and give you a break from any stress you may or may have found yourself in leading up to it. It can be easy to get lost in the noise of Christmas giving but don’t forget that is not all there is to it. I will leave you with a last minute wallpaper, I finally came across something fun to shoot for the season, better late than not at all eh?

I found this cheap toy hiding in a tiny shop full of novelty trinkets both vintage and new from Korea. It has a multi color LED glow when you turn it on but I like the unusual look of albino Santa on his own so I decided to use sunlight to illuminate him instead. I photographed him in the entrance of a beautiful hotel we stayed in while traveling this past weekend.

I have more for you guys before this year is gone so I will see you again soon but for now, I wish everyone a joyful week!

BONUS: A lot of you already have it but here is a link to a Christmas themed 50ft Radio mix I made a couple years ago. I wanted to make a new one this year but ran out of time to put one together.

Frosty Morning
Guest Desktop

Frosty Morning

Back again with another fantastic guest desktop image. This time from a scrappy blogger many of us know and follow with baited curiosity, Ben Brooks of The Brooks Review. On occasion he shares his photos and thoughts on photography and this image caught my eye. I love how crisp and dreamy the scene is, you can feel the chill of the air as it hangs still like glass. The layers of vegetation are delicate and patient as the sun begins to rise, it’s one of those beautiful moments photographers are always on the look out for and he did a fantastic job capturing its essence. I asked him to share some thoughts on the image:

“There’s this nature reserve by my house — it’s an odd place — cut into the hillside with manmade buildings at the bottom. I drive by it anytime I leave the house and often I feel the desire to capture some of its beauty.

Fleeting glimpses are easy to romanticize as you tend to overlook the unsightly, the metal buildings in the back, the concrete benches.

On this morning it was bitterly cold, and even though I didn’t have the time, or warmth, I forced myself to stop. To look. I didn’t last long in the cold, but the stop was worth it. There’s nothing like trying to find an image while the brisk air fills your lungs.”

This is this kind of story I love hearing because it’s a great reminder that taking a chance and pushing aside comfort can often yield our best work. That little kick of adrenaline as you get excited over something truly stunning, that moment you know you have something special, there is nothing else like it. I loved the image and I am happy that Ben was up for sharing it with you guys as a wallpaper.

Just Because

Just Because

I have no idea where to start. Two weeks in and I feel like we have seen so much, been so far, eaten our weight in delicious food, and otherwise had a pretty great time but you have to slow down eventually right? Today is the first day in quite some time we have elected to have a slow day and catch up on photos and get some work done. I figured I would start things off with a classic, shallow shot because I know how much you guys love those. It was shot on a train late one night on the way home in Kyoto, the deep, earthy colors were hard to resist. I hope you guys enjoy it, I will be back soon with more where this came from. (iPhone 6+ users, have at this version, its my latest and hopefully last resolution tweak for these, I will add a new button to the design as soon as I can.)

Waning Fall

Waning Fall

Seasons are unique because you only get a handful of them in a lifetime. Unlike movies, music, or any other easily repeatable sources of joy, seasons come and go without offering any chance to get them back. If you live 90 years, you get 90 chances to enjoy the fall. Unless your jumping the equator on a regular basis I suppose. Logic holes aside, this time of year always has me considering the implications of not making time to enjoy the beauty of passing seasons or many other moments in life that we are only allowed to enjoy for a short time.

No matter how busy I get or how tiresome the idea may feel to a seasoned photographer, the beautiful transformation of trees in fall offers a perfect excuse to capture something beautiful in nature. This year I found my way to a spot I have visited during the fall in years past as well because of the beautiful late afternoon sun that graces the scene. Last year fall slipped by awkwardly because of a long summer but this time around we are lucky in this area and have had a few weeks of beautiful glowing colors. I snuck out for a few minutes after work one afternoon and managed to get a handful of classic shots of leaves in the afternoon sun.

A note on iPhone resolution. I am STILL struggling to find the correct iPhone 6 Plus resolution for wallpapers. I am nearly certain this is because of an issue in the software which treats imported images differently than built in images and thats a real shame. That said, I am trying a new one for now which looks good enough for me for now but my search will continue on and I will be putting off a big wallpaper pack until I am happy with the resolution. I don’t want to sell a product that is broken, it makes no sense at all. So let me know if you have any qualms with this resolution and I will see what I can do for you. Otherwise, enjoy the new wallpapers!

Waning Fall 2

Waning Fall 3

Waning Fall 4

Check

Check One

Hey there guys, I know its been all too quiet around here since all the excitement of the newest iPhones hitting the market. Over the years I have offered packs of wallpapers when there are new changes to iOS resolutions and I don’t plan on this one being any different. I am planning a nice pack of updated wallpapers for the new iPhone 6’s big screens and once the pack is out all new wallpapers in the future will also carry these resolutions. Looks like I will have to offer 4 iOS versions of wallpapers now. So it goes. Just need to sort out some adjustments to my download button code.

The delay in its release is simply because I have been swamped this month with work. This post is my test post for the new resolutions. I am also including versions with test boxes using the same technique I used to sort out the original iOS7  sizes which was super confusing at the time. Thankfully there are a lot more people out there sorting these things out this time so these resolutions should be pretty spot on I hope. The resolutions I am using are 852×1608 (iPhone 6) and 2662×2662 (iPhone 6 Plus).

The wallpaper buttons below are for existing iPads and iPhone 5/s/c. Here is a link to the iPhone 6 version, and here is a link to the iPhone 6+ version.

Here are the versions I made for testing, may as well share them too eh? SIX test. SIX+ test.

If all goes well I should have the new packs out soon, thanks for your patience! Also, while you are here, why not let me know if there are any old favorites that you would like me to include in the new packs. Unfortunately I am unable to convert my entire wallpaper library but I will be sure to make a nice well rounded set.

UPDATE:

OK guys so I have tested a couple different 6+ resolutions and still have not found one that matches my expectations and I am almost certain they are not correct. I am 98% sure that the iPhone 6 res is correct though. Being the perfectionist I am when it comes to this I would much rather get this right the first time around. I found a friend in town that is willing to help me out by letting me use a tester 6+ he has available so I can mess around with my own ideas and see what I can come up with this week. Hang tight. We will get there. I am just as anxious as everyone else to get the new packs up and live!

Wildlife

Wildlife

It can be easy to forget how much we rely on modern comforts in our day to day life. When I toss a few essentials into a backpack and head off into the woods I give up some of those niceties and in turn have a great opportunity to re-tune my assumption that we are dominant among nature because of our ability to overcome it by being smarter than it is. Comfort can be overrated at times, the concept distorts our expectations based on what we think we need to be happy. The simplicity of camping and being away from modern living refreshes my state of mind. I wish I had time to get out more often! The moment I saw this sign swallowed whole by a tree I was reminded that nature has a way of quickly forgetting our interfering hands as it flows through time without us and I figured some of you may enjoy this subtle reminder as well. Enjoy!

Flow v1

Flow

During a recent camping trip, I re-connected with my old desire to shoot nature for the first time in a long while. Some days I feel like I have photographed it enough for a lifetime but being out in the woods away from the city it’s hard not to get inspired. On days like these my eagerness to shoot slowly builds. Every time I discover something beautiful to capture I get more excited and coming across challenging spots like this one leaves my head spinning with ideas.

With these photos I knew I wanted the water to have some personality by using a slower shutter speed but did not have a tripod on me so I made due with a balanced shooting position and steady hands. Despite the focused details in the moss and stone being shaky I still like the way they turned out.

One of my favorite parts of shooting is quickly weighing compromises when approaching a scene based on the natural light, gear on hand, and time constraints. Much of photography is based on compromise and an understanding of the tools being used and the puzzle is always so much fun to solve. So, as always, I hope you guys enjoy these as much as I enjoyed taking them. More soon!

Update: I found a little video clip recorded while I shot this spot, thought it was fun so I tossed in some music and posted it below. The audio is a bit louder than I meant to have it, just so you know. Funny, I remember shooting this and nearly slipped down the rock as I followed the water down. There was a split second that I considered letting it happen just to see what the video would look like but quickly reconsidered and balanced myself back out. 

Flow v2

Flow v3

Doom

Doom

There is a great local arcade here in town with a rotating cast of pinball tables among other old arcade machines. While I have never been all that good at the game I have always loved the mechanical wonder of a good pinball machine. I shot these casually one night and thought their abstract, bokeh filled nature would make a nice wallpaper for any fans of the game. Enjoy.

Doom v2

In The Shot
Guest Desktop

In The Shot

Back with another great guest desktop for everyone! This week we have an image from Dan Hawk, a photographer from the great city of Portlandia. He reached out to me showing interest in sharing a photograph in the guest series and after pouring through the beautiful photographs on his site I found this gem which he was kind enough to share with everyone as a wallpaper.

At first glance a straightforward long exposure of a beach at sunset caused me pause when I noticed the blurry outline of one of his children in bottom of the frame. The ghost like figure gives it a personality and vitality that I really love. As you know, I enjoy a story or a few thoughts about an images creation and Dan had this to say about the photograph:

“My wife and I took all three of our kids to Maui this year and this image is from their first Hawaiian sunset after a long day playing in the ocean.  I tried to make it down to the water for sunset every evening as it seems so wrong to miss them.  I made a couple of long exposure pictures that evening which turned out pretty good, but then my son decided to jump in the frame on this one and it became the keeper.  I tried to get him to hold still, but he’s 9, so it was a lost cause. When making photos, I hope my images represent the way it felt to be there and this one succeeds for me.”

A story that rings true of some of the worlds best photographs, ones of serendipity and adjusting expectations to fit the circumstances to discover something even better.

Dan also had this to say of his technical approach; “I made this image with a single frame taken with a Sony NEX 7, the 18-55 Zoom lens (which is pretty good stopped down at 18mm) and a Neutral Density Filter so I could use a longer shutter speed.  This is a ten second exposure at f/20, using a tripod. I’m usually more of a prime 35mm equivalent shooter, but I find myself reaching for the wider angle of the zoom for these big ocean sunsets. I generally shoot in RAW which gives me access to the broad dynamic range of light that the sensor is recording. All of my editing is done in Lightroom.”

You can find more of his work and follow along with future photos and stories here.

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!
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• Post desktops elsewhere online.
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• Pass them around in mass.
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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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Thank you for your understanding and support!

-John Carey (curator, owner)

fiftyfootshadows.net

fiftyfootshadows@gmail.com