As Green

I can’t remember the last time I crammed my camera into an odd place to capture a photograph and yesterday on a short trip to the mountains I stumbled into a perfect opportunity to do just that. We took Milla to see a small waterfall so she could mess about in the cool mountain water and I noticed this little overhang hiding a tiny cave of plant life and drippy beauty. Small water flow is a fast moving mess of splashing water but there was just enough space to shove a 5D back there and capture some secret cave goodness. It just took a little bit of manual focusing and a wet head to get close to lining up the shot how I was imagining. I think I ended up taking around 20 or so shots and found three that I thought were worth sharing with you guys.

I must say, it felt good to play around with a somewhat abstract subject again for the first time in a long time, if only for a few minutes. Some days I wonder what more I can offer the world with another photograph of light shining through a window but moments like these where I discover some unconsidered little corner of the world I quickly remember how much there is still to discover and share. Infinity proper.

I have a couple more to share from our little trip but I will save those for next time. Until then, enjoy!

Step One

Time is an idea I can’t stop considering lately. It’s a delicate pattern carved in stone and as heavy and permanent as it feels to lift I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that I have grown weaker to it’s weight. Ive come to realize that there is no such thing as free time, or a day off anymore. “My” time is no longer mine. My life no longer feels quite as unique and philosophical, only steadfast in its attempt to teach me a lesson, that somehow my narrow and flighty addiction to capturing light and living in the moment is but the smallest nearly forgotten footnote in the broader perspective that life seems to want me to consider now.

All this is to say that fatherhood has certainly cast a new light onto my back, more constant than the sun and infinitely brighter. I am learning that time is attention, time is focus, time is fully understanding the importance of every available second spent alive. More valuable and precious than I ever thought possible.

This has made it harder to appreciate light, art, music, emotion. A deeper connection with the world around me has been frayed and heavily damaged as of late. In regards to my deeper understanding of life through artistic expression, many things seemed to work against me over the course of this past year. One camera died, another stolen, work and life at home so heavy that a practical life was the only side of reality I could see. Trails of light in the dust, intricate shadows, lonely corners of the world needing my attention, they all hid out of sight for long periods at a time but I refused to turn a blind eye to this hole that opened up in my creative self. The blackness was far too alarming and dense, I realized that if I didn’t start seeking out light again I may loose it for good.

So I turned to music first; sound, melody, rhythm, it gives me pace, subtle yet steady, I let it fill the spaces between work and home. Through creating music and pushing time around to get out behind a couple of turntables and help people dance with that therapeutic thump, clap, thump, clap, music became my creative pulse this past year when light hid so far away.

Now, recently I was blessed with the opportunity to have a new camera in my life. YoungDoo and I bought a used 5D Mk III from a photographer friend locally and while we are sharing it between her freelance photography work and my hope to use it as a tool to awaken artistically again behind a lens, it has certainly, without a doubt, been a blessing for both of us to have around.

It may not be the latest, smallest, most clever camera available today but it sure has sparked my imagination again and made me want to continue to seek out lonely or beautiful moments hidden around me and I can feel it start to come back. These inspiring, quiet milliseconds are doing their damnedest to get my attention and remind me that even among a life that has been feeling particularly heavy and opaque, that light, even when faint, can inspire hope and remind me that time can in fact still slow down enough to let me appreciate it and at times try and capture it and share these nearly overlooked moments with others.

And in that spirit, I’m sharing a new desktop and a toast to to the light, may it shine just a little bit brighter when I have a camera by my side.

One Inch

“…and when they carry me, they carry me one inch above ground.”

This was a lyric used as one of the themes for a project called Our Window which was something YoungDoo and I did together back around 2010 or so. I was feeling a bit nostalgic this morning and found myself looking through these photos we took together while apart. For those of you who don’t know, part of how we got to know each other while living on opposite sides of the world was through a diptych project where we used themes to inspire us to take photos then combined them and presented them together as a means to see how each other would interpret each theme. It was a fulfilling project that we both miss some days.

The photo above was taken as part of it, and has been sitting in my “may make a good desktop one day” folder for a long time now. I remember having time to get creative with photos back then. I came up with this odd idea of floating a pinecone above the ground to match our chosen theme and considered using fishing line but realized the songs protagonist was being carried by birds, not floating so I used a red thread instead, a detail I ended up really liking.

The song is a sweet one by a musician that releases music under the name Ben and Bruno and writing this today reminded me that its been a while since checking out what he’s been up to lately. The album the song was from is called 100 Grim Reapers and its actually available as a free download now on his bandcamp page here. I was lucky enough to pick up a vinyl copy back when it was released, its an old favorite for sure.

As always, links for desktops below, HD version will be up in the members space. Enjoy!

Fluff

Time for a little Namco Arcade joy for everyone. I wanted to badly to dump coins into one of these machines until I won something but I just couldn’t bring myself to burn through as much money as it probably would have taken to snag one. I’ve never had much luck with claw games but these giant machines with large fluffy plush toys sure were tempting.

I decided to pull out my camera instead and snap a few photos. Actually, I pulled my little audio field recorder out as well and recorded the sounds of the arcade which ended up in one of the tracks on the album of 50ft music I mentioned last post. Its nearly done! I am waiting on one last piece to the physical release side of it then all thats left is to take a few photos, write up its story, and share it with everyone. I really can’t wait. I hope some of you guys enjoy it because its been a lot of fun to put together, but more on that in the coming week or so.

For now I hope you enjoy the couple of new desktops here, as usual see below for links and I will see you again next time.

Download:

One Fine Day

Absence makes the heart miss fresh wallpapers, isn’t that right? So what have I been up to lately? I have been focusing my precious personal time recently into mixing down and ordering things for an album of original music which I hope to release at the end of the month. Its a passion project, just like this one, and something that I have been putting together for a few months now. More on that soon enough.

I am still without a day to day digital camera in my life. A situation I find depressing when I let myself dwell on it too long. After my X-Pro died and my precious 5D went missing, possibly stolen actually, I have been really down about photography lately. Down but not out.

I have been doing research on what it will cost to buy a new digital camera so I don’t have to keep borrowing one of YoungDoo’s so often. If your curious, at the moment I am considering at a Sony A7II, a body I’m not too crazy about but a sensor that I think will suit me well, paired with a manual Voigtlander M-Mount lens on an adaptor. Then when Im able, I will pick up an old Leica body as well so I can swap from digital to film with the same familiar lens. A least thats the idea. May not end up the direction I go but it’s what Im leaning toward.

I have also gotten my enlarger out, ordered some fresh chemicals and photo paper and made darkroom prints for Aprils Print Club which I am excited about. Thats about it for the 50ft update.

The photo here is another from my Koyoto trip. I loved the endless charm found down so many streets and took quite a few one-point perspective shots like this along the way that I will probably continue to share because I love them so much. Links below, thanks for stopping by, and I will see you again soon!

Kyoto Station

There is a special place in my heart for train stations. I could easily spend several hours getting lost in the movement and variety of life. An intersection of countless lives which collide and drift apart endlessly. What is a daily commute or a means to reach an end for most is a flourishing hot spot for life and activity that never ceases to inspire me.

Kyoto Station was a massive interchange to explore and late one night we wandered beyond the turnstiles to find a sparse platform begging for a quick photo. Looking back on the image now I catch myself coming up with stores for those waiting patently for a train to arrive. A modest moment, sure, but one that I found myself getting lost in this evening, two years later. I thought surely there are others here that may enjoy it as well.

Still Forward

Our time in Kyoto was all too brief. We split our week up and managed to do a number of the guide book must see sort of places as we could manage but almost more importantly to both YoungDoo and I was making sure we had enough time to simply walk the streets and explore a new city together. I have traveled both in highly structured ways and the total opposite. I still remember wandering the streets of Paris for hours without a map or knowing what anything I came across actually was. As with many things, there is a balance to everything and our time in Kyoto was nicely balanced.

I don’t remember the name of this district, only that the architecture was very much the classic japan you would imagine after years of casually browsing what to expect. There was something new to discover around every corner and I really enjoyed this afternoon quite a bit.

This photo is one which did not stand out to me after shooting it but came alive after a little post work and digging the clouds out of an over exposed sky. While not pixel perfect I love it anyway because it brings me back to this moment so vividly and I love the one random pedestrian with the red backpack marching forward alone as if the street opened up just for him. While not the most minimal of wallpaper choices I wanted to share it because I loved the moment. Enjoy!

Don’t Forget

As I look back through photos taken while in Japan my mind wanders in a lot of different directions. Today I am having trouble believing that I actually went to visit the country after so many years of daydreaming about it. I’m hoping that it won’t be the only time I will be able to visit. Now I catch myself pondering the meaning of time and its restless arm again. This always leads me back to the same conclusion though, that every day it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity available to me.

This photo leapt out at me for obvious reasons. It’s bold, colorful presence in my library was begging to be shared as a wallpaper with everyone. I won’t point out that its not quite symmetrical… oh, wait. It was a tricky one to crop vertically, much better suited for a desktop but there are, as always, different options for you below and for members of my subscription I have added a nice fat HD version for you in the members library. Until next time, enjoy!

Lets Ride

In the late fall of 2014 YoungDoo and I spent a week exploring the streets of Kyoto, Japan, a long time holdout on my bucket list. A week was just barely enough time to scratch the surface, I could have easily stayed a full month fully absorbing the atmosphere and exploring different side streets and temples around the city. My favorite part of discovering new cities like this is digging to find cultural details about day to day life and to get a feel for the history of a space. Kyoto is stuck between a modern Japan and a historic one; block to block the landscape and feeling shifted as sights and sounds migrated along with our curiosity.

I had read before traveling there that Kyoto was a bike centric city and that bike travel was one of the recommended ways of getting around. I was stubborn to accept using them ourselves for some silly reason. I remember YoungDoo Pushed me to take out the bikes made available to us by the guest house we were staying at but I resisted all the way up until the last day we were there because I enjoy trains and subways so much. The inner city is fairly compact and flat so getting around by bike is quite easy. Couple that with a lack of easy parking in many areas it’s an obvious way to get around.

From time to time I came across lonely, single bikes leaning against walls on paths and in front of buildings just begging to be photographed. This scene caught my eye because I noticed the bike owners clever umbrella storage and I liked the square tiles there behind the bike. Everything just seemed to be waiting there in place for me to frame and click.

So what took so long to start sharing these photos? Well, I couldn’t say, really. I guess at one point I figured I would release a big Japan themed wallpaper pack but never got around to having enough time to devote to the process of prepping it so instead I have gone though my library and pulled out a few dozen of my favorite digital shots while there and I will start sharing them here in wallpaper form along with any bits of information or stories that they bring to mind as I share them. Also, I’m thinking a few will be used for member exclusives. I will let members know when they get added to the member library. Enjoy!

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:

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fiftyfootshadows.net

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