Past Is Present

Boards Of Canada was on when I was cropping this image so fans will know how the title drifted into my head today. I remember seeing this mossy fence on the edge of a pathway at a mountainside temple near Kyoto. The air was cool and damp and the temple was quiet after we arrived late in the day as most everyone else was on their way out. Somewhere in the distance a drum was echoing out through the grounds. I remember the small town outside the temple as well and how slow it felt as we waited on a train to arrive. Thinking about it makes the stressful day I am taking a break from by sharing a new photo feel a little more calm. How to hold onto this feeling is the real trick.

This is one of those images that was tricky to crop for a vertical smartphone because there was not quite enough empty space to fit the center column in there but I did my best. The full desktop size is lovely though. Hopefully it will bring you a little peacefulness as well should your day contain more stress than relaxation. Downloads below, enjoy!

Outlook

One afternoon YoungDoo’s sister and her family took us on a drive outside of Seoul for some time away from the city. One of the spots we visited was a cool little art gallery/cafe/shop/theater complex next to a huge lake, sorry I don’t remember the name. Before we left I knew I wanted to sneak over and take a few photos of the lake and mountains in the distance but upon walking up to the edge of an outlook the overgrowth of plantlike at the edge of the trail caught my eye.

This one wispy vine took off above everything else and I knew I had found a take on this landscape other than the landscape itself. I often find myself in this same position, gazing at the grass instead of the view. There is so much hidden in the foreground of our lives that is easy to miss or ignore. That is to say, don’t forget to check out the forest through the trees while you are out exploring.

Links to a wallpaper cut can be found below, HD version is in the usual members downloads spot. Enjoy!

Cafe Yaang

After visiting Korea again I realized it was the 6th time I have had the opportunity to spend time there. Unlike previous trips this time around felt like a “Greatest Hits” sort of visit where I did not have as much time to wander around lost so I found myself gravitating to my favorite old spots, hoping they were still there because so many shops and cafes have short life spans in the crowded marketplace.

Among shops I was surprised managed to hang on was this gem of a coffee shop called Cafe Yaang. Tucked away in a small 4-5 block area full of small independent shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. It was a pleasant surprise to see it held on while many others in the area vanished since my last visit.

Cafe Yaang is my favorite kind of little Cafe, full of modest charm and understated ambience making it a cozy place to relax in for a while. I did my best to capture the simple charm and calmness of the space with these couple of photos and thought they would make for equally cozy wallpapers. Links below, more to come but for now, enjoy!

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Summer

Summer is full of traditions passed down through generations of youth culture. When I think of this season what comes to mind as an adult is the heat and long days working outdoors but I remember back when the summer meant time in the woods, cold rivers and streams, camping, road trips, time to explore and enjoy the wistful landscape of time free from obligation.

In that spirit, YoungDoo and I found ourselves with a day off and decided to take advantage by taking Milla out swimming in a lake for the first time and, as I mentioned a post or two ago, I am doing all I can to keep an eye out for those delicate moments hiding in plain sight, ready to capture as a photograph. The image here are from just such a moment, the afternoon light sneaking into the lower level of a boathouse where you pay your dues to get into the lake area. It smelled of moisture, moss, and showers. A familiar cool, damp smell that’s hard to forget. A scene that captured a little forgotten corner of my youth that I thought some of you may appreciate as well. Enjoy!

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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!

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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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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fiftyfootshadows.net

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