High Tide

High Tide

“I wonder if I can catch these pelicans in flight,” was the only thing that crossed my mind as I saw them gliding by, camera aimed straight up into the sky. At first glance it was a shot I figured I would later ignore because of the odd, chaotic composition but upon realizing it would work well as a black and white photo that focused on the shapes and colliding lines rather than the blue of the sky it came to life as a casual yet nostalgic viewpoint that many of us have witnessed before.

While this moment is stuck here in time I imagine this scene reoccurs every day around the same time on this shoreline with or without a camera or anyone to notice or care. These cycles repeat regardless of how many times we check our RSS feeds in a day, regardless of the amount of frustration that builds when someone cuts us off in traffic, regardless of how many words we may or may not have written in that novel were chipping away at.

If you start to imagine photographs not just as fractions of light caught or frozen and more as time itself callously repeating itself despite what has happened in the mean time they can start taking on a life of their own. The moments before and after a photograph are often more interesting or informing than what is seen recorded in an image. Photographs that lead you to wonder what is just outside of the frame are some of my favorites. The kind that can honestly be worth a thousand words if it leaves your imagination to fill in the gaps beyond the confines of the frame.

So, I took a chance and tried to capture this one obscure, fleeting moment as I stood with YoungDoo on a windy beach one afternoon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the time and space surrounding it.

Botany Bay v3

Botany Bay

We had a nice short trip down to Charleston, SC last weekend and found a few fun places to explore while we were down there. Among them was a beautiful plantation called Botany Bay. It is an active farm and wildlife preserve which was opened to the public about five years ago with a modest driving tour and a beautiful rough beach full of dead trees being battered by the ocean.

While there is not a lot of information available online about this spot it was easy enough to find down an unassuming dirt road at the end of which you sign in at an entrance so they know who is on the grounds and off you go to explore as you please. From what we were told there are all manner of wildlife living naturally in the area including alligators so you have to watch your step while you explore. While the only wildlife we came across was a couple of wild turkeys we have no doubts that there is plenty other wildlife wandering these woods.

Our favorite part of our time there was the beach, we arrived right around high tide so more or less all visitors were on their way out. After a 1/4 mile walk to the shore we were greeted with dozens of old weathered collapsed trees, the slowly rising waters of the ocean, and hundreds of seashells small and large which they have a strict policy against taking any home. It would be fun to explore again at low tide when the waves weren’t constantly threatening to drench our cameras in saltwater but we did snap a few photos while we climbed around among the surf and trees. I figured a good place to start sharing would be these simple shots of shells collected by visitors and left along the shore.

Botany Bay Botany Bay v2

Forgotten Ties

Forgotten Ties

Last but not least and a little late I have the 5th post in a week of desktops, this time around I have a set of images from a quick visit to a nearby train yard on a day off. We only had a few minutes to shoot because it started raining right when we wandered in but I managed to snap a few nice shots in the short visit. It would be a great place for portraits but I’m sure we would get run off in an instant if we drew too much attention to ourselves though it has a lot of potential for future exploring.

I always feel I don’t do enough portrait work, I really love to do it but my introvert self is not always up for finding people to shoot. I have been longing to get out with my Hasselblad and shoot some black and white film to develop and make prints again at home and my more frequent usage of black and white post processing is my attempt at curbing that desire a bit until I have the chance to do so. For now though, enjoy these moody shots and I will see you again soon!

Forgotten Ties v2Forgotten Ties v3Forgotten Ties v4Forgotten Ties v5

Because Spring, Also

Because Spring, Also

While spring is more or less winding down around here I thought I would collect a few more shots taken from the last few weeks and share them as wallpapers to compliment my other spring post. I’ve been loving the cool night air lately and hope it lasts a while longer before things start to heat up. I did my best to choose a well rounded selection to choose from, so hopefully everyone finds one they enjoy.

In other news, next weekend YoungDoo and I are planning on spending a few nights down around Charleston, SC so if anyone is in the area feel free to hit me up and maybe we can grab a drink somewhere. I have one more set of images for you guys in my make up week of desktops, its another five image pack so check back soon for more!

Because Spring, Also v2 Because Spring, Also v3 Because Spring, Also v4 Because Spring, Also v5



Another shot in ode to the simple things in life that can add a lot of joy in unexpected ways. In this case it’s a bit of afternoon sun coming through the window of a house on a farm with a few sprigs of freshly picked flowers and leaves. While Spring has never been my favorite time of the year I do love how hopeful it feels. The promise of a fresh start and the coming summer always lays down a welcome path for many after the burdensome winter prior. You can look forward to a few more spring wallpapers form me this week, perhaps tomorrow. See you then!

Ford V2


Cars don’t usually catch my eye,  I have no affinity toward them like many others seem to. As far as I’m concerned I prefer public transport when it comes to getting around from day to day but mid sized cities like this don’t have much in the way of reliable or far reaching public transportation so cars are unavoidable. While walking down the street the day I took this it wasn’t the truck that caught my eye but the soft light of the afternoon that had me raise my camera for a couple of quick shots while walking by. Its amazing some of these old trucks are still on the road. While the backdrop leaves something to be desired I still enjoy these and thought some of you would enjoy the warm light and the nostalgic old truck. Check back tomorrow for another new image during my catch up week!




Here there guys! To make up for a slow posting schedule over the past few weeks I will be posting a new photo wallpaper  each day this week. To get things kicked off I have a couple of hot images from a few weeks back. I was out grilling on one of the first nice days of the year and grabbed the camera to try and capture some good old fashioned abstract flame shots. So check back soon for more, until then, enjoy the heat.

Flame v2

Object No. 13

Object No. 13

Back just before digital music had been fully accepted by the masses a number of musicians and labels were looking for creative ways to assemble limited edition, physical releases to help encourage sales and push the boundaries in terms of creatively selling music. Easily my favorite entry into this pool was Ghostly Internationals release of a limited edition sculpture to accompany the digital release.

It’s called the Black City Totem and was released in tandem with Matthew Dears album, Black City. The sculpture was created as a physical representation of the music itself and the feeling it conveys. I love the stark simplicity of it and love having it around the house. Created as an edition of 100 I am pretty certain it is no longer available at this point there are still some available through Ghostly here, I do wish the idea had caught on. Now that vinyl has taken over as the defacto limited edition of most album releases there is not as much pressure to create objects such as this which I think is a shame.

Maybe I am an odd one out but I love original art like this sold in reasonably limited editions. Not in an effort to make it more valuable in the future, but because of the added personal value it adds to those that do own these unique, limited objects. In that light, I am a proud owner of this beautifully modest little sculpture that represents a great album.

Object No. 13 v2

Let It In

Let It In

Because I have had such a busy week this post is all I can find time for. I asked everyone on Twitter whether they wanted something moody or something sunny and every single vote went to sunny so I set out to find something sunny to shoot today. At the last moment of sun out behind the building I work at I discovered this tiny instance of spring poking its head through into a new year.

I realize the post work is a little heavy, this is clearly because I heavily blew out the sky to capture the exposure needed in the plant, it was a compromise. Many professional photographers will not use images with blown out sections of an image, mostly due to the fact that the edges of the photo have no edge if its pure white. Imagine a photo of a model with a white, blown out sky on a white magazine page. It gives off an amateurish vibe that you can see right through if you are savvy to the mistake and is one of those little details that go a long way to making a design look clean and professional. Same goes for making a darkroom print. If the sky in a negative is blown out and you make a print with a white border the edge of the frame is lost and it gets sloppy looking unless you burn the edges or dodge your subject to compensate. The ideal solution, of course, is creatively use lighting or reflectors to balance your exposure.

I cheated here in knocking down the white to a shade of grey and tinting the highlights to match the closest color before the blown highlights. These days I do all I can to avoid this mistake either by framing the shot differently, exposing darker than I want to and hoping I can pull information from the shadows without too much loss in detail, or abandoning the shot altogether. While some knock Ansel’s Zone System I feel having at least an awareness of different intensities of light and how best to utilize available light to balance an image is vital to maturing as a photographer.

If I saw someone else’s photo using this editing technique I would probably think less of the photograph overall, a double standard, sure, but its true. I often avoid being so heavy handed with post work but when circumstances leave me with no choice I just go with the flow, do what I need to do to make a passable image to share, as do many of us. On days like today when I could only spare a couple of minutes to sneak out and take a photo, I let my guard down and make conscious compromises for the sake of capturing something rather than nothing.

Honesty in post work aside, I hope its not as distracting to you guys as it is to me and you enjoy the sunny new desktop!


To whom it may concern,



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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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Thank you for your understanding and support!

-John Carey (curator, owner)