Us

Three Years In

Life is constant. It breathes in deep and exhales long winded sighs of lucid relief. A warm, understated fluidity flows forward and we drift along doing our best to guide ourselves safely along. Because of this, we need ways to slow the movement, we need anchors to tie off to along the way. What are your anchors? Where do you seek comfort as the night moves in?

Me? For the longest time I left myself to drift, untethered. I let life carry me along as I slipped through blindfolded, that is, until I decided to open my eyes and allow myself to understand things about this flow that I had not let myself fully understand.

Joy is love and love is gravity. This is my anchor and I found that love, warm, heavy, and with a resonance that keeps me grounded in happiness. With it I am learning to balance myself and see things with a clarity that I only thought was possible in my imagination.

Three years ago today I married YoungDoo Moon and with a throat sticky with nerves and the newfound weight of an abundance of love I read the following to her during our wedding as a way to try to communicate how I felt with words:

Life brings us to unexpected places. It is infinitely complex yet unwaveringly simple. In this life I have felt so much and experienced a myriad of emotions and curiosities. I have seen the rise and fall of hope and love within me skip widely about the surface of my time here on earth and I have done so with open arms and a great, un-censored vulnerability that led me to both to moments of great happiness and of unbearable darkness.

As fate would have it, along this path, as transient and unpredictable as it has been, I have discovered something that has not only pushed me beyond my own self doubt and reservations, but has also given me the strength to transcend what I thought I was capable of within my lifetime. That discovery is you and the love you give to me.

Never have I felt so confident and capable as when you are by my side. You give me pride and a wholeness I never thought possible within myself, and for this, I love you.

For you, YoungDoo, my love is absolute.

It is, without question, the greatest feeling I have ever been blessed with and without it I would be incomplete.

There has never been a feeling locked away inside me that has been more pure, honest, and true as this love that I have for you. It feels as transparent and essential as the air I breathe.

You are my light.

The light by which I live and breathe and find happiness in all things. Together I feel anything in this life is possible and darkness will never again find me. I love you YoungDoo. You are my everything.

Of course, this is just as true today as it was when I wrote it 3 years ago while riding along in a busy subway train in Seoul a few days before the wedding. Struck with an exciting rush of inspiration the words flowed out without hesitation as though they were there waiting for me to pick them from the air. Happy anniversary YoungDoo, here’s to the years of joy we have yet to share.

Temple

Resonance

Arriving at the tail end of dusk we managed to get onto the temple grounds at a discounted rate. We slowly wandered up into the darkness as a large single bell started to chime in the distance. Methodically it rang, growing louder as we approached. Large and deep, the notes it struck contained harmonics that I could feel deep in my chest as it rung and faded into the dark night.

Not long after, from behind the closed doors of a temple nearby, a gentle light glowing from inside, the tap of a wooden percussion instrument and the chime of another bell crept out from the walls and filled the courtyard. A voice inside started to chant followed by a few others, slowly and to an unknown rhythm. The wooden taps continued, one, two, three… Louder at first and steady then trailing off as if a marble was dropped onto a cement floor; tap… tap… tap.. tap.. tap.tap.

The only other sound was the chatter of those I came with as they wandered further onto the grounds ahead of me leaving behind a stillness that caused my heart to feel as though it would break. The delicate ring of a nameless emotion resonated deep in my chest and left me feeling venerable and alone. Truth be told, I love moments like these and the way they create feelings unknown to description and fill me with a peace so absolute that I fear once they fade, nothing else will be able to compare to the impossible standards they set in place.

It’s rare to come across moments like these and I feel it’s important to hold onto their memory any way I can. In this case, with a photo and a frantic attempt to describe the cause and effect in words just after we left that night. When I came across the photo in my library this morning I thought it would be nice to share what I had written that night along with one of two photos I managed to snap in near darkness by setting the camera on the ground to steady it during a long exposure.

Adrift

All The Things

Here we are in a brand new year and what do you know, we are the same people as we were a few days ago. Always the same story with a slight variation. I may have no resolutions this year, but I do have resolve. Every new year is a reminder that time never waits for us to make up our minds, it just keeps on ticking. If anything, the new year is an excuse to reflect on how far we have come and imagine how much further we have yet to go. One step forward, a glance back, and we are on our way to any other day.

When I think back on 2014 as a whole I find myself lingering a couple of broad observations which are probably more relevant to my own personal viewpoint than that of your own.

One involves the wider spread popularity of a bespoke lifestyle. Discovering the best of the best has become commonplace for many of us. Sites and bloggers who feature their favorite affiliate links started to pop up right and left. Not that this did not exist before, I just feel as though it has reached a tipping point. The amount of ‘my favorite thing’ lists and ‘best of everything’ sites has given me pause coming into the new year as my eyes gloss over any best of lists I come across.

I once had a lot of fun seeking out cool new things all the time. Gadgets, tools, applications, clothing, accessories, anything and everything, it’s nice having the best of any one idea because you know it will last, and work well over time. Over the years I have refined my taste in every obscure corner of my life and I am well aware of what I like and why. A connoisseur of virtually every random menial task in my life.

The only caveat within the sustainability of this trend toward niche product categories is that by living a life surrounded by only the best things for any one need then eventually we will have enough of what we need and clever ideas start to seem redundant once we give ourselves permission to feel satisfied with things we already own. When we surround ourselves by want it’s natural to buy into it, even if on a subconscious level. The thrill of the hunt and staying hip and relevant is a carrot that will forever be just out of reach.

Lately the more I browse through cool new things online, the more it all blurs together. So, while I will admit am still a sucker for the latest and greatest I have caught myself becoming less and less interested in sites that constantly feature new products because it is starting to make me feel as though I will never catch up.

There is one other subject that I have been thinking about coming into the new year. I feel as though, in 2014, photography reached another period of convergence. Not unlike when digital cameras first started to be accepted as a viable replacement to our trusty old film cameras, there is no longer much of any distinction between photographers who choose to shoot with a “proper” camera versus those using ones attached to a mobile phone. The same goes for those of us who still choose to shoot and develop film, it is all a means to reach an end and in the face of digital post processing presets becoming what is more or less “digital film,” there is little reason to criticize any photographer for their choice of format. The only real difference can be found at the end goal of any photographers output whether that be a magazine cover, on a gallery wall, or simply posted to Instagram.

We are moving into a post format era of photography where what we shoot with is irrelevant in the face of ones personal vision. An interesting side effect to this has me thinking as well. There is such a huge amount of brilliant photography coming from all corners of the world that when I glance through highlights on VSCO, flickr, or Instagram It has become difficult to tell the difference between photographers.

I remember discovering interesting new photographers based on their distinct styles yet now we are so heavily influenced by one another and the tools we use are so similar that it’s getting increasingly hard to find such distinction between shooters. Maybe you’re thinking I have a jaded point of view, but you have to admit, it is getting harder to find photographers with a unique output. I admire artists who take chances. Those who find ways to express themselves by exploring what photography is able to help them learn about themselves and the world around them then share their findings with the rest of us. A thirst for curiosity, a gravitation toward wit,  a sense of awe for the beauty hiding in light and shadow; attributes such as these are easy to romanticize but surprisingly difficult to harness.

Moving into the new year, I look forward to exploring what it means to be a photographer in todays world and what it takes to stand out among literal floods of images that consume our minds from day to day. Is it possible to break free of the double tap instant like lifestyle and find honesty, curiosity, and awe in photography again? I have a couple of ideas that may finally see the light of day this year that I’m hoping will bring back a sense of connection between myself as a photographer and those who support my efforts and its an exciting prospect to see them through after endless planning and second guessing.

Sitting here a few days into the new year, finishing up editing these loose ideas together I already feel as though 2014 is an abstract thought, lost in the obscurity of photographs, stories, and hazy memories, heres hoping for a great set of new ones in 2015. Cheers.

(The image above can be found as a wallpaper using the links below.)

Time

Time Versus Inspiration

Sometimes it’s hard to find a peaceful enough state of mind to shift gears into creative thinking. It’s easy to read motivational quotes and seek out the advice of others making life and photography seem so damned dreamy and perfect but there is a simple, under published truth to the matter which is that it is not always that easy.

There are periods of time where I feel as though I am walking through thick mud, each step a long, focused movement and eventually my shoes stick in the mud along the way. As time passes things get messier as I stumble forward still looking to seek out beauty with a mind distracted by simply staying balanced and upright. A beauty that is so easy to idolize in retrospect or from someone else’s point of view who may not have been quite as preoccupied.

“Photography is about life, people, light, and chasing down the joy in discovering a vitality hiding behind each new story, moment, or shared experience,” says the collective hopeful and unafraid of the world (including myself at times).

I work in an industry that is unpredictable and my schedule shifts on the fly from day to day so free time often comes at unexpected junctures and it makes planning time off tricky. Some days I wish with all my being that I will find a creative spark hiding in between pragmatic thoughts of cables, video resolutions, or the shade of purple that makes a client happy but try as I might I often find no room left when my body is drained and ready to collapse at the end of a day. After which comes another next morning and I wake again trying to sort out a healthy balance between day dreams and the obligations of reality.

I’m writing today because I know I am not the only one who struggles to find time to set aside for creativity. Even with all of the hopeful organization and time management in the world there are still unexpected distances I am forced to navigate and this often leaves me combing through my destiny like a blind man feeling his way around a photograph. It’s slippery, and I often fear that if I can’t get a firm enough grip the whole lot will come to its inevitable collapse wherein I look back 10 years from now and regret not doing more to fight to keep my creativity alive and burning.

Yet, despite these fears, when the black is as black as it can get and my eyes can barely hold their own weight after a long day, I am sometimes able to find bits and pieces of my devotion to creative thinking tucked away in an old song that once moved me through trying times, in flipping through an old book of photos, or recently, among the pages of a good novel. The funny thing about the present or the uncertainty of the future is that yesterday is always there to remind me that no matter how far removed from times of unhinged creative freedom I may be, there is usually a way to unlock that door my mind and seek refuge.

It seems ironic that I am finding creativity in writing about a lack of it but this isn’t all that surprising. In facing something I struggle with using writing as a means of escape I often feel the muddy clot in my mind loosen and wash away. Writing often brings with it a certain degree of mental lucidity and an excuse to clear my mind of other stresses to focus on one specific task. It’s therapeutic, both while watching the ink dry on a page as I write by hand or in the hypnotic rhythm of typing on a keyboard. Gathering up the best words to describe a feeling often seems to reorganize my mind and refocus it so even at times when I have absolutely nothing at all to say I start writing words on a blank page in an effort to untangle my thoughts. An idea crossed my mind recently to try and write short fictional passages, tiny stories, as a means to clear my mind and nudge it into a creative space.

When it comes to photography there is an entirely separate set of complications in locating that “on” switch while my mind is lost in the shadows of a stressful mind. With photography I not only need to focus my eye to see light as exposure and shapes as composition but I have to be physically present within a beautiful moment. I have crossed this topic before on these pages and have been slowly picking away at a dedicated writeup for what feels like ages now. To capture beautiful photographs one must exist within beautiful moments. This is not always practical or possible when, for instance, I am back and forth within the same venues from day to day, I commonly run out of fresh places shoot and can not always afford the time to go exploring.

Inspiration is a fickle thing, and unfortunately life has no pause button, so one must be vigilant. I often think to myself that I am “doing my best” to accomplish the lofty goals that I create but I have recently been considering what my best really is. Any time I catch myself browsing around for a new pen, camera lens, or record I double back and imagine what I could have accomplished in the time spent “researching” for some future purchase to aid a future project. Daydreams are a blessing and a curse. Some of us live in the past, others are perpetually stuck in the future, lest not we forget the present for it is what dreams are made of. That is, if you’re doing it right.

I have come to discover that it is all too easy to overthink and in turn loose focus of the act of being creative due to that hopeless search for the best tools for the job. It is sometimes all too tempting let the idea of perfection get in the way of thinking creatively. Finding the perfect app, having the perfect workflow, using the perfect camera, these things can end up making me second guess myself all too often. Relax, simplify, and move forward. I can’t count the number of times I have felt pangs of regret for not focusing free time on chipping away at a project rather than planning for them. You have no idea how often I have the thought, “if only I could focus all of my time and energy to fiftyfootshadows, then I could do something really great,” forgetting that there is plenty I could be doing to facilitate forward movement if I didn’t do so much second guessing.

Which brings us back to time, oh time… so fragile and misunderstood. There is a heaviness to each second we live and the weight can feel opaque and haunting when we are too exhausted to focus on being happy, yet when we manage to get our sails set straight into to the wind it quickly becomes a breeze that cools our impositions and leaves us having to anchor ourselves down to keep from cruising right passed all the best bits. The only way I have come up to manage the curse is to be aware, even if that simply means stopping something important for a few seconds and taking one deep, satisfying breath.

I wrote this at first out of a personal meditation in DayOne so the conclusion may not be one of any grand opulent revelation. It did help me focus on a few things by writing out my frustration and observations though, and as mentioned above, writing can be surprisingly effective for cleaning out the cobwebs. Now tell me, should you have an opinion on the matter, how do you manage to stay focused and inspired amid stressful days? Feel free to use the comments or link back here from your own site with thoughts, I would love to hear them.

things

Things

While I wasn’t sure if I could pull off another holiday gift idea guide, here we are, a little late into the season but I found a few nice things none the less. I do my best to find things that are not already posted in every other holiday gift guide online. Like last years list these are things that I personally enjoy or would enjoy having around myself based on my own random standards. I have written up a little bit about each thing on the list and included links to either the company that makes the item, or a nice webshop that sells it. No affiliate links here, just sharing the joy.

My previous two guides are still just as fun and relevant as ever and can be found here and here. Follow the link below for this years ideas.

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ice

The Budget Hotel

From time to time I write something in Day One that I feel others may enjoy. This past weekend after a five day work run out of town I found myself driving south toward home knowing I wouldn’t make it all the way without falling asleep at the wheel so I started keeping an eye out for a hotel and thankfully just as I was having to shake off the exhaustion settling in, I found one. Below you will find the entry from the following morning, in two parts:

Late last night I stopped in an odd little motel simply called “Budget Inn” on the way back from a simple gig at a Frat party for an 80’s cover band. I came across a strip of hotels on a small highway in the middle of VA at around 3:30am and figured I should stop rather than risk an all night drive home. I checked in and blacked out after posting a photo of the room to YWO. This motel is the kind of motel you would start a meth lab in, or discover a weird murder in, or hide from the police. It’s the sort of place that you would imagine affairs took place and roaches secretly infest somewhere just out of sight. The skunk like stink from too many cigarettes burning through. But, it is what it is, and I for one am thankful for it because it was the only place around without a “NO” in front of the neon vacancy sign so here I am, well(isn) rested and ready to get out of here.

key

20 minutes later… Well, judge not… said someone, somewhere. I leave the room and realized that I actually slept quite well and remembered waking up noticing how firm the mattress was where as most of these types of motels are notorious for having the worst mattresses you could imagine. Ones which leave you sinking down to the floor and waking up with a curved spine. Anyway, as I walk toward reception to check out I have a flashback of the messy haired man who checked me in through a tiny plexiglass window late last night after ringing his bell a couple of times. Clearly I woke him and I remembered feeling a bit guilty about it. I step into the office and immediately get a kick back to my time spent in India. The room smells of Indian Spices, subtle but there, stuck to the walls like the stale cigarette smoke from the room the night before yet clearly a much more favorable experience. The same man walks out well composed this time and I recognize he is an older Indian man. Easier to recognize without jaded, sleep deprived eyes and a desperation to find a bed to sleep in.

With a little smile and a tilted head he asks if everything was ok and if I was checking out. “Yes, and yes, time to head back home,” I said with a smile. I thanked him and left the room. On the way out of the office to the van a cleaning man speaks up and asks, “did you sleep well?.” “Yep, sure did!,” I replied. He then goes on to tell me that many of the rooms had brand new mattresses in them. Which explains the more comfortable than I expected night of sleep I managed to get as well as the old mattresses leaning up against the outside of the motel which I had hastily assumed were ruined from a night gone wrong.

I have no idea why my mind was wading in such pessimism late last night. This constant stream of work and time away from home must have been getting to me. I am thankful though, to have had a reminder that even in shady places in the middle of nowhere USA, there is kindness and a certain level of acceptance that comes with the territory. Not all of us travel, not all of us have lofty ambitions and websites and iPads. Sometimes a slowly eroding motel in the middle of nowhere is more than enough and I for one am thankful I stopped through last night. Oddly enough, it has left me with a renewed sense of creativity and purpose. It’s so easy to loose sight of the simple pleasures and misstep in your assumption of others around you.

So, sitting here outside at a picnic table on this cool fall morning, watching locals mumble through their late morning at a gas station nearby, I’m sipping on bad coffee and watching a steady stream of large pickup trucks and boots with suits fresh from church filter in and out. There is a real beauty hiding here in the honesty of this moment and I plan on taking full advantage of it.

hanger

That Time Of Year

It’s that time of year again, for many of us, to share time and wonderful things with loved ones. In recent years I have grown fond of finding unique gifts for friends and family. Functional but fun, things that they may have not thought about or even knew existed prior to receiving them. Whats the fun in buying something for someone if they know exactly what it is they would be getting? Part of the joy is discovering something great and taking a chance on striking a note of joy in the surprise of getting something unique and thoughtful. Last year I had fun making a list of interesting gift ideas and while there are probably a million suggestions out there already I thought I would toss in a few of my own again this year. Seeing as nearly every christmas gift guide I come across online is full of exactly the same gadgety stuff I thought I would try to dig a little deeper with a few of these ideas. Feel free to suggest something in the comments below, I will add things if I find anything else interesting.

Oddly enough I found myself straying away from photography gear, the world has enough of it as far as I am concerned. Outside of a camera, and a good lens what else does a photographer really need? You can have a peak at my list from last year which has a few more photo centric ideas. I did toss in one idea related to photography but well get to that in a bit. This is not some amazon kickback link filled junk article written for clicks, I have no affiliation with anything here and none of the links are affiliate links. This is just a list of stuff I thought would make a great gift for just about anyone. Photos were pulled either from online shops or a google search, sorry for the random size and consistency there. Of course many of the shops I link to are US based, most of these products can be found elsewhere in the world as well. Follow the Read more link to get to the list.

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Sunset

The night of the wedding we were given a large three room suite as part of the wedding package high up on the 23rd floor. The view overlooked Seoul and what was forecast as a rainy day a few days beforehand ended up being a beautiful afternoon.

We had all of our friends over to the suite after the wedding for wine and finger food. As the sun began to set the many photographers, including YoungDoo and I, in attendance were all glued to the windows as an epic sunset rolled across the city below.

Time slowed and the sun and buildings seemed to sing to us. Even as the sun dipped behind the edge of the horizon the world seemed to be putting on a show just for those of us in that room. Lights around the city started to slowly trickle into existence and subtly mimicked the few stars in the sky that crept through the cities impeding glow.

One by one the guests started to leave until it was just the two of us alone among empty plates and wine bottles. Everything seemed so very quiet and at once I felt a calm fall down onto me and I knew something great had just taken place, something we would not soon forget.

Night fell deeper, the city grew quiet as a bitter cold wind started to echo through the streets yet I put my mind at ease because I knew that from that day forward, no wind would ever feel quite as cold, no room would be as empty, and my heart would, from that day on, have nothing left to fear.

Sorry, no desktop this time. I was posting this photo to flickr simply for the sake of sharing something new and as I looked at it before making it public some thoughts started to come to mind so I started to write the above. I was laying around here in our room and decided it may be nice to share it here as well because I know not everyone follows along on flickr and its something I wanted to share. Just a memory that was brought back to me through this photograph. I love that about photography. Its power to rekindle memories is uncanny and I am thankful to have the ability to capture things within my life this way. I don’t often get too sentimental here on 50ft but I figured why not share a little bit of the joy I felt that day with all of you.

xmas

All I Want For Christmas

It’s that time of the year again and many out there are scratching their heads trying to decide what to get a friend or family member for Christmas. Of course most of us seem to hint heavily at something specific I like to think that a good surprise is still alive and well within the gift giving spirit. I don’t particularly like the crazed rush and pressure that comes with the holidays but I do enjoy sharing and gift giving so I thought it would be fun to assemble a photographer biased list of things to consider when looking for that special something. I did my best to avoid anything too horribly obvious and included a number of fun film cameras.

Gordy’s Camera Strap

This guy makes amazing leather camera straps which are great for smaller and larger cameras alike. There are a number of options such as color and more or less padding to choose from and each strap is hand made and of the highest quality you could imagine a simple strap like this having. I bought one for my Olympus OM SLR and love it, its strong enough to leave the camera hanging from your wrist without worry when you need both hands and keeps your camera steady and safe otherwise. I love a good, high quality hand made product and this is one that excels. There is plenty of info on his site on different options and sizes.

Souldier Seat Belt Camera Strap

For those who may be a bit more traditional about their camera strap, these straps from Souldier are the best around. Sturdy, dependable and gorgeous. They come in 23 different colors so you have a lot of unique options and they are also all made to order in Chicago. There is also an option to add padding in the middle which is handy because it does keep it from being too slippery. The padding is not very pretty though as it is a simple grey foam like material. I enjoy having it there but others may like the smoothness of not having any padding. I have used a red one for years now it seems and always get questions and compliments on it. It has been one of my favorite accessories and the perfect step up for any photographer wanting to ditch that ugly branded default strap.

SuperHeads Wide and Slim Camera

These are cheap and a lot of fun to have around YoungDoo has been shooting with one for a good while now and I am always impressed with the results. It is about as simply as you can get, go out on a sunny day, point, and shoot. Load it up with any random film you can get your hands on and enjoy. If you know someone that enjoys playing around with different cameras this is a perfect new toy. The results offer a slightly distorted, wide angle effect as well as a nice contrasty, vignetted image. They come in a variety of colors so you can pick just the right one for the person you are gifting it too. A fun alternative to one of these would be a Juice Box Camera, seems childish but its super inconspicuous and a lot of fun to mess around with.

Lomo LCA+

Sure, its not the cheapest gift at $250 but these are among the best all, point and shoot film cameras out there. I think they have been given a weird reputation because of its hipster “lomography” upbringing but they have been around forever and for good reason. The results are vivid and unique and I think its a great way to get into shooting with film because it offers something different from a camera offering clean or tidy results all the time. I find that it does take a little getting used to the quirks of the camera but once you get the hang of it it can be a realy satisfying little camera to have around. I think this would make for an unexpectedly fun gift for any open minded photographer. Have a look at some of the great images taken with these cameras on flickr.

Gakkenflex

These can be a challenge but offer a fun, do it yourself, camera kit. They use 35mm film and offer a cool experience when putting them together as you see exactly how the camera functions. The photographic results are a mixed bag but you can get some cool images from it if you stick with it. Being a fixed shutter speed and aperture its another sunny day camera but its more for the experience I think, and this offers a great one. The original kit came packaged with a Japanese magazine and the instructions are all in Japanese but there are many guides online to help you out. Alternatively, you can get one with english instructions and different color options because a new company started to manufacture them again once they gained a cult like following, here.

Sunprints Cyanotype Cotton Squares

This would make a great gift for just about anyone. They are cotton fabric squares treated with a cyanotype solution which allows you to lay one of the squares out in the sun and place opbjects on top of it which will create an image based on the shadow that is cast onto the square. You then simply rinse the square in water and the image will be on the fabric permanantly. It is a lot of fun and I think it would be a fantastic gift for children or anyone who enjoys experementing a bit. I love messing about with these. There are different sizes and even colors available as well as simple paper versions which cost a bit less.

Zero Image 35mm Pinhole Camera

Know a photographer that likes to try new things? There is nothing more classic than a pinhole film camera and this is a great one. With its classic wooden body and brass knobs it’s a beauty and would be a great addition to any camera collection not to mention a lot of fun to use.

Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag

As many of you know already from my glowing review, I love this camera bag and feel it would be a great choice as a gift for any photographer not using a huge amount of gear. Keep in mind my note within my review about it maybe not being the best for someone with a smaller physical build. Otherwise you can’t go wrong with this fantastic bag.

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

While I don’t shoot with one of these I do think it would make for a nice gift to any photographer doing portrait work or simple commercial work. I have had my eye on one for quite some time now because I think it could be a quick, useful tool while out shooting to quickly get a handle on the white balance in post for those times when I want that extra bit of control and support. It’s a simple gadget that is portable and easy to use. You simply take a photo of the device before or during a shoot and use that shot as a quick refference tool to grab the perfect white balance for the situation at hand. Great for someone you know spends a bit too much time in post messing around with their white balances for every single photo.

Gossen DigiSix Light Meter

This is my favorite portable light meter. Simple and stuffed full of abilities for its size and price, it’s a great option for anyone looking to get into using an older manual camera or those who want to experement and have a tighter control over their exposures. The one thing that is a bit annoying about it is that there is no ‘off’ so the buttons get pressed while in my bag. The battery lasts what seems like forever so its not that big of a deal and the good totally outweighs this one quirk.

LensPen

If there is a photographer out there without one of these in their camera bag I have to question their sanity. Simple and cheap.

Soft Release Shutter Button

When you grip your camera to take a photo it can be more of a natural feel to let the shutter button rest on the first joint of your finger rather than bending your finger to point down onto the shutter release button. A soft release is a simple screw on button designed to give extra height to the shutter release and in turn let you hold your camera more naturally. This leads to you being able to hold your camera in a steadier position letting you keep still at slower shutter speeds. I love them and use one on my older cameras which have a threded screw mount on the shutter release. So for anyone you know using a camera with a screw mount release these make a great addition. There is a handy list on the site that they originate from telling you which cameras work best with which release button. They are also available here which I have ordered from a few times, a great guy runs the site.

Film Travel Case

I bought a few of these earlier this year and I love them, they are a great way to transport film. Both 35mm (without its original canister) and 120 film will fit. There is room for 6 rolls of 35mm or 4 rolls of 120 film, the only downside of the 35mm ability is that you really need to keep a full 6 rolls of film inside so they dont rattle around loosely inside. I still feel its a great accesory for anyone shooting film often and they are currently listed as clearance so they may not be available for much longer!

Round Corner Cut Punch

Seems a bit of an odd thing to add to the list but I think its cool. A simple round corner cutter that allows you to give paper a rounded corner. I love putting round corners on printed photos, it gives them sort of a vintage feel. Also useful for postcards or anything really.

A 35mm Film SLR

There are hundreds available on eBay as buy it now right around $100-200 with a simple 50mm lens. You just use your best intuition as far as which one you buy based on photos (make sure they are nice high quality images of the product), Seller feedback score, and an honest item description. I could easily suggest  an Olympus OM2 based on my own great experience, its a great sturdy camera and surprisingly compact for being an SLR. There are other classic options as well such as a Canon AE-1 or Nikon FM-2 which would give the photographer getting it the option of using the lens on their current DSLR should they already use a Nikon. Shooting with a film SLR is a quintessential experience for anyone wanting to call themselves a photographer.

If you have any suggestions for something photography related that is fun or interesting, feel free to leave any ideas in the comments below. Also, due to a number of requests, I have made the image above available as a wallpaper, see links below.

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!
• Share fiftyfootshadows.net with friends.
• Send me a quick mail if you are interested in using an image for commercial or personal use other than wallpaper.

DON’T:

• Post desktops elsewhere online.
• Share links directly to images.
• Pass them around in mass.
• Make prints.
• Use images for web banners or graphics. (send a quick email to ask, I’m pretty easy going about this with permission.)
• Use them in commercial work.

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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By downloading any content from fiftyfootshadows.net you agree to the following terms:

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.

I ask that you refrain from using any images found on fiftyfootshadows.net to create physically printed material of any kind. This includes posters, photographic prints, fliers, etc. Under no circumstances may you make a physical reproduction without written permission.

These rules also apply for any artwork or imagery submitted and shown within this site which was created by an artist aside from myself. Any images submitted and shared as wallpapers are the property of the artist who created them and in the same manner as my images, you are asked to receive permission before using them in any way aside from their intended use. Any use of these images outside of for your own personal use as a desktop wallpaper image is prohibited without permission from the author of the image. Commercial licensing is available upon request. Please write with any inquiries.

When sharing images via your personal blogs I kindly ask that you link back directly to either the post the image was taken from or the base of the website at www.fiftyfootshadows.net and give a credit to www.fiftyfootshadows.net. Do not re-post full resolution desktop images anywhere without permission. If you would like to use an image for your blog background or something of the sort simply write to ask first. Support the artwork you admire! Also, it is greatly appreciated if you do NOT link directly to the zip files. This is more or less the same as re-posting them as it circumvents the tiny bit of support I ask of you which is to simply link back to the original post for others to enjoy the site.

It’s not fair to artists if you do not credit their work and link back to the original content creator. It is theft plain and simple and blogs that attempt to somehow be mysterious by not giving credit to the creators are simply hurting the artistic community as a whole. If you love it so much then please, support it! The artistic community on the Internet is based on trust. Without trust then what do we have? are you going to be one of the responsible users out there or will you be among the bottom feeders, stealing content and passing it off as your own to make a quick buck in ad sales.

Use your best judgement and we will get along just fine.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

-John Carey (curator, owner)

fiftyfootshadows.net

fiftyfootshadows@gmail.com