11am

Playing Favorites

Alright, the time has come and I have decided to make an iOS 7 Parallax wallpaper pack. Trouble is, the past couple of weeks have proven themselves all too full of work so I have had a limited time to kick off the process of collecting older images and cropping them again. I have also not fully settled on the cropping size. Apples own wallpapers seem to be set to a very specific size but part of me wonders if they are cut too close after a small amount of internal testing. So I either go with what Apple has chosen (744×1392) or go with a more broad approach (adding 200px padding on all sides 1040×1536) that may end up appealing to a wider set of mobile users anyway. Some of you guys are really picky about this topic so here is your chance to join in and let me know your opinion should you have one.

Many of you are clever about it and are just using the iPad versions on their phones and choosing where the phone crops the images. The lines are heavily blurred now as far as getting a clean, specific to the device crop because of the padding needed around the edges for this effect as well as the gentle zooming that occurs when you enter a folder. I am more inclined to rest on the side of caution and use the more broad resolution.

At any rate, the real reason I am writing today is to give everyone fair opportunity to tell me your personal favorite images here on 50ft so I can try and get your favorites into the newest wallpaper pack. While I will not be able to make EVERYONE happy I will do my best, as I always do, to narrow the selection down to well rounded set of images both old and new for you to dig through and enjoy. I will of course keep the clean aesthetic of iOS 7 in mind when I choose images. Please, use the comments below to leave any requests or comments on resolution choice.

I will most likely have two sets, one for the iPhone and one for the iPad. I hope to get them up within the next week. Sorry to keep everyone waiting but I think making sure I get it right the first time is going to be best for everyone.

Either leave the file name or better yet, a link to the post where your favorite was originally posted, thanks!.

John

Interview

I wanted to write a quick post to call attention to a post on BitQuill in which I was interviewed on a number of different topics. I tried to keep answers relatively to the point as I discussed the origin of the fifty foot shadows name,  my digital workflow on my mac as well as what use I get out of my iOS devices, some quick advice to photographers just starting out, and plenty more. It was fun to answer the questions Devir, the sites author, came up with and any of you interested to know a little bit more about me personally can check it out over on BitQuill.

I think this may be the first time I have ever had a reason to post a photo of myself on 50ft, I picked it from photos taken of me by my talented wife YoungDoo who’s work you can see more of on her daily photo journal here or her  growing portfolio here.

Type

Really Simple Syndication

The time is getting closer and closer to Google shutting down Reader for good and it’s about time I wrote to ask this simple question, where is everyone going to go from here? I just moved my RSS feeds on over to Feedly, at least for now, but I know many of you have other services you prefer to follow the web using. Would you like to see a fiftyfootshadows Flipboard magazine? A dedicated news feed on Twitter for new posts? A Facebook fan page type thing? Google +? Tumblr feed?

I would love to hear any thoughts or opinions on the services you use personally to gauge how best to move forward and make sure you guys still have a place to easily keep up with new posts as we move into a Google Reader-less future. As I continue to work on my long overdue update and refocusing of 50ft I want to be sure I don’t leave anyone out! While I don’t have time to support every service out there I am certainly keen to hear what you guys think. Feel free to use the comments to share any thoughts on the matter, thanks!

Quick addition: I am not out to replace RSS, not at all. I just wanted to ask everyone about their personal preference to be sure you are able to follow along here in your preferred format and to make note of anyone needing anything more than the RSS feed already available here.

Ywo one

Yesterday Was Only Volume Two

I realize April is nearly over which is a silly time to release a book of images from March but hey, I do my best. The newest edition of the printed version of Yesterday Was Only is now available. The previous version’s limited hardback run sold out but I have decided to keep the paperback on sale for three months after its release because many of you have been enjoying them and wanted to be sure anyone who may want to collect the series gets a fair enough chance to get the various editions. The book photographed above is the February Edition.

At any rate, March was a really great month for the project in my eyes and its now available over on Blurb in paperback and hardcover versions so head over and check it out.

Yesterday Was Only

Volume One

I’m happy to announce the first of what will be a monthly series of books containing images from Yesterday Was Only. I still have a number of things in the pipeline for 50ft as far as my shop is concerned but I wanted to get this going before too much time passed. To make them I have chosen Blurb to publish with at first for a couple of reasons including prep time and publishing costs. I have plans to publish short run of books myself in the future but for the simplicity of this project I am simply using blurb. The only downside of this is that I don’t get the quality checks and control I would by self publishing which is hard to let go of but due to the nature of this idea, I don’t mind letting go a little.

I have opted to use the Trade style book from Blurb which prints on a modest uncoated paper and has a nice size to it but with a smaller base price than their full on photo books. (I replied to a commenter below a little about why I chose trade over other things they offer.) I am offering two versions, softcover, and hardcover.

Hardcover books will cost $30.02, (not including shipping). I have not added any profit to the cost, this is just how much it is to make a book this size and variety with Blurb. I am only allowing FIVE copies of the hardback version to be sold.

If you would like me to sign it I will order the book and ship it to you myself after signing it. Due to the nature of the Hardcover edition it is not listed publicly, if you are interested, send me a mail and we will work out the details, no problem at all.

You can find the order page here.

That’s it! I will continue to post here and on yesterdaywasonly.net when a new edition becomes available, most likely within the first week of each new month. Enjoy!

callingall

Calling All

Over the past week of settling into my daily shooting and posting routine over on Yesterday Was Only I couldn’t help but think about all the other fantastic photographers out there that follow along with me here on fiftyfootshadows. As often as I am able I follow links left behind by commenters and often find a lot of great work. An idea popped into my head this weekend that I figured would be easy enough to get going so I wanted to toss up a quick post to get things started rather than putting it off.

I would like to collect links from anyone reading who has their own photography collection online. This could be a blog, a Flickr or 500px feed, or anything of this sort. My only rule is that it be a site full of original photographic content created by you, not sourced from elsewhere online. Simple enough right?

My plan is to collect and follow all of these feeds on a regular basis. Any with RSS I will be adding to my RSS reader for convenience sake.

Why am I doing this? Because I sometimes feel I don’t network enough online. 50ft is a bit of an island where I have always just sort of made up things as I went along. I don’t play much of the trendy link blogging games or actively run amok on any social networks. This is my way of reaching out to everyone following along, silently or otherwise. I plan on regularly keeping up with everyones output and potentially looking for guest wallpaper images among these pages. Something I would really love to start doing more regularly.

I am considering making this group of photographers into a bit of an unofficial network and including a page here on the site where everyone can have a place to find other photographers in the underground community but I have not really fully considered this just yet.

So hop on down to the comments, whether I know you already or not, and leave a link for me to add to my feeds. Don’t be shy! I greatly appreciate you sharing and look forward to seeing everyones great work.

Four

Yesterday Was Only

I’d love to meet someone who has never heard of Instagram. Wouldn’t that be some kind of miracle? An anomaly rare enough to realize you’re living your life the wrong way, that miracles do happen, that the world can still be unpredictable? At least that’s how dramatic of a notion it has become in my mind. Instagram has turned photography on its head. That’s not to say cheap DSLRs didn’t have their impact as well, especially considering the market exploded with young new talent thanks to them.

Interestingly though, original intentions of Instagram have long since vanished. Most people who take it seriously don’t even use the built in filter set. They use any number of other random editing apps to make their mobile phone images look interesting or emotional (a practice which was previously viewed as breaking the unspoken rules of proper Instagraming). From what I can tell at this point, however, the service is no more than a highly populated gallery these days. Well, this or a dumping ground for any random screen grab or funny thing users find online, but isn’t that what Facebook is for? I see nothing wrong with this behavior, it’s to be expected as it has grown far beyond what anyone had expected.

Part of the foundation of Instagrams popularity was in the “best camera is the one you have with you” movement. A nice enough idea in theory that many have taken to heart and of course the statement is true, but the idea goes deeper than that. The best camera doesn’t HAVE to be your cell phone because it happens to be with you. It could very well just as easily be an SLR, it simply depends on your level of commitment to what it is you want to shoot and the level of control you want to have while shooting.

I see a trend where people are starting to call themselves “mobile photographers” and they have two galleries set up, one on Instagram and another on a separate site where they show the “real” versions of the photos they took on Instagram… This happens the other way around too. Sometimes I find a nice portfolio of work on a personal blog only to be directed to Instagram to see the “mobile version” of the image. Is it just me or is this incredibly redundant? I can’t imagine going through the trouble of scouting out a great location and taking honest time and energy to find beautiful things to photograph only to pull out an iPhone to shoot it simply because that is where the trendy social network of the moment is? What kind of professional path could this lead you down? The only honest argument here that I can figure out is that by posting to Instagram you are doing so to be part of said community. Then again, as I mentioned in my previous article about the word professional, this is all irrelevant in the face of the simple joy of shooting so take my point of view for what it is, an opinion.

For me, personally, Instagram is a distraction. I have my fun with it but have never come close to thinking I would ever take it seriously. I have no interest in how many people may or may not follow me there, I do not use tags in any attempt to find more followers. I have, however, come across moments in the past when facing a nice photo opportunity where I would spend time thinking about weather or not I wanted to bother taking out my 5D or just use my phone. I realized it was making me a lazy photographer and it was this realization that lead me to think that I was clearly using this silly network as an excuse. I would convince myself in those moments that the photo was just a random snapshot, that it didn’t really deserve a real camera, that it was fine that I was just digging my phone out of my pocket rather than sacrificing the extra few seconds that it would take to grab my 5D, Lomo, or Contax T3.

Three

So here we are today with a new venture. Many of you have heard of people shooting one photo every day and calling it their 365 project, something I believe was born, or at least popularized, on Flickr. Funny thing now is that it doesn’t seem like all that much of a challenge anymore, not with the way things are today. Many have no problem randomly snapping off a photo or ten every day on and tossing them up on instagram for a quick fix. Who doesn’t love to see that little “so and so liked your photo”!

All that said, I am happy to introduce a new project which I have ambiguously titled, Yesterday Was Only. Simply put, it’s my new instagram. Of course there will still be times when I toss up snapshots over there because its fun to mess around with apps on my phone and it is a fun way to share bits and pieces of life with those of you who follow along. My goal in starting this new project is to stop the internal argument that it seems easier to shoot with my iPhone at times than it is to pull out my 5D and simply always reach for my 5D when something catches my eye.

“But John, it’s so time consuming, not to mention you have to pull photos off before sharing them and it’s so annoying to drag around a big camera everywhere.”

The time it takes is negligible. Having a few shots from the day that I pull off in the evening and toss up onto my new site hardly seems like a stretch, and this is coming from someone who leads a very busy life with little mental room left for anything new. As for the camera dragging. It’s really not as burdensome as you think. It only gets in the way if you let it, or if you baby your camera. My old 5D and I have been through years of traveling and environments and it has held up just fine. Having a nice fat camera strap certainly doesn’t hurt.

All in all, I realize I am being bold here in the assumption that I will be able to keep this up day after day. YoungDoo lovingly joked that I wouldn’t even make it a month. The fact is, though, that once I started shooting like this, once I made the conscious effort, I started noticing things around me again that I thought I had forgotten about or started to ignore. The way the light hits a wall at a certain time of day. The life hiding in the mundane, often overlooked nooks of my day to day life. Once I started shooting these in the past week or so I was reminded how many beautiful moments I come across and all I am doing is letting myself see them again, I am refusing to let them pass without honoring them with my ability to capture them and represent them to the extend they deserve to be represented because without me these details are born only to die seconds later and I figure they deserve better than that right?

Of course, some days it will be hard, my life deals me with some grungy, busy sorts of days and that is where the real challenge will come. In finding at least one beautiful thing even in days when nothing seems like it could be beautiful. I feel like I have started to let that part of me slip a bit over the past year or so and it feels good to re connect with it it again. So heres to new challenges, may it be fruitful and entertaining. Head on over, follow along, and we will see where we end up. yesterdaywasonly.net

P.S. – I can imagine the flood of “wait, these aren’t desktops!?” emails and messages. No, they are not but that doesn’t mean they won’t be. I plan on taking an image from each week to post here on fiftyfootshadows.net as a wallpaper for you guys to enjoy.

Spark

Holiday Spark (Ended)

Hello again, I have something fun for everyone today, like last year, I am having a little christmas giveaway! This time around it is a little simpler but still photography themed. I got up with the fine folks at Lensbaby and bought two of their Spark lenses from them to give away for the holiday. A little something to say thank you for your support as readers this year. I know there have been some slow months here and there but everyone has stuck with me through and through and I am, as always, incredibly grateful for everyone’s kind words and support this year.

This year actually marks the 5th anniversary of fiftyfootshadows! It launched in January 5 years ago after an equally long run with my previous site. It has come a long way since then and the future is still looking bright. I will have something fun in January to commemorate 5 years that has been a long time coming, just a bit more work to do before I announce it, same as usual.

So, back to the Spark, I think that in the past Lensbaby lenses may have had more of a reputation as toys, or gimmicks but over the last few years they have really stepped up their game offering a brilliantly simple system giving the ability to change out the lens optics for different uses. YoungDoo owns a Composer body with their ‘Sweet 35’ optic and I have really enjoyed messing around with it recently and would love to get my hands on the pro version of the composer with the 80mm optic they have available to see what I could pull off with their simplified approach to tilt and shift. One of these days. I had the idea to get a couple of Sparks for this years Christmas giveaway gift but had never previously used one before now.

I must admit to taking the liberty to opening up the Canon mount lens I am giving away to run through some testing the last few days while I was traveling. I didn’t want to give away anything I wouldn’t personally recommend and stand behind. You can see a couple of the shots below. So whomever wins one can say that I shot with it the lens you now own heh, you will surely be famous one day.

One

Two

I quickly fell in love with the simplicity of it, it was a lot of fun to shoot with! You simply grip the front of the lens as you line up your shot and pull it forward or sideways to focus. The double glass optic that comes with it can get surprisingly sharp but the one, single aperture will leave you either shooting at higher ISO’s or using it primarily in daylight. I of course wouldn’t shoot with one of these all the time but it sure is tempting sometimes just because it’s so fun to play with. At any rate, it’s a wonderfully fun lens to shoot with and I am excited to be giving a couple of them away.

So, here is the deal, these are being given away free of charge, no strings attached, just a simple gift to whomever wins one. There is one Nikon mount version and one Canon mount version here in front of me to give away. To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment with either the word “Nikon” or the word “Canon” to let me know which camera mount you use. Sorry to the Micro Four Thirds shooters out there! I will randomly pick from those who enter in each category and notify you via email to get your shipping info. PLEASE be honest, only put in your entry if you have a camera that can support the lens and only submit your name once. I trust you guys and I would love to keep a hold of that trust.

ALSO, I really hate to do this, really really, but I can’t afford to pay international shipping for this giveaway. Shipping from the U.S. has gotten rather crazy and it will apparently cost over $40USD. I have not yet been able to find a cheaper shipping method so before you jump down there and claim your place, if you are outside of the U.S. I will have to ask that you pay for the shipping via a simple paypal payment. Sorry for the inconvenience but it’s something I need to do.

I have another option that anyone can join in on. Anyone without an SLR to fit the lenses, or not within the US or doesn’t want a lens can enter the word “Print” in a comment below and I will choose one person from this group and let them pick any desktop image on the site and make a nice archival quality signed 8×10(12) print and mail it to you. Sound good? It’s something I will be offering for sale in the new year in limited editions but this will be a nice place to start.

Your real name is not needed until I ship if you win but I do for sure need a working email address which is only visible by me and emails are never saved or used for any other reason. I have no mailing list as of now. Let me know if you have any other questions of this nature and I will be happy to answer them. I will announce the winner on Christmas day, just head down or over or into the comment section to enter and good luck!

BONUS! The candy cane image above which I have lovingly titled “Sandy Cane” is also a desktop downloadable below. It was conceived as a backup plan if the tree image fell through but taking the opportunity to share it here anyway.

UPDATE: Thanks so much to everyone for their participation, I have randomly chosen 3 winners, Jason Jiang won the Canon, Ville won the Print, and Stephen won the Nikon. I will mail you guys soon with details.

where

Where’s John?

So, just where have I been lately? Posts have been scarce but for good reason. First off, I have been working on a structural update for the site that I have been planning for quite some time and suddenly had reason to jump in head first and see what happens. The only problem here is time has not been on my side as of late. July is typically one of the busiest work months of the year coupled by a large amount of paperwork and planning involved in getting YoungDoo stateside in the fall has filled my days beginning to end. But wait, that’s not all! I have also been in the process of moving into a fresh new apartment which has taken any extra time I may have had and hid it away from me.

The good news is that I have started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As things start to settle I will be able to start putting time into 50ft once again and work towards the fall and winter where I hope to make the site better than ever with a resolved focus and organization that will lay the foundation for the future.

I do my best to avoid writing posts of this type these days but I felt the slow posting has left many of you wondering what has been going on. I appreciate those of you who sent notes checking in on things! With any luck things should be back to normal here soon enough. Thanks so much for your ongoing support and patience as I navigate through life. Here’s to the future!

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

——

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