Albino Santa

Christmas At A Distance

While the rest of the world I know back west anxiously gathers their wits in preparation for Christmas, I walk through the streets of a country where it feels more like a novelty, an afterthought, a coincidence. This has given me new point of view on the holiday as I usually know it. I have no tree in my living room, no presents to wrap, no frustration over having enough spare money around for gift giving or who I may forget in that process.

This is not to say I have no Christmas spirit. I love this time of year and the calmness it brings to family and community. I love the way it puts life on pause while we all take a collective sigh of relief, if not just for one day. Being away from the U.S. has given me a refocused perspective on what is so great about this time of year.

Holiday junk email is the only faint reminder of the madness and pressure of holidays back home. Suddenly, in unison anyone and everyone with something to sell is barking all at once and its noisy, even from across an ocean. The games big retailers play with consumers get more and more pushy year over year and distancing myself from that has been refreshing.

Personal observation aside, I hope you guys have a fantastic holiday this year, may it be joyful and give you a break from any stress you may or may have found yourself in leading up to it. It can be easy to get lost in the noise of Christmas giving but don’t forget that is not all there is to it. I will leave you with a last minute wallpaper, I finally came across something fun to shoot for the season, better late than not at all eh?

I found this cheap toy hiding in a tiny shop full of novelty trinkets both vintage and new from Korea. It has a multi color LED glow when you turn it on but I like the unusual look of albino Santa on his own so I decided to use sunlight to illuminate him instead. I photographed him in the entrance of a beautiful hotel we stayed in while traveling this past weekend.

I have more for you guys before this year is gone so I will see you again soon but for now, I wish everyone a joyful week!

BONUS: A lot of you already have it but here is a link to a Christmas themed 50ft Radio mix I made a couple years ago. I wanted to make a new one this year but ran out of time to put one together.

Frosty Morning
Guest Desktop

Frosty Morning

Back again with another fantastic guest desktop image. This time from a scrappy blogger many of us know and follow with baited curiosity, Ben Brooks of The Brooks Review. On occasion he shares his photos and thoughts on photography and this image caught my eye. I love how crisp and dreamy the scene is, you can feel the chill of the air as it hangs still like glass. The layers of vegetation are delicate and patient as the sun begins to rise, it’s one of those beautiful moments photographers are always on the look out for and he did a fantastic job capturing its essence. I asked him to share some thoughts on the image:

“There’s this nature reserve by my house — it’s an odd place — cut into the hillside with manmade buildings at the bottom. I drive by it anytime I leave the house and often I feel the desire to capture some of its beauty.

Fleeting glimpses are easy to romanticize as you tend to overlook the unsightly, the metal buildings in the back, the concrete benches.

On this morning it was bitterly cold, and even though I didn’t have the time, or warmth, I forced myself to stop. To look. I didn’t last long in the cold, but the stop was worth it. There’s nothing like trying to find an image while the brisk air fills your lungs.”

This is this kind of story I love hearing because it’s a great reminder that taking a chance and pushing aside comfort can often yield our best work. That little kick of adrenaline as you get excited over something truly stunning, that moment you know you have something special, there is nothing else like it. I loved the image and I am happy that Ben was up for sharing it with you guys as a wallpaper.

Six PLUS

Parallax Error

No, not that Parallax error, it’s another, more frustrating kind. I still get asked when I will release another pack of images for the new iPhones and I am finally one step closer in the right direction to make that happen. I simply could not bring myself to charge anyone for a pack of images if they were the wrong resolution. That said, I am pretty certain I have confirmed the default iOS wallpaper size for the 6+ to be 2706×2706. Unfortunately this is not the end of the story.

The benefit of having the default Apple resolution has been obvious since the release of the iOS 7 when they added the parallax effect. There is an apparent shortcoming or bug in iOS for the 6+ that is making any user set wallpaper look pretty bad when the home screen is rotated. To that end, the horizontal layout on the home screen seems odd to me, why does the lock screen not rotate as well? It feels like they were just trying to show off that the screen is bigger for some reason, I feel the OS and many apps still have a lot of refinement to do before it feels at all natural on this screen size but I digress, back to wallpaper.

When you set a wallpaper, iOS makes a copy of the image and saves it internally, this way if you delete the original, you won’t loose your wallpaper. The problem is that the file it saves is only adequate for a vertical orientation so when you rotate your home screen the image blows up and becomes horrible looking. Troubling! Apple’s default images always rotate perfectly because they are stored internally within iOS and maintain the correct resolution for the longest side of the screen when rotated horizontally, a technique first seen in the original iPad.

So I am banking on 2706×2706 as the resolution to use on the 6+ as it stands today. In my testing, which I will get to in just a second here, the amount of play while setting a wallpaper allows no wiggle room vertically when setting the perspective zoom to “on” any time I cycle that preference after moving the image while setting it I see it drift back to the same exact place vertically on the screen. This, to me, is indication that the resolution is in fact Apples preferred size though my testing methods are hard to pinpoint to an exact pixel size because of the high resolution of the screen itself. Still though, based on my digging online, this is the resolution Apple uses for their own wallpapers.

There is another, similar resolution that has made the rounds, 2662×2662, which is oh so very close to the results I have come up with while digging for copies of default iOS in images. Oddly, there is also a resolution out there which is not only totally wrong, but also the most commonly used, 1242×2208 (the displays scaled, working resolution). Then again, the same thing happened last time with parallax wallpapers on iOS 7 where one wrong resolution was spread as correct simply because it was the first viable option shared. Only until Apple fixes the bug will I be able to really sort out the problem fully but until then, I will stick with my instinct.

I have included a short video below to illustrate the points made here.

The music in the video is by DJ Q-Bert.

Just Because

Just Because

I have no idea where to start. Two weeks in and I feel like we have seen so much, been so far, eaten our weight in delicious food, and otherwise had a pretty great time but you have to slow down eventually right? Today is the first day in quite some time we have elected to have a slow day and catch up on photos and get some work done. I figured I would start things off with a classic, shallow shot because I know how much you guys love those. It was shot on a train late one night on the way home in Kyoto, the deep, earthy colors were hard to resist. I hope you guys enjoy it, I will be back soon with more where this came from. (iPhone 6+ users, have at this version, its my latest and hopefully last resolution tweak for these, I will add a new button to the design as soon as I can.)

street

Alive And Well

Hello! Long time no see! I am currently in Kyoto where YoungDoo and I are feverishly exploring every corner we come across on our long days of walking around. We will be here until the end of the week. I wanted to drop a line here and let you guys know I have not forgotten about 50ft, I have simply decided to spend time exploring and working on keeping up with my thoughts rather than dedicate the short time I have while traveling to posting here. Makes sense, right?

Trust me, I have been shooting plenty of photos and as soon as I am in more of a state of mind to start telling stories and cropping wallpapers I will jump right in and get things started. Perhaps when I am back in Seoul and things slow down a little bit! In the mean time you can follow along on my ‘Yesterday Was Only‘ photo journal which I am posting too as often as I can manage, as well as my VSCO page where I am adding a handful of iPhone shot photos each night as well as a few thoughts on the cool new journal page they have available. That said, I will see you guys again soon. In the mean time, enjoy the few photos I manage to get up each night before passing out asleep! See you again soon.

Seoul+Kyoto

The time has finally come and once again I will board a plane with and head off across the Pacific for a month and a half of travel. My creative spirit has been worn thin and exhausted recently and I am thankful for the chance to explore, relax, and hopefully reconnect with my creative side. I can almost guarantee that you will see more activity here as I travel,  I hope to use this as an excuse to get back to a more regular posting schedule as well as to get a few long standing goals set up for the coming year. If you live in Seoul or Kyoto and want to get together for a coffee or meet up while YoungDoo and I are there drop me an email! So, if I don’t see you again before I depart, I will see you on the other side.

Waning Fall

Waning Fall

Seasons are unique because you only get a handful of them in a lifetime. Unlike movies, music, or any other easily repeatable sources of joy, seasons come and go without offering any chance to get them back. If you live 90 years, you get 90 chances to enjoy the fall. Unless your jumping the equator on a regular basis I suppose. Logic holes aside, this time of year always has me considering the implications of not making time to enjoy the beauty of passing seasons or many other moments in life that we are only allowed to enjoy for a short time.

No matter how busy I get or how tiresome the idea may feel to a seasoned photographer, the beautiful transformation of trees in fall offers a perfect excuse to capture something beautiful in nature. This year I found my way to a spot I have visited during the fall in years past as well because of the beautiful late afternoon sun that graces the scene. Last year fall slipped by awkwardly because of a long summer but this time around we are lucky in this area and have had a few weeks of beautiful glowing colors. I snuck out for a few minutes after work one afternoon and managed to get a handful of classic shots of leaves in the afternoon sun.

A note on iPhone resolution. I am STILL struggling to find the correct iPhone 6 Plus resolution for wallpapers. I am nearly certain this is because of an issue in the software which treats imported images differently than built in images and thats a real shame. That said, I am trying a new one for now which looks good enough for me for now but my search will continue on and I will be putting off a big wallpaper pack until I am happy with the resolution. I don’t want to sell a product that is broken, it makes no sense at all. So let me know if you have any qualms with this resolution and I will see what I can do for you. Otherwise, enjoy the new wallpapers!

Waning Fall 2

Waning Fall 3

Waning Fall 4

Desert Sound Colony

The Way I Began

I have been snatching up way to many great records lately, this year has seen a lot more great releases than I had expected, its been hard to keep up with all of the stellar music making its way up from the underground.

One of many recent favorites is this EP from Scissor & Thread, ‘The Way I Began’ which is, as far as I can tell, the debut from Desert Sound Colony. It’s a relaxed and subtly danceable collection of songs softly sung and glued together with head nodding rhythms. The music is reminiscent of the dreamy landscapes of Darkside and other electronic artists charting new territory in subtle electronic music. I can’t wait to hear more from Desert Sound Colony as time goes on, as it stands there is not much to go on as far as the history of the artist but well let that slide this time and let the music speak for istelf.

Available here (US) or here (Europe) on vinyl. Digital version also available through that first link which is his band camp page. Artists homepage here.

Check

Check One

Hey there guys, I know its been all too quiet around here since all the excitement of the newest iPhones hitting the market. Over the years I have offered packs of wallpapers when there are new changes to iOS resolutions and I don’t plan on this one being any different. I am planning a nice pack of updated wallpapers for the new iPhone 6’s big screens and once the pack is out all new wallpapers in the future will also carry these resolutions. Looks like I will have to offer 4 iOS versions of wallpapers now. So it goes. Just need to sort out some adjustments to my download button code.

The delay in its release is simply because I have been swamped this month with work. This post is my test post for the new resolutions. I am also including versions with test boxes using the same technique I used to sort out the original iOS7  sizes which was super confusing at the time. Thankfully there are a lot more people out there sorting these things out this time so these resolutions should be pretty spot on I hope. The resolutions I am using are 852×1608 (iPhone 6) and 2662×2662 (iPhone 6 Plus).

The wallpaper buttons below are for existing iPads and iPhone 5/s/c. Here is a link to the iPhone 6 version, and here is a link to the iPhone 6+ version.

Here are the versions I made for testing, may as well share them too eh? SIX test. SIX+ test.

If all goes well I should have the new packs out soon, thanks for your patience! Also, while you are here, why not let me know if there are any old favorites that you would like me to include in the new packs. Unfortunately I am unable to convert my entire wallpaper library but I will be sure to make a nice well rounded set.

UPDATE:

OK guys so I have tested a couple different 6+ resolutions and still have not found one that matches my expectations and I am almost certain they are not correct. I am 98% sure that the iPhone 6 res is correct though. Being the perfectionist I am when it comes to this I would much rather get this right the first time around. I found a friend in town that is willing to help me out by letting me use a tester 6+ he has available so I can mess around with my own ideas and see what I can come up with this week. Hang tight. We will get there. I am just as anxious as everyone else to get the new packs up and live!

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.
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• 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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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.

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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