Most towns and cities around the world that I have spent a fair amount of time in have a few local spots that I find myself going back to for the sake of the reliable comfort they bring. A neighboring city in NC that I work in from time to time, Winston Salem, has a great local coffee shop called Krankies Coffee.

It is part coffee shop, part bar, part venue and even has a dedicated gallery inside for art unlike most coffee shops and their art above tables of laptop users. In the main room they also roast their own coffee so the place fills with the aroma of roasting beans on many visits. It’s a truly great spot I always stop through when I am in town. They have a satellite shop setup on the other side of town inside of an old retrofitted airstream camper which comes in handy at times.

The wheel in this photo is part of a home made bike rack outside of Krankies that is frequently full of bikes. Thought it would make a nice image for the bike lovers out there. The flecks of red paint on the spokes are what attracted me to take this shot, a detail that made all the difference in my mind. Enjoy.

Object No. 10

Object No. 10

I bought this music box in a shop in Europe years ago as I was thoroughly lost in daydreams and the mind numbing realization that there were so many places in this world to get lost in. Surrounded by unfamiliar walls and unknown languages it felt as though I would never run out of ways to get lost both physically and emotionally. The world felt infinite, comforting and intimate.

This was just before the hysteria of smart phones took over our lives. If I remember correctly, I was carrying the recently released first generation of iPhone with me which went mostly untouched during the trip. While it was a cool device, my world didn’t revolve around it, I didn’t feel the need to be connected at all times and share constantly to keep everyone in the loop. I simply wandered the streets of Paris, Vernazza, London, anywhere the train let me off, camera in hand, no expectations or specific destination, only a sense that the world could go on forever if I kept walking forward.

No matter how much time passes there are ghosts from these places where I felt lost that cling themselves onto melodies, colors, light, objects, anything. They wait patiently for their chance to appear and haunt my thoughts for a time. Some of them grow weak and leave me be after a while but others hang on tight, grip strong and steady as I go about my day.

The melody these metal prongs play is one which echoes in a white room with a door to any number of different outcomes. It was during this trip that I learned to never underestimate the creative power of being lost and the lasting impact it could have if I continued to take chances and never settle on anything outside of what I was honestly passionate for.

Living a life with risks and always staying curious enough to wonder what is around the next bend in the path ahead has lead me on amazing adventures and taught me valuable lessons about myself and the world we live in. It’s easy to fear that first step into the void but the regret of not taking it is something you can’t take back.



Unless you have been under a rock I am sure most all of you know Nils Frahm by now. A modern composer who’s compositions center around the piano but often drift into modern experimentation using synthesizers and creative playing styles that lead to some truly beautiful music. In his most recent release, long delayed on vinyl, he has released a set of live recordings as a means to closer connect his audience to the versions of his music heard at his live performances.

It’s interesting to see how a modern classical performer allows his music and compositions to evolve while he explored ways to perform them live as opposed to their original forms aided more by home recording techniques. These live recordings offer a look into the intuition and creativity he has as a performer and I love every minute of it. I could see this record easily becoming a long standing favorite over time and suggest you grab a copy of your own before they run out.

Object No. 9

Object No. 9

There is no reason this was shot on a bed. I was searching for a nicely lit space and it seemed like a perfect spot even though the scene and the object have nothing at all to do with each other. But maybe this adds something to the shot in a way, a subject and its location don’t always need to justify each others existence. Though sometimes a subject that feels forced into a location, like a model too obviously staged somewhere can cause an emotional separation that can be distracting.

Yet here we have an old wooden typeset letter stained in old ink from long forgotten publications and somehow it feels right at home in my bed. The displacement is almost irrelevant because of the calm, glowing afternoon sun and the mood it captures in our imagination as we spy on this letter over the edge of a blanket.

It may seem like I am reaching a bit far out here but this kind of exploration of a photograph is how we discover what we like about photography. Having an understanding of why we enjoy the photos we enjoy can lead us to a better understanding of our own photographs and those of others.

Looking back on my history with a camera, it took years of slow progression and growth to feel as though I was in control of my own style. At first I emulated others I admired then slowly started taking these inspirations and applying them to my own ideas and exploring new approaches and formats once I had a better understanding of what it was that I liked about my favorite images by others. It’s one of the most important steps of a photographers development but also one of the hardest to overcome.

Discovering ones style behind a camera is sometimes easier than we would think but often easy to overlook if your not paying attention, so keep an eye out and don’t be afraid to over analyze your favorites.

One Way V1

There Was Only Ever One Way Out

I held out as long as I could manage but one day recently I put on the first episode of The Walking Dead and have been thoroughly hooked on its dismal plot-line since. The mood of the show has sunk into my mind and, oddly enough, made me want to get out and go camping, get away from technology for a while. There is something strange in the way you are unable to get attached to any character because you can only assume anyone, no matter their significance, could be killed off from the plot at any given moment. I bring this up because when I posted these photos to YWO I had just finished an episode of The Walking Dead when I did my usual ‘first thing that pops into my mind’ way of titling images I was left with this ambiguous title that seemed fitting of the mood considering the lonely mood of these photos.

I shot them last week while I was out running a few errands and needed a photo for the day. I stopped by this abandoned rail road that I remembered was nearby for a few photos before the sun left the sky completely. I ended up with a nice series that I thought would make for good wallpaper pack, hope you guys enjoy them!

One Way v2

One Way V3

One Way V4

Object No. 8

Object No. 8

Heres an odd one. If my distant memory isn’t playing tricks on me, I got this Wienermobile whistle at a Ford Auto Museum long ago. I have no idea how old I may have been at the time, memories this distant tend to loose certain factual detail. For those who have no idea what they are looking at, this is a tiny promotional whistle which is the likeness of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, a vehicle that has seen a number of revisions over the years and still to this day gives out these whistles as far as I know. They even have a name, albeit an unfortunate one, Wienerwhistles. Interested in the history of these driving wieners, have a gander at the Wikipedia entry here.


Breakspiracy Theories Vol. 1

Malcom Kipe may not be a widely known name these days but in the heyday of the now defunct Merck records he released a couple of fantastic albums I consider to be classics in the realm of instrumental hip-hop. At the time, Merck was releasing music way ahead of the curve right along a handful of other small labels at the forefront of pushing electronic music forward in new directions. A few names off the top of my head that you may recognize who got their start in the Merck camp are Tycho, Helios, and MachineDrum. Merck may be gone but are certainly not forgotten to those who know the part they played in the evolution of electronic music.

Give Breakspiracy Theories a spin if you are in the mood for good old head nodding boom bap influenced hip-hop beats, some of my favorites from that era, right up there with the likes of perfuse 73, Daybre, Madvillain and others. Considering this was released back in 2004 I think it has held its ground well and can easily recommend it. The vinyl version was released in two volumes, which you can still find through Discogs, for reasonable prices but it’s also on iTunes and streaming services for those of you who have not yet been bitten by the vinyl bug.

Day One at work.

Day One Journaling

The great folks over at Bloom, creators of the best journaling software out there, Day One, reached out to discuss my journaling habits using their software in interview form on their company blog. I have been using it for close to two years now and have grown to really love it. I have lately been using it more and more as my go to app for most of my writing both personal and for 50ft related writing. Head on over to Day One’s blog for the full interview here.



East of the mountains North Carolina doesn’t see a lot of snow but from time to time things line up and we end up with a few inches on the ground. Last week saw the most snow we have had in ages and we took advantage of the weather and took a trip out to the lake to shoot around. Outside of one lone runner out on the trail we were the only ones who braved the slippery roads to head out. This lead to me having to dig the car out with a shovel after it got stuck spinning in place in an empty gravel lot near by but we managed to get back on the road eventually.

While YoungDoo had more luck than I did with her long lens I caught what I could and this shot seemed like it would make a nice desktop for those who aren’t totally sick of the snow or those down under where they may need a little cooling off in the heat of the summer. Either way, enjoy!

To whom it may concern,



• Enjoy the images! It’s a labor of love, thanks for your support!
• Share fiftyfootshadows.net with friends.
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• Post these elsewhere online.
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• Pass them around in mass.
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• 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)