Fifty Foot Lifestyle

Update: I have mailed out messages to the winners of the tags at this point, thanks so much for your kind words and for the interest and support of Fifty Foot Shadows!

Time to reflect and then give something away! I know its been quiet around here this year. My creative side has been on hiatus as I switched tracks for a while to contemplate a life more dictated by priorities. As with the end of any year, I have been looking back as well wondering what the next year will bring. Life will only get bigger as more important decisions are put on the table. My hope is that I can find a happy medium between obligation and creativity because inspiration has been flat as of late but I am looking to renew trust in my abilities behind a camera and start shooting more again.

In the new year (or sooner if I get the pieces together) I plan on announcing a long considered and way overdue subscription service here on 50ft to bring a couple of new ideas to life and shake things up around here. There will be a couple of levels to the service that I will detail when I make the announcement. Among other things, this has been something I have been making notes on and hoping to get off the ground for over four years now. I really can’t wait to get it off the ground after so much needless planning and second guessing. It will provide a perfect launch point for a renewed focus and drive.

For now though I wanted to do something fun for the holidays and give something away to a few of you. I came across these cool custom made brass tags online and knew straightaway that I wanted to have some pressed to share. I love this sort of humble accessory and so I had five of them made to give away for the holidays (six total so I could have one too). I don’t plan on making any more of these in the future so they are a highly limited edition keepsake from the land of fifty foot shadows. They work as a handy keychain accessory, zipper pull, or anything at all you may want to hook them too. The letters are hand stamped into the brass tags so it should last for years as long as it’s not lost.

I think the best way to give these away is to simply use the comment section again, leave a note below and in a couple of weeks I will randomly grab a few names and contact you via email to let you know that you won! Simple enough right? I will mail them anywhere in the world so there are no limit to who can enter. I know it’s a modest gift but I wanted to show you guys that I appreciate you, even if in a small way. As always, thanks so much for your support and generosity. The future is bright!


Tis The Season

The chill is settling back in, albeit slowly, the trees have mostly shaken off their leaves for their poetic yearly run as the living dead, and thousands of little lightbulbs are starting to light up around town. It could only mean one thing; Christmas is near. Like a candy cane stripped boulder blocking out the sun, its hard to ignore. I had written a long few paragraphs about the way I have seen this holiday evolve through my life but it ended up feeling a bit too dark so I’m going to keep my musing short and to the point.

Don’t feel burdened by this time of year, life is way to short for that. If all you are going to buy for some distant relative is a random Sharper Image disposable novelty then maybe just consider a card instead. Expectations and obligation should not enter into the equation. Maybe listen to the words of the endless holiday songs you will inevitably hear and remember that this time of year can be truly joyful if we focus on the love and happiness of family and those close to us rather than the pressure to buy anything and everything that’s cheap or on sale because you think you have to. Balance.

Rhetoric out of the way, I have made a few gift idea posts in the past and people have always seemed to enjoy them so let me take a moment and point you back to my previous entries here, here, and here, because as far as I know many of the things on those lists still exist and they are still great ideas in my book.

I took some time to add to that growing collection again this year. Not an extensive list and some items may seem old hat, but there are a number of things I have considered writing whole posts about here so this has been a good excuse to share some cool stuff I use every day and think others could find handy as well. Anyways, I do hope everyone is entering the season in good spirits, have fun out there! Follow the link to see the list. (more…)



Speaking of memory, heres a photo that fills YoungDoo with thoughts of her childhood. As I was editing this down for a wallpaper use she immediately recognized the tree and landscape behind it as her childhood home in a small town in South Korea and started rattling off memories of the space distant in her mind.

The ability of a photograph, new or old, to pull forward and organize thoughts is amazing to me. No matter how many photographs are captured in today’s society with its abundance of mundane snapshots, there is still plenty of room to creatively capture our lives and the things we come across as a means to inspire and cultivate an emotional response from friends and strangers alike. I could swear I have said this before among these pages, but photography truly is a gift and it can be so incredibly rewarding if you take the time to treat it with the respect it deserves and requires to sustain a place in our lives for generations to come.

By the way, enjoy the new desktop! I have been using this one myself for a week or two and thought it was time I get it out there for you guys. See you next time.



I have been digging through old photographs a lot lately and it has reminded me of one of my key motivators to pick up the camera every morning. To remember. There is not a day that passes where I don’t fear it will go forgotten completely if I don’t do at least one thing to remember it.

Too many days pass by well under the radar, may as well try and discover something worth remembering in each day. Give it some meaning, even in such a small way. The simple act of noticing something beautiful is often enough to leave me feeling satisfied.

Time is clear, distinct, but far from patient. Being able to cheat the system and look back on forgotten days is a self motivating pattern. A way to remind myself that every day offers something to look back on and be thankful for and in that, photography is an inspiration palindrome. Or something.

While poking around for a new wallpaper to share I came across this image shot in Korea earlier this year. We were walking to one of my favorite little coffee shops in Seoul, Coffee Kitchen, on a bitter winter afternoon and out of the blue one cross street had the bright, blinding sun setting down between buildings calling out for my cameras attention. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the last taste of sun that day back in January.



Swift and unperturbed, the wind took this day hostage and left a blanket of brown and green in its wake. The fall is creeping in, giving us a peak into the coming months of cool days and rest. The past couple of weeks of calm, grey weather is feeding my desire to create. It’s comforting to me, means its time to start getting cozy as the colder months blow in and I can’t wait.

I’m starting to notice the distant call of words, photography, calm music, and artistic expression off in the distance and thought it’s high time I made my way back to these pages to share with you guys. I look forward to digging into the fragments of work I have around from these past busy months and get the ball rolling around here again. Hey there October, good to see you. Lets see where this fall takes us.

Mums v1


Sunlight has been little more than a long lost memory around NC as of late. The dismal weather we have been having was refreshing in my book but I think I am in the minority there. Just before the rain rain YoungDoo bought this flowerpot full of mums to welcome the coming fall weather.

They proved to be a colorful reminder that not everything was all grey and murky through the storms and on lighter, hazy days, charming little drops of rain would collect among the flowering plant. I took advantage one day as I was leaving for work and snapped a few photos that I thought would make for nice wallpapers for anyone else who could use a subtle reminder on a cold gloomy day. Enjoy!

mums v2

Winding Down

Winding Down

Summer is fiftyfootshadows Achilles heel, often leaving my posting schedule moving along at a snails pace. My work as a live audio tech is always the most packed through the warmer months as I keep busy either out in the field or in the office handing advances for upcoming events. This has left little to no time for my creative mind to stretch out and share and explore with you guys here which always ends up bumming me out and to compound the issue further I have slowly been taking on more and more of a workload this year which has made it even harder this time around.

That said, I have a folder here on my macbook that I have been gathering possible images to share, even a handful of drafts for future write-ups, and a couple of new radio mixes that have been on the back burner since spring! Looking ahead I see work lightening up somewhat and my mind is starting to let itself feel hopeful that I can start hanging out with everyone here again. It’s an exciting prospect because I always miss it when I am away for too long.

So, while I’m here today, between morning and loading up a system for a small event this afternoon I thought I would jump in and get a new wallpaper up for you guys. Something for these lingering summer days as we ease our way into the cooler months. I hope everyone has been well and I look forward to getting back to more regular posting soon!



When naming images I more often than not play a quick game of word association, I pull up a photo with a blank mind and the first words that come to me become the title. Sometimes it manages to be clever, other times mundane or downright boring and nonsensical. At some point along the way I discovered that this quick spur of the moment naming method helped guide me to discover patterns hiding inside my photographs. I would see images I wanted to share and the first words to pop in my head were identical to words I had previously affiliated with other images. Common threads started to form in my shooting and I realized that I was slowly building various bodies of work based on these loose, subliminal ideas.

One of my more common tropes became, “Any Other Day,” which I have attached to a number of images through the years. Often images playing into the idea of a common scene that is often overlooked or forgotten. An exhausted, usually over embellished idea for many photographers but one that I have repeatedly come back to because it always interested me.

I took the image above a few days ago in Durham, NC while getting some coffee, probably the only image I took that day if I’m remembering right. I discovered it after importing recent photos and felt it would make for a great wallpaper. It seemed to hold a familiarity with with a hint of a story and a just enough kindling for daydreaming. When I opened up the file and cropped it down the save dialogue sat there, staring me in the face, as it always does. A blank, almost hopeless stare on its face, waiting for me to sort out a name for my new post before I could move on. So then, as always, the first word that came to mind, Anywhere, and here we are, collectively reading, everywhere and anywhere, sharing this one sunny corner of a coffee shop together yet apart. Seemed fitting to me. Enjoy!


Welcome Home

Wherever you go, there you are. Home is an idea as loose as time, wedged between comfort and a sense of belonging. It is tied tightly around happiness, bound to its ease and lack of worry. Home is where you find yourself being nothing but yourself. No protective layers, defensiveness, or need to be afraid. Home is love, home is friendship, home is anywhere.

I often discover that I feel most at ease while traveling. Feeling lost is the most clarifying experience I have ever come across. Freedom to be myself, no need for fear, anxiety, worry. On our recent trip to the outer banks we stayed at a beautiful little Bed and Breakfast style Inn which ended up being one of the most humble, easy going experiences I have ever had with an Inn or hotel. Respect among fellow guests is assumed and understood. There were no down payments, no locks on the doors, just simple courtesy and trust which put me at ease enough to shake loose some of the anxiety work has been bringing as of late and let me notice things around me for the first time in what felt like ages.

Sunlight, precious and fleeting, cast shadows throughout the day into the rooms of the Inn and gave me pause more often than I can remember. Gentle breeze brought them to life as the shadows of leaves and curtains danced on the floor. It was a beautiful stay and we won’t hesitate to return to the same Inn the next time we are in Ocracoke. For anyone curious the name of the name of the Inn is The Crews Inn and you can find more information on their website here.

I hope these photos pass along the feeling of calm I felt in this space and bring a little peace to your day. As maddening as the world can be at times it’s nice knowing there are still places of calm out there, waiting to give us a needed break.







To whom it may concern,



• Enjoy the images! It’s a labor of love, thanks for your support!
• Share with friends.
• Send me a quick mail if you are interested in using an image for commercial or personal use other than wallpaper.


• 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 you agree to the following terms:

All of the images contained within this website,, 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 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 and give a credit to 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)