A Little Something

I always like to give away things this time of year as way of giving back to everyone that has shown their love and support for the site, even if in a small way. I couldn’t quite raise the extra money needed to get what I wanted to have made this year so I decided to pack up three five envelopes full of the latest five images included in the 50ft Print Club series and send them off to three of you at random.

I figure the fair way to do it is have you leave a little comment below on this post, anything at all, your favorite emoji would work just fine. Then sometime around Christmas day I will pick three randomly and ask for your address to mail them off to you! Simple enough right? Don’t forget to leave your email in the comment field, it’s not listed publicly and of course I never use emails from comments otherwise. Thanks so much, good luck!  🙇

While Winter Whispers

One of the reasons I love winter is because it is such a great time for music. The cold, subsequent raise in time spent inside, and shorter days causes music to take on a different feeling altogether. We start to feel more sentimental and introspective in the winters stillness. At least in regions that have a significant winter I guess. Suffice to say, seasons cause us to contemplate life differently whether we realize it or not.

One of the tale tell signs of this time of year being upon us outside of the chill outside, is the emergence of holiday music reigning over the airwaves as if holding us hostage. Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually love all the classics, digging back through lesser known b-sides and unique takes on holiday music is something I always enjoy this time of year but sometimes its nice to break away from the endless rinse and repeat that we hear while out living our lives this time of year and that’s where Lullatone come into play.

Lullatone is a project by Shawn and Yoshimi Seymour who are based in Nagoya, Japan. I have followed along with Lullatones output since waaaaaay back in 2003 or so when I came across their first album on a small indie electronic music label called Audio Dregs while working at a college radio station. Their music defines the word charming by using a minimal approach to production, melody, and scope. It is simple music that always manages to bring me joy when I listen along.

Which brings us back to the winter and more specifically an EP of songs they created during the winter of 2014 called While Winter Whispers. It is part of a series of seasonal releases in which they did their best to capture the essence of the different seasons. The music is sentimental and heartwarming, the perfect companion for cold winter months. I recently rediscovered the EP because YoungDoo started using it as Milla’s sleep time music.

I love the way they describe the music:

“Here are some songs we made for winter. We think they might make a nice soundtrack for:
-watching your breath come out like little clouds
-catching a cold
-revisiting a book you’ve already read (or were supposed to have read at school)
-warming your hands on coffee mugs
-pulling a scarf all the way up to your nose
-soup
-“old people hobbies”
-hibernating”

Easily worth your time to check out this release as well as their entire discography if your into it, the music is available on most streaming services as well as BandCamp. To learn more about them check out their website which details the work they do with music, as well as listen to years of their output. www.lullatone.com

Speaking of which, this year they have been making little “one-minute concerts” that I have thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. The world could surely use more of this kind of subtle joy so I wanted to share a few here in this post as well as an embedded version of a cool music App they made with another artist. (If your reading this in the main timeline, follow the jump below to see them.)

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Atlantic November

So, turns out, up here on the northern hemisphere, snow is starting to fall as winter settles quickly into place. About a month ago I found myself working along the chilly coast of South Carolina in the late fall and while I did not have much of any free time to wander and take photos I did take the long path around the hotel grounds as an excuse to snap a photo here and there. I was lucky to find this charming old fence among the dunes to use as a subject and while the beach is not particularly a holiday greeting card kind of December image to share, I thought why not share a little sand with everyone anyway because we all have different versions of what makes this time of year special to us or not so who am I to say all I should be posting this month are photos of Christmas lights and other such paraphernalia.

You can find download links below, if you are on an iPhone X, rumor has it that iPad size wallpapers work wonders on these new devices but I have not had a chance to do any official testing myself I may sneak over to an Apple Store at some point to try some test files out. I’m one of the odd geeks out that chose the iPhone 8 this year rather than the talk of the town face ID phone. At any rate, I will see you again soon, I have some more planned to post this month if all goes well! In the meantime, Enjoy!

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Things 2017

It’s that time of year again. To celebrate family, friends, common bonds, and I suppose to many of us, new stuff. It’s my personal belief to look for gifts that could be useful, unique, or at least not set aside and forgotten a month later because in that case, whats the point? I you have to ask someone what they want for Christmas then you’re doing it wrong.

If you have no ideas maybe just give something tasty rather than guess and buy someone a cheap something that won’t matter a week from now. Disappointment this time of year is a selfish feeling, wasted energy and its important to remind each other that the joy of this time of year is not in the biggest box, its in the quiet time we get to have with one another, right? Right.

This won’t be the last time I post this month but let me just say, I hope you all enjoy the season and if your not able to then I hope you find joy in some small way. It’s so important for us all to remember what we have in common rather than how we are different from one another and the holiday season is a great time to exercise that.

At any rate, for several years off and on I have written up a little gift suggestion post. Things I think are unique, fun, or overlooked but to be honest, it’s getting harder to make these lists. I don’t lead the most minimal life out there but I like to find products that will last and add something true to my life, so when I think about gift giving I try to consider things that could be more than fleeting. That said, the list this year isn’t as long, I kept coming up with ideas that I had included in previous years lists already. Maybe worth noting that none of the links below are affiliate links. Well except for the first one ;)

50ft Print Club Print Club Gift Subscription
After discovering a few subscribers to the 50ft Print Club had given the membership as a gift I decided it may be nice to offer up a single year subscription as an option. You can visit the original post on the Print Club for the back story but the basic idea is that each month I pack up a 4×6 print of my choosing, a letter that talks about the print, and often a little hand written note. I put it into an envelope, add a stamp, and send them off to subscribers. It’s a nice little collectable, a surprise piece of snail mail each month, and a great way to support what I do here on the site!

I am nearly to the end of the first year of prints in the series so I will start any purchase of this officially in January but will also send along one for December as well so you have a little something to show for the gift. Because of the one time purchase nature of this the digital bonus stuff from the Standard memberships won’t be included, just the prints. Think of it as a scaled back, simpler version at a discounted rate. Speaking of the rate, this single year cost may or may not see a little rate increase after the holidays, depending on how this goes, it’s a bit of an experiment. Also, please, feel free to spread the word if you know of any 50ft fans out there that may be interested. Thanks so much! Here is a link to the Regular 50ft Print Club/subscriptions as well as the new gift subscription and Tip Jar or directly to the 50ft Print Club Gift Subscription here.

Now, onto the rest.

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Past Is Present

Boards Of Canada was on when I was cropping this image so fans will know how the title drifted into my head today. I remember seeing this mossy fence on the edge of a pathway at a mountainside temple near Kyoto. The air was cool and damp and the temple was quiet after we arrived late in the day as most everyone else was on their way out. Somewhere in the distance a drum was echoing out through the grounds. I remember the small town outside the temple as well and how slow it felt as we waited on a train to arrive. Thinking about it makes the stressful day I am taking a break from by sharing a new photo feel a little more calm. How to hold onto this feeling is the real trick.

This is one of those images that was tricky to crop for a vertical smartphone because there was not quite enough empty space to fit the center column in there but I did my best. The full desktop size is lovely though. Hopefully it will bring you a little peacefulness as well should your day contain more stress than relaxation. Downloads below, enjoy!

Loss

I have been seeking out and listening to ambient music a lot this year, it’s kept me grounded. In this space the label 12k has been releasing ambient gold all year. In fact, this is the second “now spinning” post in a row featuring one of their albums. They recently released a new album by Marcus Fischer, one of the modern kings of dreamy, introspective ambient music and I have been coming back to it time and time again lately.

What I admire about ambient music is that it is such a broad genera sonically, it has no rules, no collection of senseless subgenera classifications (outside of a couple maybe), and no pressure to be the hot new sound. It can be electronic, it can be acoustic, it has no boundaries and I love that.

My personal favorite ambient music explores sound as a means to amplify emotion; a protective shell of sorts that gives life unexpected weight and a sense of warmth. Music that feels honest and from the heart. Marcus Fischer’s latest solo release simply titled “Loss” encompass all of my favorite things about ambient music perfectly.

The music here is achingly beautiful and organic. It manages to merge seamlessly into my life at home while it spins on the record player, or in the background of my life while out at work through my headphones. This album centers my thoughts and gives a backdrop to contemplation. It’s perfect through and through.

The notes and melodies feel like distant memories played through an old radio in environments lost in time. The recording style and mix give the music a dream like quality making the collection feel like an artifact containing audio recordings of overlooked moments; shadows cast through leaves, light reflecting off of water, the moon lingering low on the horizon. Life often feels like chaos to me and recordings like this give it focus and provides me with a chance to seek out meaning and beauty in the cracks between the obvious.

Weighty, possibly pretentious description aside, this music is beautiful and makes the environment it is played in feel that much more inviting and whole, something we all could use a little more of today so if that sounds like something you could use I highly suggest picking up a vinyl copy or seeking it out on your digital service of choice.

Outlook

One afternoon YoungDoo’s sister and her family took us on a drive outside of Seoul for some time away from the city. One of the spots we visited was a cool little art gallery/cafe/shop/theater complex next to a huge lake, sorry I don’t remember the name. Before we left I knew I wanted to sneak over and take a few photos of the lake and mountains in the distance but upon walking up to the edge of an outlook the overgrowth of plantlike at the edge of the trail caught my eye.

This one wispy vine took off above everything else and I knew I had found a take on this landscape other than the landscape itself. I often find myself in this same position, gazing at the grass instead of the view. There is so much hidden in the foreground of our lives that is easy to miss or ignore. That is to say, don’t forget to check out the forest through the trees while you are out exploring.

Links to a wallpaper cut can be found below, HD version is in the usual members downloads spot. Enjoy!

Cafe Yaang

After visiting Korea again I realized it was the 6th time I have had the opportunity to spend time there. Unlike previous trips this time around felt like a “Greatest Hits” sort of visit where I did not have as much time to wander around lost so I found myself gravitating to my favorite old spots, hoping they were still there because so many shops and cafes have short life spans in the crowded marketplace.

Among shops I was surprised managed to hang on was this gem of a coffee shop called Cafe Yaang. Tucked away in a small 4-5 block area full of small independent shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. It was a pleasant surprise to see it held on while many others in the area vanished since my last visit.

Cafe Yaang is my favorite kind of little Cafe, full of modest charm and understated ambience making it a cozy place to relax in for a while. I did my best to capture the simple charm and calmness of the space with these couple of photos and thought they would make for equally cozy wallpapers. Links below, more to come but for now, enjoy!

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Summer

Summer is full of traditions passed down through generations of youth culture. When I think of this season what comes to mind as an adult is the heat and long days working outdoors but I remember back when the summer meant time in the woods, cold rivers and streams, camping, road trips, time to explore and enjoy the wistful landscape of time free from obligation.

In that spirit, YoungDoo and I found ourselves with a day off and decided to take advantage by taking Milla out swimming in a lake for the first time and, as I mentioned a post or two ago, I am doing all I can to keep an eye out for those delicate moments hiding in plain sight, ready to capture as a photograph. The image here are from just such a moment, the afternoon light sneaking into the lower level of a boathouse where you pay your dues to get into the lake area. It smelled of moisture, moss, and showers. A familiar cool, damp smell that’s hard to forget. A scene that captured a little forgotten corner of my youth that I thought some of you may appreciate as well. Enjoy!

Download:

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