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Trick of Light

Another roll with my film camera has found its way to the light that I let it see. I am starting to develop a pattern with these film images and I am slowly getting an idea why I am shooting what I am shooting and it is exciting to say the least but I wont get into that just yet. Here are a few odd ones from the roll. My favorites from it can be seen on my flickr page (see navigation to the right) and I have a few others I will post there in a couple of days as well.


“This will be a long day…” (written on the napkin although I missed the mark on this shot, still posting it though because I thought it was a strange thing to see written there in such an innocent place)

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A Little Bit

Well, Ive been out shooting with the 5d for the first time in forever and it was strange somehow to be shooting with it. I was just back to the same old shoot shoot shoot that digital photos let you do so easily. Still, it was nice to get back into it a bit. One strange thing was the fact that I am in between lenses so I am back shooting with my old standby zoom. I am so used to my prime lenses that it felt almost restricting in a way to shoot with a zoom. At any rate I picked out a few images to post as desktops so I hope everyone finds something they can enjoy among the selection here.

I just found myself with a newly developed roll of film so look for some new images to pop up here or on flickr. Please remember that these images are for your own personal, non commercial use and any use outside of these means is only acceptable with permission from me. Thanks for understanding and enjoy the desktops!





Note: The last two images below are both downloaded together in one .zip file so CLICK HERE to download them.



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While browsing through tumblr blogs I came across an illustration that caught my attention and after diging around I finally came across the illustrators home page which led me to many other wonderful images. Many of them have this really wonderful theme of patterns becoming somehow part of the reality within the illustration that I really love. Each one holds a different idea that holds a story all within itself. So rather than just hear me talk about it here are a couple of my favorites so far in my browsing. Please take the time to look further into the illustrators work by exploring the site HERE. It is all in Japanese so if you don’t read the language then navigation will be a little slow for you but its totally worth it.



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Thinking Out Loud

I know there has not been to much in the way of signs of life around here as of late and it is simply one of those times when life gets in the way of my personal project a bit. A pretty natural occurrence i’d say. If I had it my way I would be writing every day and taking dozens of beautiful photos to share as desktops but you know, just cant always find the time. So I thought I would jump on and say hello and apologize for being out of touch with my blogging side.

So if I haven’t been writing here then what have I been doing? Well, Ive been working, learning some new gear for audio tech stuff, trying to keep my head together and above water, you know, normal things. I had that burst of inspiration from shooting with my Canonet and it has pushed me to look for something nicer, well, not nicer really, just a little different. Another rangefinder is in my sight and maybe in the coming months I will get my hands on it and talk about it more when the time comes. I thought that I had those lenses sold but it fell through so I am trying to figure out a plan B. I would just post them up here again but I think I will see what I can find as far as trade ins go because I am just using the money to get more photo gear anyway so.

Lately I have come across a number of little mini debates on film vs. digital and its just so weird to me. It seems like not that long ago I was hearing people talk about how film is so superior to digital photography but here comes a new generation of photographers that have somehow found themselves photographers because digital cameras made it so easy to learn. I have noticed more than anything that people have become so impatient with photography. Young photographers I talk to that have gone from digital and tried film get frustrated with having to wait to see the result. Its given this dependency on instant results. Its just beyond me how you could not enjoy the magic feeling you get from taking a photograph and knowing that you captured that light in this special way that is hiding there in the shadows waiting to be brought to life. With digital photography its just… data. A million tiny dots constructed of ones and zeros. But then your battery dies and you have nothing but a useless pile of electronics. Maybe I am just rebelling after years and years of being hooked on gadgets and things. Maybe shooting with film, for me, lets me feel closer to the images I take because they feel so much more unique to me, not just one in a million, not just a click of a button, check the screen, no good, trash, repeat until good image found. Film lets me feel like the image is alive.

I was talking to a friend today about film and digital and she said that she can not get the right exposure with film but she saw it done with digital so surely digital is better. But there are so many things to take into consideration. With cameras everything changes the look of the photo, starting with the camera, film, image sensor, then moving to the lens and how it is made then onto the developing and post manipulation of the photo. Sure with digital you instantly have this infinite set of possibility and damn near ANY image can be salvaged into something half way interesting but then what makes it so special in the world? What good is a photograph if it is simply beautiful for the sake of being beautiful? My thoughts are most certainly running ahead of my fingers as I type and I’m not making any sense… Half thought thoughts and not everything I am saying is in fact what I believe, just thoughts to provoke debate.

I know there are many sides to this argument and I am simply arguing the aesthetic side of it here, this and this sense of urgency I keep seeing within it. I guess I just see it cheapen the whole experience in a way, at least for me. I hate to see the instant result and promise of “oh, ill just fix it in photoshop” of digital photography turn into such a crutch for so many people getting into the medium. I know I’ve said this all before and surely this wont be the last time. I’m still exploring it all myself as well, and to each his own right? Feel free to chime in in the comments. Ive gone on long enough and will leave this post where it is. See you again soon I hope..

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Tech Note

I just changed the structure of the links on the site so some previous links and things may be messed up. Im sorry for that sudden change, I didnt think about it before I switched it over but this way links are much more direct and easy to remember, write, and follow and I would rather just switch now than wait until the site gets more and more visitors and develops further…

Thanks everyone for bearing with the change and I’m sorry if it broke any previously existing links! I hope I didnt loose to many of you from that change!

Heres to a tidier future…

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On the Hi-Fi

Time for an update on what has been passing through my ears as of late. As always, these are albums that have stuck in my head and been replayed a number of times. The music that has moved me along the last few weeks. Any links I provide are not affiliate links or anything, I usually try and link either to the artists site or somewhere where you can hear the music and buy it at a good price. I write these because I love music and I love to share it… Sorry, but no album artwork this time around. Let me know if you miss it though, I may add it later…

South San Gabriel
(Will Johnson)
I found this artist while looking though the archive at daytrotter.com and quickly found that he has a ton of music out under a few different project names. After picking up a couple of his solo albums under his own name I found South San Gabriel which is easily my favorite as of now. ‘The Carlton Chronicles’ is what first drew me in. The music is not unlike Bon Iver with more of a full band sound just to give you an idea of what it sounds like based on my last music recommendation. It’s an album best suited to be heard as a whole which I really like. The songs seems to work so well together I could not recommended specific songs as favorites and rather just encourage you to hear it as a complete album. Hmm, just read back what I wrote and it seems a bit confusing. Breaking that down a bit, its good. Buy it. Listen. Smile. Artist page


Clark must be one of the most un-appreciated electronic musicians I know of. For whatever reason reviewers tend to pass him off as another Aphex Twin duplicate, those sorts of reviews really really bug me. It just shows me how little the reviewer knows about the genera. Clark has recently released an album called Turning Dragon that, from what I understand, was constructed from loose tracks and ideas that did not work on his last full length. While this new release has been marketed as though it would be great for the dance floor I personally dont see how its all that much more suited for it than any of his other albums. The beats themselves and the energy is just a little more straight forward on this release is all. I still see it as a finely tuned lot of songs. This music fits within the traditional crunchy feeling of his previous releases but as I said, pushes the beat more to the forefront of your attention than some of his previous albums and only slightly. I love his approach to his songwriting, it has a depth that you just don’t see much in electronic music and I cant get enough of it. So it goes without saying that I recommend this album for anyone who doesn’t mind a bit of a sharp edge to their dance tracks. Play it loud and sing along, and by sing along I don’t mean sing I mean… Artist Site (album preview tracks on that page)


While checking bleep.com for new releases I came across an artist called Kelpe and his new album Ex-Aquarium and quickly fell for his blend of live drums and acoustic sounds with a subtle funk vibe that left me wanting to dance along. I found a copy of it online to give it a go and fell for it even more prompting me to shell out the extra money it took to get it imported from the UK rather than just buy the digital release. I found this album to be danceable but not really in a way thats in your face. Its a great mesh of organic sounds and samples with thick synth bass lines and compositions that build up and always leave you somewhere different than where you started. I will go ahead and add the player from bleep.com below this one so you can listen here. Check out Shipwreck Glue, Skylla, and Silver Nutkin, and the masterful use of tremolo on Half Broken Harp. These are the songs that sucked me in at least… (also, artist site link here)

Vampire Weekend

I dont need to say much about these guys. I really did not expect much of this band and wrote them off as just a bunch or hyped up indie pop, that is until I caught myself humming along a song that I heard of theres and decided to listen closer and found myself getting hooked. Yes, you wont find a lot of depth here, just catchy simple pop but something about it cheers me up and only time will tell when I will get tired of it but I thought I would mention it here all the same because it is something that has frequented my players as of late. Artist Site

Death Is Nothing To Fear
(Spectral Sound)
Filling in my straight forward dance music cravings as of late the Death is Nothing to Fear series from the Spectral Sound label (Ghostly International) has gotten me covered. Here you will find a collection of minimal techno that, if you can get into such things, will get you moving in no time. Label Site

A friend of mine saw this group open up the show for Iron and Wine in Brussels a few weeks ago and suggested I check them out and so I did and I found a great album of subtle songs nearly as minimal as the Daisuke Miyatani album I mentioned a couple of weeks ago here on 50ft only add singing to the mix. Here you will find sparse instrumentation and whispery singing gentle enough to lull you to sleep. Listening I was reminded of an old favorite, Corina Repp. The name of the album I have is Polar Life and I believe it is a fairly recent release and is worth checking out for those of you who love quiet minimal music as much as I do. Artist Site

Nick Jaina

One of my favorite small labels that I have enjoyed since their early days as a label is Hush Records based out of the North West US and always seems to find a unique batch or artists holding a similar gentle aesthetic that I usually enjoy a lot. I recently checked there site to see what was new and came across an album called Wool by Nick Jaina and after hearing the free mp3 they had on their site I went ahead and took a chance and ordered the album from them. Although I have only had it a few days I find that I really enjoy it. A piano heavy album that feels almost like watching a movie to hear. It has a theatrical sort of a feel to it not unlike Tom Waits only not as gritty. It has a nice swing that does a good job of calming me down somehow. Label Site

(Random update: Noticed I was quoted on Hush’s website which prompted me to re read what I had written here about this album and laughed to myself as I wish I had been a bit more clearly spoken on this post, ha. At any rate, a follow up to my thoughts on the record after hearing it more, still a frequent player in my ears and I stand by my comments of its theatrical elements, I find its the perfect album to put on a good pair of headphone, close your eyes, and experience. Seriously though..)


Well this list is starting to stretch a bit long and I think I have covered most of what I wanted to for now at least. For those of you who read these posts I hope you find something new to check out and enjoy it! There is one other odd song I will mention which is on Nine Inch Nails new self released 36 song instrumental album Called Ghosts. Overall the album drags often but I came across this one song that I really loved which is a really quiet piano piece that has a really nice feel to it. Although it is an instrumental I find myself singing along to it and making up words to go along with it as I hear it. So if you feel like taking a chance on it and have $5 to spend you can pick up all 36 songs in digital format on his site.Thats all for now, as usual, all the best and I will see you next time…

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Seconds Between

These are a few more shots from the last roll I roll I shot with the Canonet. I have now run out of the first bunch of film that I bought to shoot with it and I may or may not try some nicer film the next time around. I really enjoy shooting with this camera. Its interesting how many little mini debates I have gotten into about why I would want to shoot with this camera over my 5d. Some say film is dying, some tell me its just a phase I’m going through, everyone seems to have an opinion on it and I really enjoy it to tell you the truth, the debate that is. With film I feel this uncertanty that I really like, it challenges me. I find that I am searching more often for the moments that want to be photographed rather than just shooting everything that looks half way interesting and see what sticks. I feel like I am rediscovering the medium and I really love it.

At any rate, I hope to eventually have a negative scanner around which should help me out with these scans which I have not exactly been happy with but they work fine for now. I will take my 5d out sometime soon to look for some new desktop imagery for you all because I know its what you really crave, not my ramblings on film and odd little photos of things. I am currently in between lenses and shooting with my old standby a Canon 28-105mm zoom which is a great lens for its price, highly recommended for anyone looking for a nice zoom for their Canon SLR that wont break the bank…

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To whom it may concern,



• 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.


• 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)