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I was out hiking in the rain yesterday at a trail nearby and realized how popular it had gotten over the last couple of years. It is a trail that circles a lake which I have gone to photograph dozens of times over the years. It’s a spot that had always been a place near home that let me get out of the city and wander among the trees and water of a big lake for a while. Those who have been reading for a while surely would recognize the space as I have shared plenty of photos from my time out there.

So, as I mentioned, it’s been getting far more popular recently as a space to run or bike or walk as the city is growing outward and the trail now easily connects via paved path all the way into the heart of the city. I have nothing wrong with that, it’s wonderful to have a single trail that can be taken that far for nice long walks or bike rides out to the lake but with its growing popularity comes the side effect of never having the place to myself anymore. Where I could once go out there at odd hours and have the trail and the lake practically to myself I now go out on a day in the pouring rain and STILL see joggers out dodging the drops as they head up and down the path.

It’s sad to see my favorite trails nearby slowly wear down deeper from heavier use and notice more and more trash and signs of others presence hiding in the details of areas previously overgrown with brush and trees. The thing that prompted me to write this is a couple of street signs at a tiny parking lot near the lake that I have used for years and years. It only holds four or five cars and is now often full well over capacity as cars line up down the street during peak hours of the day. The signs were put there for the growing number of people using the trail. One reads simply “No Littering, $250 fine” while the other reads “Do not dispose of animal waste in the parking lot.” Both of the signs had been scribbled on with marker saying, “NO TRASH CAN!?” and I sat there in my car as the rain beat down onto its roof letting myself get all depressed from the writing people had added there on the signs.

The reason it depressed me was it brought up thoughts of many people in this country and their sense of self entitlement. As if anything and everything they need or want should be there waiting for them. As if it is such an enormous inconvenience for them to be responsible enough for themselves and the public places they use like this and take their trash out with them to throw it away at their home or other reasonable place. Its not a theme park, its a trail out in the woods, there are no park rangers or janitorial services to wait on them and its part of what has drawn me to the area over the years is the sense of freedom from all of this that it can give.

I am not trying to rant here and be depressing, I simply wanted to make a quick statement that has been floating around in my mind and ask that my fellow humans simply have some respect for each other and public spaces. Have a little responsibility for yourself please? Im not asking for world peace here, just that we all work to be aware of our own impact on each others space. I know many many people out there already live with such respect but still, its something to remember when going through our days.

With that, I leave you with the photo above. A gift for you for following along here and helping out by being a self aware member of society ;) It was taken in Seoul and thats YoungDoo there holding it out just after she bought it for the apartment and it makes me smile to see it there floating in the bokeh.

To download the image at its full desktop resolution as well as iPad and iPhone resolutions simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE to grab the zip also containing iPad and iPhone resolutions. Please, no commercial use without asking and please don’t re-host the full resolution images without my permission. Thanks so much for your understanding, and enjoy!

iPad direct download.
iPhone direct download.

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When I’m Gone


Time and time again I talk of travel here on 50ft and for good reason. I am addicted to it, simple as that. The rush of being somewhere unfamiliar and foreign is inspiring and always manages to put me in a creative mindset. I love this type of trip away from the tour busses and cruse lines, ones without schedules or places to be. Roughing it to get closer to where you are traveling is just a beautiful thing through and through and I encourage any of you who have not taken a leap into a trip of this variety to give it a shot. Have a sense of adventure, be willing to get lost. Jump in.

You can experience so much more that way. It’s so easy to do while still being smart and safe while traveling. Just be sure to do plenty of research on the area so you know what to expect. I am certainly not suggesting you go somewhere totally unprepared. Pick a place, buy a ticket, get some basic accommodation lined up (or not depending on how spontaneous your feeling) and get out and walk everywhere you go. Talk to locals in broken English, explore and soak it all in. What are you waiting for? You may hate it who knows, but there is an equal chance that it will change your life.

It doesn’t even have to be expensive. If you play your cards right you can travel easily on the cheap by staying at more rustic local places or even roughing it on the street for a night depending on where you are. Pack light and press on. I think everyone has some kind of buried desire to feel lost. It’s a basic human emotion. That little tinge of fear which only comes when you are not quite sure what you are getting yourself into. It’s beautiful! In fact, now is a great time to start researching a place. The fall and winter can be an amazing time to travel because its cheaper if you avoid the holidays and you will be missing the peak tourist season of the summer months for many places and often get a much more calm experience all around. Unless of course it’s somewhere where these months are the prime tourist season like India for instance.

All the same, I just wanted to take a moment while posting a new wallpaper to spark your imagination a little, get you thinking. No need to keep telling yourself it’s just not possible because you know it is. If you put your mind to it and push yourself to save a little money and pick a time to set aside (or even make that big change in your life you have been delaying and use a trip like this as the buffer). I find the number one thing stopping people from traveling for the first time in this way is simply fear of the unknown which is half the fun of it.

At any rate, enough trying to motivate readers to travel :) to download the above image as a nice big high resolution desktop wallpaper simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE which will link you to a zip file also containing iPad and iPhone crops of the image and the terms of use. They state that there is no commercial use allowed and the image is for your personal computer decorating needs without permission. Thanks for understanding and enjoy!

iPad version direct download.
iPhone version direct download.

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I took a chance with this shot, I was the passenger in a car with a sunroof and decided I would get a better shot if I stuck it out of the top of the car and sure enough I pulled off this subtly tilted image here which ended up giving a nice sense of movement to the photo I think. Seeing as I was in a moving car I could only squeeze in a couple of shots before the landscape rolled on without me but I like the way this came out, not perfect or anything but unique in a way. While I don’t always suggest shooting without looking through the viewfinder, sometimes you just have to go for it and hope for the best.

After years with the same camera and lens I know my setup well enough to get the results I am looking for when shooting blind. I find I really perfected this type of shooting when traveling and being too shy to really lean into the shot and get all set up and perfect through the viewfinder. I have taken a lot of photos I may not have been able to get otherwise using this method and while it doesn’t always work I do manage to put it to good use from time to time.

To download the zip file containing a nice high resolution version of this image for your desktop as well as crops for iPhones and iPads simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE. Also included are the terms of use, a handy reference to look through if you are wondering what you can do with the images posted here. More or less that is one specific thing which is make your computer or iDevice pretty with new imagery. Commercial use is not allowed without permission but I am pretty easy to get along with so don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Thanks for understanding and enjoy!

iPad direct download.
iPhone direct download.

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Some Other Time

some other time

The title of this was lifted from my iTunes library, a common place to find titles for images I cant imagine one for. A great jazz song performed by Bill Evans. Anyways, this is another image from my trip to Korea earlier in the year. You may recognize the birds which are the same seagulls from a previous desktop which was a favorite for a lot of readers. This was a ferry that took cars to and from an island I visited. One of the attractions of it is bringing along crunchy, shrimp flavored snacks and throwing them to the seagulls which circle the boat as it travels from shore to shore. It was a beautiful ride as you can see, the sun was setting and it made for a number of really nice photos. For anyone wondering that is YoungDoo there also taking photos of the birds in the sunset. You can see she also has one of those great Souldier camera straps that I love so much.

To download the high resolution desktop wallpaper along with the iPhone and iPad versions simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE to get the zip file with everything nice and tidy and ready for your consumption. You will also find the terms of use which state that there is no commercial use allowed, these are made available only for your desktop wallpapering needs. If you would like to share simply use the above smaller image and link back here, please do not re-host the full resolution images without asking. Thanks so much for your understanding and enjoy!

iPad direct download.
iPhone direct download.

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App Focus

app focus

There are countless applications available for iDevices and it really is impossible to keep up with whats new or interesting. When I find a new app it is almost always through either a developer I am already familiar with or through one of a few tech/app blogs I track on my RSS feeds. On occasion one comes along that manages to make its way into my daily workflow but most, I will admit, end up collecting digital dust in some forgotten corner of my iPhone. I look for apps with forward thinking, simplistic approaches to its functionality and design and have gotten to be just as picky with the apps I use as the physical products I buy.

One of the most heavily used category of apps on my phone is found in my camera app folder. Photo apps are a dime a dozen these days but from time to time one comes along that I have fun with for a few weeks before it either finds a permanent home in its space or gets removed because its novelty has worn off. The few that have stuck with me for the long run are Tiltshift Generator, Autostitch, and a handy darkroom timer app made by the Massive Dev Chart site. The reason for writing here today is to mention a couple of newer additions to my photo app toy folder both which were recommended by a commenter here on my previous post about using the iPhone as a camera.

First up is one that I have really been enjoying a lot actually and may end up being one of those long standing apps. It is dead simple and does something many other phone apps have done before but it does it with a subtlety that I really like. The app is called CrossProcess and its effect is pretty self explanatory. It gives the odd color effects that developing slide film in negative film chemicals would give. As far as customization goes it is really dead simple and gives you a choice of five different color effects as well as options to save the original image or add a border to the image. By default the app randomly chooses one of the five color effects leaving you with unexpected results but I find it is nice to jump into the options screen and choose one single effect that works best for the image at hand. So far, green is my favorite. The end result is always much more subtle than most apps that do the same thing which is part of the reason I enjoy using is as much as I do. Here are a few examples of photos processed with this app.





The other app I have had fun with lately is one that only time will tell if I will continue to enjoy. It is the type of app that adds light leaks and rough film edges. That can be fun at times but these kinds of apps have one serious flaw and that is the variety of small differences in these effects. If the light leak or dust or odd effect is always in the same places, in the same way it gets old fast when all of your photos start looking exactly the same. It’s why hisptamatic got so boring to me.

The app I am using to add these sorts of effects at the moment is called Plastic Bullet. It’s one flaw so far is its interface, its just not quite as smooth as I feel it could be but it does get the job done. You take a photo or select one already taken and simply cycle through random combinations of color alterations and light leaks until you find one you like. I find it doesn’t always work for every image I have but when it does work it looks really nice and adds a high quality film like look to your iPhone images. A nice benefit of this over other like minded apps is this has more of a variety of possibilities when it comes to the end result. I would love to see that expanded even further in the future. Here are some examples below.






So I may make more of a habit of this in the future, talking about new, interesting iPhone or iPad apps here. I have officially added a tech category here partially in preparation for the incoming update to the site when a few other new categories will make an appearance as well. So let me know your thoughts on posts like these should you have an opinion on the matter and we will see how things process from here.

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Of Travel


It’s almost fall again and for the last four or five years I have traveled in the fall/winter. Its taken me all over the world and this year is no different it seems only this time I will be taking it back to the basics and traveling by car around the US with YoungDoo. I am excited about the opportunity to explore the US again and look forward to shooting all the way across the country with her. So in the spirit of travel I pulled this from my archives. I took this photo while on the way back from Korea earlier this year and I really love the image simply because I love traveling by plane. Unlike many people I really love airports and the whole mess of an experience traveling by air can be. Getting stuck in an airport somewhere is less of a disaster in my mind and more of a chance to feel lost and rough it for a night in a unique sort of a way. The spirit of travel is never lost on me, even on the long days.

I remember this sunset well, in a crowded terminal in Newark the sun was setting on the runways and the sun was casting a bright orange glow across the faces of all the travelers sitting around in those never comfortable seats. It was just a beautiful moment all around that no one but me seemed to be enjoying. I found this image just as the sun left the sky. A few pigeons were flying from walkway to walkway and one made it into this shot there on the left. So in memory of these sorts of memories I’ll leave you with a wallpaper of the photo.

To download the wallpaper pack including the full resolution desktop version as well as crops for the iPad and iPhone simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE to grab the zip file. You will also find the terms of use which in essence state that these images are here for your personal use only and not for any commercial gains. If you do post the image around please use the small one above and link back here, do not re-host the images on your site. I appreciate all of your ongoing support! It keeps me motivated to keep pushing things forward around here on 50ft.

iPad direct download
iPhone version direct download

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In Your Shadow

in your shadow

in your shadow

in your shadow

I knew I needed something new to share so I went looking around the building I work in for something to stand out and sure enough, this tiny plant growing up the side of the brick worked very nicely for a new wallpaper image. Simple, not too distracting but unique and natural enough to be interesting. After exploring a couple angles the one that worked best of course put me in the weirdest position while taking the photos, face crammed into the brick while kneeling down in the dirt. It didn’t take long for the mosquitoes to find me but thankfully I got a few nice shots out of the effort.

One of the first things I learned when exploring composition years and years ago was the art of finding unique vantage points on any given subject. Of course, within reason that is. Some photos suffer because they are clearly just struggling to find some strange unique perspective and thats all there is and it feels forced. You should have a reason behind your composition. Find the flow in the environment, the movement. Its something I learned in a drawing class and in design courses but it applies heavily when I am scouting out the best angle to shoot something. In this case a large part of what made the shot interesting was the shadow being cast so why not include the source of that light and shove the sun right there into the image to blow out part of the composition, give it a warm feeling while also balancing the flow of the organic life versus the man made structure. Maybe thats over analyzing it but its how I came to take these images. All of those thoughts didn’t go through my head but that approach has become an instinct while shooting.

To download these at their nice big wallpaper resolutions simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE to download a zip containing the desktop, iPad, and iPhone size images in a tidy zip file. You can also find direct links to the I device sizes below. I will be revisiting the way I package these in the future update, I hope to simplify the process. You will also find the terms of use which also need some revision. Please, do not rehost the full resolution files on your site, use the smaller images above for sharing if you would like and link back to this page should you do so, I appreciate the understanding! Enjoy!

iPad direct access: ONE TWO THREE
iPhone direct access: ONE TWO THREE

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)