Blue Skies Are Coming

This scene was found while diving down a long desert road in New Mexico I believe. Under the trees were a few cows taking shelter from the sun and my favorite detail which is harder to see on this smaller version are a bunch of little white wind power generators along the horizon. It’s interesting how it feels as though the horizon is at a slope but its simply the subtle hills in the landscape giving that illusion.

Also something I thought would be interesting to mention is the vignetting on this photo and others of mine. Contrary to the beliefs and methods of many professional photographers (and my own good sense), I often shoot wide open at f/1.4 on a bright sunny day. Not only am I using a user modified setting on my 5D to trick it into shooting at ISO50 but the poor camera is often forced to shoot at its maximum shutter speed as well in an attempt to not blow out my highlights so heavily it ruins the photo. Not to mention the implications of shooting a landscape at wide apertures. It just goes against the grain of everything that is technically right when taking photographs of a landscape in the light of the afternoon sun which often dictate you use smaller apertures and slower shutter speeds.

So why do I do this? Because it’s what causes the image to have this soft, over saturated and contrasty feel with a heavy vignetting along the edges. Many photographers would look at this photo and dismiss it for it’s lack of technical perfection but as it stands today, in a world full of millions of perfect photographs, this kind of a look can end up holding something beyond what may be expected from a photo like this. It’s just that I am fully aware of the complications and technical imperfections caused by shooting a way that a teacher may warn you against yet I choose to force my camera to misbehave in order to achieve these results.

I am not at all suggesting you, as a photographer, think that a complete disregard for the technical rules and compromises within this medium is an okay thing to accept. I am not saying to trash the rulebook and go off shooting backwards from what you are taught. What I suggest is that you be completely aware of WHY every photo looks the way it does. It is vital that you understand the difference varying stops (intensities) of light can make when looking at a scene and to understand and be able to recognize the difference a few steps up or down would make. Never use your computer and post processing as a crutch to get you out of lazy habits when shooting. Trust me, if you can give yourself this kind of insight into how to capture images well on your camera you will be light years ahead of 90 percent of the photographers out there.

I have a lot of fun and exciting ideas to introduce in the coming few months as I work on pushing in new directions. Much of it involves techniques and spreading the love of photography and keeping it’s essence alive in this cold digital world. ;) I very much am looking forward to showing everyone what I have been working on for so long and hopefully it will be worth the wait come January when things start to fall into place.

As for the wallpaper of the image above! Don’t think I forgot about it while letting my mind wander off. To download a zip file containing the desktop version as well as the iPad and iPhone versions simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE. Also inside the zip are my terms of use, which plainly state, no commercial use without asking and never re-host the full resolution images anywhere else online, simply use the smaller image above to share and link back here. Thanks so much for your understanding and enjoy the image!

iPad version direct access.
iPhone direct access.



  1. Adam - November 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Yay! I’ve long wished for there to be more insight into how you shoot!

  2. Pete - November 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks for telling us your secret! :)

    I adore all your photos and it will be very interesting to read up on your techniques, although of course it’s the artistic eye that let’s you take wonderful photos.

  3. Neil - November 29, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I always wondered how you did that, I thought at first you were adding the vignette after but suspected this wasn’t true because it didn’t seem like the kind of thing you’d do. So because this is shot of 1.4 it’s softer and it gives you that fiftyfootshadows look eh? ;) interesting!


  4. John - November 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Hehe, whoops! Did I just give away some long sought after 50ft secret? It’s all in the camera and how you use it. I don’t plan on writing tips and tricks articles ;) I plan on elaborating on technique and the importance of certain things while shooting in various environments and situations. Stick around, 2011 should be fun.

  5. Maced 2 - November 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    looks very nice
    Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Jonny - November 30, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Thanks for the shooting tips :D

  7. Lauren - November 30, 2010 at 3:49 am

    I love the look! I find it so relaxing. :)

  8. Dante - November 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Looking forward to reading more about your technique. That soft saturated look is really nice.

  9. carlos cabezas - November 30, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you so much for the tip, You should write a book about it… I will buy it,,.. You have a great future ahead,. You are bless with so many talents,.
    thanks J,

  10. rduarte - December 2, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Very interesting stuff right there, and thanks for the wallpaper!

    Also, i would like to know if you’re going to make a wallpaper out of “One Shot”? I’d love to hav that on my desktop!

    Thanks and keep up the great work :)

  11. Didier Chartrain - December 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Lovely, peaceful landscape.

  12. Emanuele - December 3, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Amazing…My New Wallpaper thank you soo much

  13. M. Maia - December 13, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Absolutely stunning picture! You make me want to buy a camera and learn this, really.

  14. Blue Skies Are Coming, Wallpaper. « Vida Digital. - February 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    […] Créditos: John Carey (Clique aqui). […]

  15. DiegoWX - February 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Awesome, i rlly love this picture :)

  16. Blue skies are coming | Loulouster - February 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    […] check out his blog. John’s photographs are available for download in high resolution. “Blue Skies are coming” is currently my wallpaper. […]

  17. Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys? - June 5, 2012 at 4:41 am

    […] I have mentioned in the past, using the ISO expansion on the 5D I commonly shoot at ISO 50 (heh, the irony just hit me) to shoot […]

  18. Marty - April 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Not only do they work, but they are eco friendly too.
    Secondly, try to keep your car as clean as possible.
    And when it comes to getting car insurance Nationwide can give great cheap policies for the car lovers.

  19. Nani - October 9, 2018 at 1:23 am

    Hey. I don’t even know if anyone will read this, But can someone say the location this was shot? I just want to visit that place once badly :(

  20. John Carey - October 9, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Hey there Nani, I’m not sure I can remember exactly the spot but I’ll try and look back through my archives and see if anything at this time was geotagged or anything! Maybe I can figure it out. The American west is endless and full of lovely hidden spots like this!

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