These images were taken in route to Baltimore at some point last year and I had all but forgotten about them until I had a look in my Aperture library on the hunt for some new wallpapers to post. I wonder what the allure of old neon signage is. Perhaps just a reminder of days gone by or simply a kick of nostalgia for those like myself that feel drawn to this kind of beautiful old craftsmanship. It was a grey, quiet day while driving and lead to photos equally as drab so I decided to have a bit of fun with the post processing. The original image was a flat sort of grey so I increased contrast with a subtle S in curves and added an orange/purple tint to the shadows to aid to the old feel of the image a little bit.

The biggest step out onto the post processing plank that I decided to take this time is something I wanted to mention. It is in regard to the first image above. If you look at it you may realize that its perspective is impossible. To shoot the sign straight on I would have needed a scissor lift or tall ladder to get high enough in the air. You may notice that you are able to see the underside edge of the letters yet the lines are straight as if I was directly in front of the sign. This perspective shift is what bellows and tilt shift lenses do best but I have no such lens to shoot with so, with the aid of YoungDoo I took her advice and straightened the lines in an effort to clean up the image using a lens correction filter to “correct” the lower perspective I had to take while shooting.



I don’t normally do such things but thought why not give it a try, it seemed like a subtle enough image to try this with and I feel the result ended up with a cleaner image overall. I wanted to mention this process because I know that I can seem pretty stubborn about using post processing here sometimes but wanted to make it clear that I am not wholly against it. I simply like to encourage photographers to fully understand the tools and techniques to get great images straight off of the camera rather than rely on messy destructive post technique to fix images.

To give everyone an idea of what kind of difference this effect made on the image I have included a wallpaper version in the zip that shows the original perspective with the lines having more of a natural slope to them. Some of you may prefer the more natural perspective So I thought it would be nice to include in the download.

I see this type of advice more and more on photo sites across the web and it is a welcome sight to see. In the coming year I hope to continue to write articles and suggestions about this and I have a couple of projects and ideas brewing to make this fun and interesting.

On another note, the first image above is not available as an iPad or iPhone wallpaper. The only way I could have managed to make this happen would have been heavy photoshopping and cloning which I am not much in the mood to sort out. The roof above the letters was just too close to the word for me to get the shot and allow for enough space above the word to frame it well for that kind of crop. Especially for the tricky iPad rotating desktop square crop. Hope you understand why I decided to leave this off this time around. The second image, however, does have crops for the other devices.

To download the images above in full desktop resolution simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE to download a zip file which also contains the other crops of the second image for your iDevices. Please mind the terms of use inside the zip file which clearly state that you may not re-host the images anywhere else without my permission, these are distributed exclusively through fiftyfootshadows unless permission is given otherwise and commercial use is prohibited. They are for your own personal use as a wallpaper, thanks so much for your understanding and support and enjoy!


  1. Ben E. - January 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I used a bit of keystone adjustment on this image too.

    It really makes a difference for architectural photography, but there’s no way I could afford a tilt-shift lens.

  2. Neil - January 17, 2011 at 11:11 am

    If you aren’t using a tilt-shift lens for this type of photography shame on you! Suggest you buy one ASAP :D

    Joking aside good post. I’ve recently shot a few pictures of buildings and have gotten very frustrated with the perspective until I realised what was going on.

  3. Ben E. - January 24, 2011 at 12:53 am


Leave A Reply

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)