The Beginning

Here we have it, the long rumored and discussed design refresh! In the same way a musician slowly fine tunes an album of new songs for a new record I have been slowly picking away at details and preparing things to build a solid future here on The process started over a year ago when I felt a fresh new design would help push things into an exiting new space for the site. My original mockup, while good, just didn’t quite feel right. This lead me to scratch what I originally designed and start fresh with simply a pencil and some graph paper.

All at once the new design came to me like the sharp glare of sunlight after coming out of a dark room and I sketched out what would become the design that you see today. This design is actually a year old which is hard to believe for me personally because I still enjoy it as much as the day it was created nearly a year ago now. I wanted something that would help give my photographs and content a fresh, easy to digest space to live. Something bold and minimal but still functional and unique.

During the process of tweaking things over the last year pixels were nudged around and ideas were refined to the point where I felt things were just right. So now, at last, here we are with version 2 of fiftyfootshadows.

The design features easier access to wallpaper downloads and the terms of use. Below any post with a wallpaper image you will find easy to use download links and a link to the terms of use. I have only had time to go back and tweak about one years worth of older posts to fit the new format of the design but as I have time I will be migrating all older posts to the new format as well. The one drawback to the design that some readers may have to get used to is the simple fact that if you are following along with an RSS reader you will need to simply click through to the site to access these download links. I will look into alternatives to this in the future but for now this is a compromise I needed to make.

Another key feature of the new design is the simple ability to switch between two themes, day and night. I know many readers prefer a darker viewing environment while others, like myself these days, prefer the more open, uplifting spirit that a lighter design can bring which is the default theme for new visitors. Unlike most sites that use a crude background color switcher, I have taken time and effort to create theme specific styles to match both the day and the night versions of the design so either one you choose to use you can rest assured that you are still getting a finely tuned reading experience.

As you see, comments are still in place here on 50ft. I know the current trend in smaller web logs is to leave off comments and rely only on social networking or email for communication with readers I greatly prefer giving you guys a voice here on the site to either let me know how I am doing or share your opinion on an article. I realize the net is full of sarcastic egos that abuse the anonymous nature of comment systems but I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with my readers in the comments both on the positive and negative side of the fence. I have a lot of respect for all of you out there who have shown me support over the years and so I feel its important to let you have your space here as well.

With the dawn of a new design here on 50ft I plan on taking advantage of the fresh mental space and start devoting more time to writing. Over the past few months I have not only been tweaking the design slowly but I have also been stock piling articles and potential wallpaper images to share in order to help me successfully break into a new routine within posting to the site. My goal is to post a new article, review, mix, or feature once a week on Monday or Tuesday. There will be additional posts on off days when I can afford time and discover fun things to post and will also lay into place a public Q&A type category for those with questions about photography so with my answer others can benefit from the advice as well.  I also plan on posting at least one new wallpaper each week as well as something new to the site, guest wallpapers.

I have thought long and hard about the possibility of sharing others work here on the site and have come to the conclusion that it could be fun and be an encouraging way to get readers involved. I have spoken to a couple of readers already about sharing an image to help things get started off right and will be sharing them in the coming week. These images will be invite only for a while until I get settled into the idea but you can rest assured that I will continue to maintain the high standards I set for the site within these images. Guest wallpapers will most likely show up a couple of times each month so as not to dilute the overall experience here on the site and give each post space to breathe. If you do know of someone or think that you have an image that would fit in here on 50ft, feel free to send me a mail. I will do my best to reply to submissions.

This is just the beginning, I have plenty more yet to come and I will introduce new additions as they make their way into reality. These changes are a long time coming and I am overjoyed to see things start to more forward. Next up on my to do list is a photography portfolio site as well as the launch of a store here on 50ft where I will be selling prints, the wallpaper book mentioned a few months back, and other fun things. This and an FAQ page to handle often asked questions.

A million thanks to all of my fantastic readers without which inspire me day in and day out to continue pushing myself as a photographer and as a writer to places I never thought I would reach 10+ years ago when I started sharing like this online.I also must thank my dear friend Dave Jansen who was the mastermind behind the beautiful coding of my design. I will be writing more about his generosity and brilliance in the near future.

Heres to tomorrow.


  1. thedoo - November 9, 2011 at 2:22 am

    awesome! congrats for the new! :-D

  2. Joel - November 9, 2011 at 2:48 am


    It’s bold, minimal, functional, & unique! I can see that you’ve crafted each pixel to perfection. It means a lot to us to see you put so much of yourself into 50ft.

    I wish you the best on having time to meet your goals for your content. And since you’ve got a permanent spot in my Top Sites, we’ll be watching!


  3. George - November 9, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Looks great, congratulations!

  4. DavidR - November 9, 2011 at 3:18 am

    The new design really is purdy, great work, and I love the ideas of weekly posts and possibly guest images (I’d love to participate some day).

    Again, great design, I like both the dark and light versions.

  5. Renganathan Ramamoorthy - November 9, 2011 at 4:03 am

    The new design is fantastic. I always knew it will be awesome, what with the keen eye that you have.

    But, this blows my mind. Keep up the awesome work. This is one of my favorite websites.

  6. Dave - November 9, 2011 at 4:20 am

    Great to see the new site live, it’s wonderful to witness it in all its glory, finally :-).

  7. muaad - November 9, 2011 at 4:58 am

    i love what you did to the site , it looks very simple

  8. carlos - November 9, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I like very much your website,. colors are perfect./ congratulations

  9. Arnaud - November 9, 2011 at 8:53 am

    The new website is beautiful. Bravo ! Even more inspiring than before, and highlights the contents so we can focus easier on it. Thanks !

  10. Breno Pauli - November 9, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Great job with the new design!!
    It’s simplicity is gorgeous!

    It was worth the wait.

  11. Kyle - November 9, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Amazing work as always and so inspiring.

    The day / night theme is the icing on the cake.

    Can not wait to see some fresh content; it shows all the hard work you put in pays off. Definitely one of my favourite sites across the web; all so beautiful.

  12. Jason Wells - November 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    A fresh and absolutely stunning design. You can tell the care you took with all parts considered.


  13. Aqeel Fikree - November 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Long awaited. Nice redesign. Nice touch on the day/night theme.
    I love everything about it. Flawless. Minimal.
    Here’s to seeing some new posts with your new look.

  14. Eric Skram - November 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Looks great! I’ve downloaded all your wallpaper photos and love them all. It’s great to have a little beauty when I get on my computer every morning.

    Thanks so much.

  15. Billy Adams - November 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Loving the new design. Clean and crisp in both day & night varieties! Both really make the photos really pop. I’m excited that you’ll be writing more. I love the stories you tell around your photos. Keep it up!

  16. Mike - November 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Lovely, clean and crisp new design. The only criticism I would make is the lack of contrast for comment text – I think it needs to be darker for my poor old eyes ;)

  17. John - November 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    It’s wonderful to see so many positive responses here and on twitter about the new design. I am thrilled to know that all the work paid off in the end.

    As for Mike’s concern about the comment text shade, I agree it was a bit too light, it was something I was toying with just before launching it and realize it was a mistake having it as low contrast as I did. My idea was to separate it from the look of the body text to give it its own space. Hopefully the adjustment will let your eyes have a break.

    I’m sure other little tweaks will appear as time goes on but most I don’t think you will not really notice. Thanks again to those of you who have spoken up and let me know you enjoy the new look!

  18. Niels - November 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Did like the old one better. Sorry!

  19. john - November 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Heh, whoops, sorry Niels! if you like the older one the night version would probably better suit your taste. The old shadowy header is a thing of the past though sorry :) Hopefully you continue to enjoy the images and content despite the change!

  20. Street - November 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    First time I’ve commented – but I’ve been following this site for a while now. I like the re-design, certainly an improvement on the previous one!
    I’ll probably use the night version – since I prefer to view images on a darker background. However on the ‘day’ version, I feel the shadow at the top of the page looks odd – I think it may look better if you fade it into the same colour as the background (or slightly darker – not grey).
    Anyway – keep up the great work!

  21. Lauren - November 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Congrats ~ It’s really beautiful! Cheers to new beginnings. :)

  22. Ravel - November 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Love it!

  23. John - November 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Street, thanks for the note. The shadow is something that I have had around since day one here on 50ft and the transition to a lighter design was tricky I’ll admit. During my trial and error working on it I tried a gradient that simply matched the color of the BG but it did not have the same effect, then I tried a layered shadow where the content would fade into the BG color just before the shadow itself but again it felt off, then came trying various shades of grey and brownish grey and this was a compromise pulling against a number of options. I will revisit other versions I made of it to see if maybe I see it in a different light now than when I was working on it last. Thanks again!

  24. Neil - November 10, 2011 at 12:51 am

    It’s not too much of a departure from the old design which is good, I like the new brighter colour scheme and layout. The beauty is in the text which is more readable and is going to suit devices like the iPad much more.

    Should it have taken so long? hell no ;) :P

    Looking forward to the new content, your work really is an inspiration to a lot of people.

  25. Nat - November 10, 2011 at 4:44 am

    A thousand congratulations! Great redesign. Looking forward to new stuff.

  26. Jorge Quinteros - November 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Better late than never on congratulating you with your much awaited redesign. The changes are equivalent to a fresh coat of paint carefully applied to a space that I’ve always been very fond of. In addition to the changes, I’m really looking forward to the new flow of content that you’re anticipating to be publish more of in the next couple of days/weeks.

  27. Pete - November 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Great design, it’s striking yet wonderfully pleasant to the eye. I’d consider splitting up the Archive tab though, it’s quite overwhelming when expanded!

    I can’t decide whether to use the day or night theme, I love ’em both!

  28. Pete - November 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    I’m not the type that normally uses that kind of function, but the “Top of page” button doesn’t work.

  29. Eoghan - November 11, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Worth the wait.

    My desktop changes pretty much like clockwork as soon as you release each beautiful new wallpaper image. With the new autumn images, clearly the website (which looks great) has not distracted you from that side of things! Keep up the good work, can’t wait to see how it evolves.

  30. Johnny Van Cura - November 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Hey diggin the fresh design! I think it would be cool if you had an option to make your site a black version though, sort of like a lightbox feature.

  31. George - November 14, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Very nice and refreshing new look. I like it much better… reading is easier now and the UI more intuitive.

    Well done, congrats!

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)