letting go

Letting Go

I noticed this one leaf while out shooting among a field of winter brown and green, lit calmly by the setting sun I was walking toward another subject at the time but had to stop to grab a couple shots of this because I love turning such simple, minimal subjects into something grand. I had nearly forgotten about the photos until tonight while looking around for a new image to share. Seems to be one of those rare last leaves of fall that just refuse to let go of what they have.

Oddly enough, this left me feeling sentimental for things left behind (so pardon me while I think out loud). Life goes by so quickly sometimes and while there are instances where letting go is the best thing you can do, I still feel there is so much you should hold close and never let go of. We are constantly reminded to leave the past behind and live today like its our last, or other such motivational this and that, but hearing it gets tiresome after a while. Our minds gloss over advice amid our busy digital lives and being social within this weird new definition of the word where you don’t actually have to be with anyone to be social. This or we take this kind of  life advice to heart and become so desperate to connect with our inner selves that we end up getting lost in the very act of trying. This makes it harder to feel much honest connection with notable moments in our lives and by the time we realize how great life has been it’s already passed us by. I always remind myself not to forget that every moment I am alive I am graced with something undeniably beautiful if I look closely enough and pay attention. Both in times of unbearable joy or times of hardship and struggle.

One of the saddest things anyone has ever said to me was while they were looking at a photo of me taken when I was a teenager. She told me I was so beautiful when I was young but it made her sad. When I asked why she replied, “it’s your eyes, there seems to be something in them here that I don’t see anymore.” That stuck with me over the years and ever since then I have been trying to get it back. I realized that to be honestly happy about my life and everything that happens within it I must embrace all of it, good and bad. It’s important to keep your imagination and lust closely guarded and never stop exploring, stay hungry and foolish so they say. The most creative, capable people out there in this world are the ones able to take experiences from the past and use the knowledge and emotion surrounding them to build a better tomorrow rather than letting themselves get lost in a maze of regret.

One last thought I would like to include that feels like it ties in to what I am waxing poetic about is probably my favorite Steve Jobs Quote which is on creativity:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” Steve Jobs, Wired, February, 1995

Sentimental rambling aside, as much as I love the lens I shot the above with, the 55mm f/1.2 Olympus Zuiko, I have decided to sell it and buy down into the more modest 50mm f/1.4 in the same series. Mostly because I feel as though I could spend that money better elsewhere. I know it seems like I never stop with the cameras and lenses and friends give me a hard time about it but I love to explore everything photography has to offer. I like taking digital photos but left it behind emotionally  for reasons I can’t quite put into words. Keeping up with digital photo tech just got old and when I realized my 5d was more than enough camera to satisfy my digital needs I stuck with it and put my curiosity elsewhere.

Film cameras and experimenting with them brings me so much more excitement and satisfaction that I can’t help but want to continue on exploring. This and I know readers love to hear about interesting new cameras and opinions on them and the only way to continue this is to keep trying new systems and reporting back to you.

Comments

  1. Aqeel Fikree - December 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I downloaded and used the wallpaper before even reading the article. A beautiful wallpaper, thanks. Now reading :)

  2. Fabiano Coelho - December 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    WOW
    Nice shot!

  3. Carlos Cabezas - December 18, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Thanks J, another wonderful picture and messages.,
    thanks, Merry Christmas to you, & to your family, =)

  4. thedoo - December 18, 2011 at 5:32 am

    It’s hard to judge on someone’s soul through the eyes in the photographs. I’m sure your eyes in the photographs will look as beautiful now as it was long time ago as long as it’s photographed while you were thinking/ talking about the things you love and care about.

  5. muaad - December 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    just the kind of picture i want waiting for , thanks

  6. Gilang - December 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    The photo reminds me of my childhood experiences, playing at the backyard of my house, something I no longer did.

  7. Faraz Khan - December 19, 2011 at 4:16 am

    I love your writings more than the photographs u post…really love them..they just make me feel nostalgic..
    thanks alot..God bless

  8. shift - December 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Excellent photo and message. I think as long as we have that drive to learn, that innate fire of curiosity, we’ll be fine. It seems like that drive and fire is still going strong in you! =)

  9. saleem - December 21, 2011 at 1:48 am

    I have been looking at this site for a few months now, and I just want to say that I love everything about it. Aside from the beautiful photographs, you have a very incredible view on the world around you and I really enjoy your writing style. I don’t exactly remember how I found this website, but I always find myself checking up on it every couple of weeks. Maybe I really appreciate this website because I also shoot with a 5D, zuiko primes, and my beloved Olympus OM2. I have never gotten my hands on a 55 1.2. I have the standard 1.8 that simply jumps from the Canon to the Olympus body. Anyway, keep up the good work. :)

  10. Lauren - December 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Beautiful… all of it.

  11. jackie - January 6, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Fantastic shot. But what was more to me in this post was your “sentimental ramblings” of both the past and present. I wholeheartedly agree and, given that social networking alienates people more often than not, your words inspired me in a lot of ways I hadn’t realized I was looking for. So, thank you. :)

  12. Dan - January 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Just letting u know that I have all ur photos as the wallpapers on my Mac, iPad and iPhone.

  13. sunhead* - January 11, 2012 at 12:20 am

    wow, ferris bueller has finally made his impact after all these years. :) so glad to see and hear. and proud of you for being at this point!! great work. and, so true.

  14. sunhead* - January 11, 2012 at 12:21 am

    ps- i am definitely like the leaf ;) although i’m letting go of things bit by bit each day!

  15. matt - September 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    What lens did you use to take this picture?

  16. matt - September 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    answered my own question by reading. The 1.4 is a good lens.

  17. Dave Lawrence Photography | - July 27, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    […] (via fiftyfootshadows) […]

Leave A Reply

To whom it may concern,

IMAGES FOUND WITHIN FIFTYFOOTSHADOWS.NET ARE ©JOHN CAREY AND MAY NOT BE USED FOR ANY COMMERCIAL USE WITHOUT PERMISSION. 

DO:

• 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.

DON’T:

• 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)

fiftyfootshadows.net

fiftyfootshadows@gmail.com