buslight

Hiding In Plain Sight

My favorite kind of light to shoot is fleeting. It consistently appears like a ghost passing through my awareness. Soft, delicate reflections that drift slower than our patience will usually allow us to notice moving until its gone. There are countless memories stowed away in my mind where these ghosts have shown themselves to me only to have me scramble to dig out my camera wherever it may be only to find by the time I was ready to shoot it had already passed. Light is a force of life that reminds us that we must absorb these fleeting moments before they slip by, camera in hand or not.

That said, if you fancy yourself a photographer here is a challenge for you. Capture one of these moments. Surely you know the type. That tiny window of time wherein light graces a surface in a way so perfect it could only exist this way on rare occasions. It’s not always just a beam of light creeping across a wall. Sometimes it sneaks in through the window of a bus like in the photo above, perfectly lighting everything inside until it turns to another street or ducks behind a building. Other times it may be that perfect combination of the angle of the setting sun and the spot you are standing in that causes the world to illuminate in front of you.

Here is the tricky part. Once you find it, take only one photograph. Even if it’s against better judgement to do so. Just go with your instinct, don’t over think it, use what you know about good exposure and composition and trip the shutter. In limiting yourself you are playing along with the transitory nature of the moment. I think it’s an important lesson to learn and one I hint at often around here. Don’t let the camera get in the way of the wonderful things you seek out to shoot. Let these moments find you and simply live your life.

For me, photography is an experience in which you hold close the romantic nature of life and do your best to keep it from being forgotten. So keep your camera nearby and look for those softly lit moments hiding in plain sight. If you capture something feel free to share it with me through email. Maybe I could share it here in the future.

Comments

  1. shift - January 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    “Just go with your instinct, don’t over think it, use what you know about good exposure and composition and trip the shutter.”

    I can’t tell you how much I absolutely love this part. Too many times we get caught up in the details and miss that rare moment we dream of capturing. Thank you so much for putting it so succinctly! I shall definitely heed your challenge and share if I capture anything noteworthy.

  2. Daniel Wajda - January 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Any chance of getting a desktop? The colors are so perfect.

  3. jmabeeviz - January 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I agree with Daniel, I’d love to have it as a desktop…

  4. Ryan - January 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Jon,

    I stumbled across your site through the Path blog and to my delight, your work was refreshing and inspiring! I love the way you capture light and stick with prime lenses…same style that I have used and loved for years (even in my wedding photography days). Keep up the great work!

    I believe the link to your email may be broken but wanted to share one photo that I just love, not for the technical aspects but for the memories and emotion it evokes when I am reminded of the joy that my two little ones share when swinging into the sunrise and being at our cabin….http://ryanspics.tumblr.com/post/15125046307/swing

    Take care,
    Ryan

  5. Dane Henson - January 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I love the idea of limiting yourself. I learned how to use an SLR only a few years ago on a film camera, but quickly moved to a digital camera because film was already becoming expensive. Recently, I was inspired to start using an older film camera again and it’s the challenge of no auto-focus, limited exposures, and expensive processing that has caused me to fall in love with photography again. It’s the thrill of the chase that captivates me, and the nervous anticipation as I wait for my film to get developed.

  6. Kyle - January 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    If the photography wasn’t worth coming for, then the passion would be and it couldn’t be any more perfect since you share both.

  7. Ichikasuto - January 4, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I definitely would like this as a desktop also!

  8. Philip - January 5, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Just wondering… how do you get such perfect colors and that grainy feel? Btw I love all your pictures :)

  9. john - January 5, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Thanks so much guys, I’m glad you enjoyed it and those who have shared with me, thanks so much for sharing!

    The photo in the head of the article was taken with my little Olympus Epic Point and shoot film camera. The color simply existed in that moment because of the tinted windows, color of the seats, and Kodak Ektar loaded in the camera which has a fantastic saturation and grain. Because of its film nature I don’t currently have a large resolution digital copy of the image so it will have to be a desktopless post, sorry guys.

  10. Dnguyen - January 5, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    You’re probably one of the few photographers I truly respect, John. It’s like a breath of fresh air every time I read your blog, and view your photos. It all stems from the heart and soul. Photography for me lately has been constantly threatened by peers who only worry about the gear–what will it do for them–rather that what they can do with their camera. Thank you for reminding me of the good things. The things that matter.

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