You may or may not know that for my day job I work as a live sound engineer. In this line of work there are a lot of variables to take into consideration when approaching any given music event, the size of the space I am working in, the size of the crowd, or the type of music I will be mixing all come into play as I make decisions on how best to approach any given scenario. I would not mix a jazz band the same way I would mix a rock band and I would not bring a small audio system to an event with a thousand or more people. I have to assess the situation at hand and make decisions based on the needs of each specific event.

Like audio, when I approach a scene I would like to photograph I have to take into consideration any number of things, which direction the light source is coming from and what temperature it is, I have to decide how best to use the surrounding environment to best work with the subject, or sometimes I have to decide what compromises will have to be made in order to get the best exposure if conditions are not ideal for a strong shot.

The same logic extends to editing images in post with Aperture. Each photo, series, or location is unique and should be treated as such. No one preset is capable of handling every photo I throw at it. Besides, where is the fun/personality in that.

There are many photographers now relying quite heavily on the use of plugins and post processing to acquire a signature look. While I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong in using a preset filter I do find it to be short sighted to let them define the look of a photographer. Looking back to the film days many photographers would find a favorite film and stick with it. This coupled with their favorite developing techniques to get a signature contrast, color, etc. was key to many collections having a cohesive feel.

At any rate, with my own work I love to experiment, try new things, see what new directions I can push myself in. When it comes to filters and presets I don’t have any installed that I use. I find a much greater satisfaction in editing color, and curves on an as needed basis. Even with the image above my edits were relatively light. I started with a dark, contrasty backlit image and gently pulled up the highlights on my curve settings while setting an anchor point along the shadows so I could get a nice contrast and a bit more details while holding onto the nice contrast. From there I added a slight tint to give it a fresh, unique feel and I was good to go. The only times I get more involved is when I have a photo with a horrible exposure to begin with or some kind of strange white balance issues to sort through.

My point being that I think its wise not to spoil yourself with filters and presets, it can lead you to a portfolio of images that look just like everyone else thats using the same sort of processing and while some photographers are in the market of looking just like everyone else I can’t help but encourage others to explore their personality not only through their compositions and approach but in the way they treat their images after capturing them on film.

This image you may recognize from the iPhone5 pack, the few in there that were not already posted I plan on making available like this one in the rest of the resolution gamut as well. Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.


  1. Alex - October 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Looks like your Zip file link is not working.. yet.

  2. john - October 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Whoops, it was dropped into the wrong folder, should work now.

  3. Alex - October 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks John! Hope you had a great thanksgiving. (ps the iPhone link is down too. just fyi)

  4. john - October 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Wow, miss and a miss. haha, sorry about that.

  5. SU - October 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    true that john… curves rock! and nice photo as always… it looks a little like cross-processed effect to the first time viewer. and after seeing your previous post and comments, might i dare ask, am i the only android user around?! lol.. :)

  6. john - October 16, 2012 at 1:08 am

    haha, thanks and no, you are certainly not the only one around. The only reason I choose to crop specifically to Apple devices is for simplicities sake. To support android devices I would be spending way too much time cropping down and linking to the many many different ratios and screen resolutions available. My best advice to android users is usually to simply download the big square iPad version and select its alignment in the settings as you set the wallpaper. Perhaps its not ideal but it seems to work ok for most users. Thanks for stopping by, plenty more where this came from ahead.

  7. SU - October 18, 2012 at 11:41 am

    i understand what u mean…
    lookin forward to more amazing photos :)

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)